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Side Effects of Tiger Nuts

Side effects of Tiger nuts

Side effects of Tiger nuts – Tiger nuts is a common type of tuber in Nigeria. Although a lot of people presume that it is a type of nut because of the “nuts” attached to its name. It is actually a tuber. Its scientific name is Cyperus esculentus.

Tiger nuts belong to the Sedge family of plants. Tiger nuts are very popular amongst the Hausas and it is very common in the Northern parts of Nigeria and it is called ‘Aya’ in Hausa. It is usually sold by the Hausas in Lagos along side Kulikuli and Dates in wheel barrows.

Tiger nuts were one of the first plants cultivated in Egypt and traditionally used as both food and medicine. Despite their name, tiger nuts are not nuts. They are marble-sized tubers which grow underground, like potatoes. They come from grass in the sedge family. It can be found growing wild throughout Africa, the Middle East, India, and Southern Europe.

They’re rich in a variety of nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits — ranging from better digestion to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Tiger nuts are commonly dried and roasted with honey. Less commonly, they are consumed raw. When ground as a flour, the functions of tiger nut include making dairy-free yogurt, ice cream, and even bread. 

The Yorubas call it, “Ofio” and it is usually sweet. It is also very affordable to buy and offers lots of benefits to a person. Lots and lots of benefits! The Igbos call Tiger nuts, “Aki Awusa”, the Efik tribe in Nigeria call it, “Isip Isong” and it is called “Hausa Groundnut” in Pidgin. The northeners also make drinks out of tiger nuts. The drink is called “Kunnu Aya” by the Hausas. Apart from Nigeria, the Tiger nut is quite a common crop around the world. It is very common in Europe and Asia now. But it originates from West Africa.

Do you know what tiger nuts really taste like?

One, they require a lot of chewing, you can’t eat them fast. That’s probably a good thing.

Tiger nut milk tastes similar to almond milk and other nut-based dairy alternatives. It has a naturally creamy texture, without needing carrageenan or guar gum. This comes from the high fiber and fat content.

They taste really sweet. But Even though tiger nuts are sweet, they contain minimal amounts of sugar; 5g per ounce. Their fibrous texture is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.

How do Tiger nuts look like?

side effects of tiger nuts

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Tiger nuts have this brown color and are quite hard. When left out of water, they could dry up. But that can be easily solved by soaking it in water for sometime, they will get hydrated again. It is crunchy to the taste and has a sweet taste.

The color on the inside when you split it, is white in color and moist. Apart from its general brown color, it also has dots all around it both white and black dots. So,  you can identify it by looking for small rounded nuts that are brown in color with dots and moderately hard to chew. And also, they are usually frequently sprinkled with water by the Hausas who sell them in Lagos in wheel barrows.

Benefits of Tiger nuts

1. Tiger nuts are very rich in fibre

A whooping 33% of tiger nuts’ content is fibre. Fibre has tremendous benefits to the body of a person. Fibre aid in digestion. They aid the easy movement of food in the digestive system. Apart from digestion benefits, fibre also helps to relieve people of constipation and irregular stools.

Fibre has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, longer life, prevention of some types of cancer. It also helps to increase the number of your healthy gut bacteria among other benefits. It can be seen from these that because tiger nuts contain such a high proportion of fibre, it is a super food. Eating a healthy dose of tiger nuts daily will help to prevent and protect from a number of diseases and help you live a healthier life.

2. Tiger nuts are a healthy replacement for those with lactose intolerance

Tiger nuts milk is an ideal replacement for cow milk in people who have lactose intolerance. Cow’s milk contains Lactose which can be harmful to some people. So, the milk of tiger nut helps to be a substitute for cow’s milk plus it is also healthier. It is also packed with minerals like Calcium which support the development of strong bones and teeth which are perfect for children and adolescents who are growing. So, in place of cow’s milk, one can take tiger nuts’ milk which is sweeter and healthier.

3. Tiger nuts are rich in essential vitamins like Vitamin E and C

Vitamin E is an essential vitamin that is important that you take everyday. When combined with vitamin C, you could reap tremendous benefits. Vitamin E has so many benefits like slowing aging, helping to control blood vessel constriction and so on. While Vitamin C aids in fighting free radicals because it is an antioxidant. And tiger nuts have both vitamins.

4. Tiger nuts also help in preventing against cardiovascular disease

Another benefit of the vitamin E mentioned above is that it helps to fight against cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that fights free radicals. Free radicals could cause constriction of blood vessels which could, in turn, harm the heart. So, taking tiger nuts gives you the right dose of vitamin E to help prevent this.

5. Tiger nuts is a sure go-to for boosting libido

The drink made from tiger nuts is used by Ghanaians, Chinese and Hausas in Nigeria to improve and boost libido. This is especially useful to couples with libidos that don’t match. Where one couple complains that they don’t have s*x enough whereas the other does not have enough s*x drive. Tiger nuts help in restoring and improving s*xual vitality.

6. It also helps in curing erectile dysfunction

Quite a number of men suffer from erectile dysfunction. This stops them from being able to perform well in bed. Why? Because their erection doesn’t last. Tiger nuts’ contents have the right mixture to help a man in solving this problem. The drink especially is widely used to solve s*xual problems.

7. Tiger nuts also help in controlling diabetes

The role that tiger nuts play in curing diabetes is thanks to its high fibre content. Its insoluble dietary fibre helps diabetics stay healthy by helping them control their blood sugar. The fibre in it can’t be digested by the body that is why it doesn’t raise the blood sugar as opposed to other snacks which hike blood sugar level.

8. Tiger nuts help to increase the body’s amount of good and healthy cholesterol

It is known that there is good cholesterol and there is bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol could cause a person heart attacks if the bad cholesterol accumulates enough. So, when tiger nuts promote good cholesterol, it helps in fighting the presence of bad cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol can help people suffering from arteriosclerosis or even renal insufficiency. This is why tiger nut is good for the old, very young and pregnant people.

9. It also aids in digestion

This is also due to the fibre it contains. It turns out that fibre has so many benefits. And tiger nuts are a sure way to get as much fibre into your body as possible.

10. It is a rich source of Magnesium

Did you know that if you took the only 100g of tiger nuts, you can get a whooping 13% of the daily recommended intake of magnesium? Magnesium is important in the body for improving nerve and muscle function.

11. Tiger nuts are loaded with antioxidants

Antioxidants are so important if you want to live a totally healthy and sick free life. Benefits of antioxidants present in tiger nuts are numerous. Like, prevention of the oxidation of other molecules in the body, fighting germs and diseases.

12. It helps to battle the ageing process

Because tiger nuts are packed with antioxidants, they help to fight premature ageing in all parts of the body. Too much UV light on the body can promote ageing, which antioxidants that are present in tiger nuts can help to fight.

13. Tiger nuts also help in protecting against bacterial infection

Yes, tiger nuts prevent bacterial infection. Tiger nuts are on the list of plants and crops that can help to fight harmful bacteria in the body like E. Coli and Salmonella.

14. Acts as an immune system booster

Because tiger nuts are rich in Magnesium and essential minerals. These help in boosting bodily systems including the immune system. So it makes a good immune system booster.

15. Used in making very nutritional drinks like Kunnu Aya

There is nothing more refreshing than having a cold glass or bottle of tiger nuts’ milk as a beverage on a hot afternoon. There is nothing quite like it. It is more advisable for individuals to go for natural milk drinks than caffeine filled ones that are very popular today. Instead of drinking drinks like Soda that cause health issues, why not opt for a drink made from tiger nuts that is packed with all the essential nutrients that you need like Vitamins and minerals.

Definitely, tiger nuts give us the benefit of having refreshingly sweet and milk filled drinks that are free from unhealthy substances. Plus, it is very cheap.

16. Tiger nuts assist in blood pressure control

Tiger nuts are packed with essential amino acids that help in controlling blood pressure. It is especially packed with Arginine, a type of amino acid, which helps in maintaining the blood vessels normal width. That is, Arginine is mainly responsible for the production of nitric oxide, which helps in keeping the blood vessels wide enough to allow for the normal amount of blood flow. Because Arginine does this, it helps to treat people with constructed blood vessels thereby relieving conditions like heart failure, arteriosclerosis, chest pain, and so on. It, therefore, can be said that Tiger nuts have the essential ingredients needed for controlling a person’s blood pressure.

17. Insoluble fiber

Tiger nuts are a good source of insoluble fiber, which can prevent constipation and help your digestion run smoothly. Add them to your diet gradually to avoid unpleasant gas or bloating.

18. May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Animal studies show that tiger nut extract may help reduce blood sugar levels. Tiger nuts are rich in the amino acid arginine, which may increase insulin production and sensitivity, both of which are important for blood sugar control

Tiger nuts may help keep your blood sugar levels in check. This may, in large part, be due to the high fiber content of the tubers which may slow down the absorption of sugar in the gut

However, some studies show that tiger nut extract may inhibit the action of carb-digesting enzymes in your gut.

Hence, less sugar may be absorbed from your gut in a way similar to the action of some blood-sugar-lowering diabetic medications.

29. Good for food allergies

Since they’re a tuber and not a gluten-containing grain, tiger nuts are gluten free.

Tiger nuts are not real nuts and there’s no evidence to suggest they have cross-reactivity with peanut or tree nut allergies. Since they’re plant-based, milk made from them is lactose-free.

Can one eat too many tiger nuts?

There aren’t really any big implications of eating too many tiger nuts. Although for those who have digestive system problems, too many tiger nuts can cause bloating and even maybe diarrhoea. It’s best to eat it in a reasonable amount. As nutritious and vitamin-packed as it is, if taken too much, it could cause minor problems.

What are tiger nuts used for?

Tiger nuts could be used in making  s*xual vitality drinks as done in China, Ghana, Nigeria and some other countries. It could also be used to improve fertility. It is also used to fight ageing in people thereby maintaining a youthful look.

Are tiger nuts fattening?

No, absolutely not! If anything, they are actually responsible for weight loss. Because the fibre in it doesn’t digest, it stays in the stomach thereby making you fuller and when you don’t really have an appetite, and you don’t eat, you lose weight! So, no, they are not fattening.

So, having brushed up and given you in depth analysis on tiger nuts, it’s time to look at their possible side effects. No product in this world whether natural or artificial, is perfect. Everything has its own side effect. Not only tiger nuts. So you asked, “do tiger nuts have side effects? If so, what are they?” Below are some of the side effects of tiger nuts;

Side effects of tiger nuts include

1. Itchy throats

Some people report feeling itchy throat as a result of the remainder of the chewed tiger nuts sticking in their throats. This means that some do not like tiger nuts because it can cause itchy throats which could lead to cough. So, if you have a cough, you might need to watch it.

2. Allergies?

If you are allergic to fibre related products then you might need to stay away from tiger nuts. This is because it is highly concentrated with fibre. And it could trigger your allergy.

3. People with digestive problems

If you have digestion issues before hand, you might want to watch the quantity of tiger nuts that you take in. This is because tiger nuts’ fibre sits in your stomach and doesn’t digest. And this might be a problem for you if you have issues with digestion. Be sure to eat it minimally. Not too much. To avoid added problems.

4. Fibre Surge

If it has been a long time since you’ve taken fibre, or you rarely take fibre, then suddenly taking a large amount of fibre that comes from eating tiger nuts can cause a surge in your system, due to the shock. And this could cause constipation and bloating. And you may not like that. So you have to be careful with the amount of tiger nuts you will take at once, that is if you rarely take fibre.

Overall, tiger nut doesn’t really have side effects

You could only have a problem eating it if you have personal issues with your body that you are battling with like an allergy. It really is a super food/snack that benefits you a whole lot more than it harms you. So, be sure to eat enough of tiger nuts. It’s a total healthy.


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