INGREDIENT PROFILE: TIGER NUTS

FROM THE FIELDS- ISSUE #79

Nut-free and vegan- you would never know just by their name.

tiger-nuts.jpg

Tiger nuts are tuber vegetables – similar to a potato – that have been around for thousands of years. People in North Africa and Spain have been snacking on tiger nuts for centuries, and we’re just starting to include them in our diet. They have a slightly sweet and nutty. Like many root vegetables, they are hard so it is best to soak them before use. They can be consumed raw, roasted, or dried and ground into flour, making them a great alternative for milk products and baked goods. Check out Chufa Co. for some delicious milk drink alternatives. Overflowing with vitamins, minerals, and fuel for your body, this ‘power’ nut is definitely one ingredient to try and here are a few reasons why…

 

NUTRIENTS: A great source of Vitamins C and E and the minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. And it also contains over 30% of fibre- that’s more than oats, bran and most vegetables and fruits.

BLOOD PRESSURE: the nuts are high in amino acids, especially Arginine, which has been shown to be beneficial to those suffering with high blood pressure. Arginine has been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure as it increases the nitric oxide level, which makes the arteries more elastic, relaxes the walls of the blood vessels and thereby improves the circulation in the whole body.

PREBIOTICS: While probiotic foods are essential for gut health and overall well-being, prebiotics help “feed” probiotics. Tiger nuts help fight bad bacteria in your body, they also assist your digestive tract by acting as a “resistant starch” prebiotic. Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber naturally found in many carbohydrate-rich foods. From its bulky fiber content, it takes up space in your digestive system and the starch never enters your bloodstream which means it can’t be stored as fat like most carbohydrates.