Tiger nuts, also known as yellow nutsedge or earth almonds are edible tubers and not actual nuts as they are called. They may appear in three (3) main varieties; yellow, black and brown.
Tiger nuts are undoubtedly one of the most common things street hawkers in Ghana sell aside assorted candies and chewing gums, water, various snacks – both local and exotic, but to mention a few. Many prefer chewing the nuts raw to unravel its sweet natural taste, others prefer it roasted and countless Ghanaians enjoy the ever delicious tiger nuts pudding.
If you have ever bought tiger nuts before, what was your reason? Is it for the sweet taste, the nutritious milk or what I’m obviously thinking? What am I thinking anyway?
Locally known as ‘atadwe’, tiger nuts have so many health benefits that you may not know. Here are some of the health benefits of tiger nuts;
1. May Possess Aphrodisiac Properties
Tiger nuts have been known to boost libido. Traditionally, they are used to treat erectile dysfunction and increase sperm count. Its aphrodisiac properties haven’t been tested in humans yet. However, In a rat study, eating large amounts of tiger nuts for 30 days increased testosterone levels, boosted sexual activity and reduced intromission time between mating sessions.
2. Improves Digestion
The rich insoluble fibre content of tiger nuts improves digestion. The fibre adds bulk to your stools and helps food to pass through the gut easily, hence preventing constipation. They also contain enzymes such as catalase and amylases which help the breakdown of food, relieving gas, indigestion and diarrhoea.
3. Boosts Immune System and Fights Infections
In one test-tube study, tiger nut extracts were tested against several types of bacteria that can infect humans. The extract was effective against E. coli, Staphylococcus and Salmonella bacteria. It contains compounds that fight antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. It also contains antioxidants that protect the body against cancer and heart diseases.
4. Tiger nut oil contains oleic acid which helps to curb atherosclerosis and hypertension.
It possesses anti-inflammatory properties, hence its effectiveness in treating rheumatoid arthritis. This oleic acid suppresses appetite, therefore reducing obesity.
5. Tiger Nut Oil is Good For the Skin
Some cosmetic products such as lotions and body soaps have tiger nut oil as an ingredient. It is known to lower wrinkles and promote elasticity of the skin. It is high in phytosterols which aid in moisturising and nourishing the skin.
The next time you come across tiger nuts in traffic, think about these benefits and take a chance to munch on these nutritious nuts.