Popularly called ‘Ofio’ by the Yorubas, ‘Aya’ by the Hausas; and Imumu by the Igbos, this Nigerian snack has not been seen as a highly nutritious food item and so had been abandoned only to be consumed by the locals. In fact, in my societies in Nigeria, tiger nut is only seen as snacks for the northerners, they do not have any believe that the small round shape tuber could be loaded with health benefits.
The consumption of this tuber is not only peculiar to Nigeria or West Africa. Tiger nuts tubers constitute diets of many people in North Africa and Spain. It is know to be eaten in its natural form in North Africa while the tubers are consumed as a drink called chufa in Spain.
Nutritional Benefits Of Tiger Nuts
Very few snacks are loaded with higher amount of fibre as much as tiger nuts. The nutritional benefits of tiger nut include a higher fibre content than even that of carrots, oat bran, cabbage and Chia seeds. You all know why we need to include a good and healthy amount of fibre in our daily diet. In serious cases of constipation, fibre helps on easing up stooling. Also, because fibre helps in filling one’s stomach quickly, this snack can be used in weight management.
There is wide spread believe and some forms of evidence that the consumption of tiger nuts by nursing mothers can actually boost the production of breast milk which can help in feeding their babies. In some communities, the tiger nut is used in the production of a local drink called kunun Aya, which can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of your age bracket including nursing mums. The milk-like drink also contains Vitamin E which is critical for improved fertility in both Men and Women. The vitamin is also used in cosmetic industry has it has the capacity to prevent ageing.
More Health & Nutritional Benefits of Tiger Nut
Bananas and potatoes had always been seen as the almighty foods in the supply of high amount of potassium to the body. It will surprise you to know that tiger nuts supply more potassium than banana. Consuming about 25 pieces of the nuts gives the body 139 mg of potassium which is at the same level as a potato or an avocado.
The tuber also play an important role in the lives of the Chinese. Tiger nut milk is used as a liver tonic, heart stimulant. The milk is consumed to heal serious stomach pain, to promote normal menstruation, to heal mouth and gum ulcer and is a powerful aphrodisiac (s£xual stimulant).
Protein is usually known to be high in animal food sources. However, tiger nuts supply an impressive non animal protein which can be used as a good substitute particularly for those who do not have access to animal protein. Protein is essential for the proper growth, repair and development of the entire body. It is also important to note that the tubers contains numerous antioxidants that help fight free radicals
We can keep on enumerating the numerous nutritional benefits of this tiger nut tuber. Tiger nuts are healthy to consume.