Health & Wellness

What Are Tigernuts and Why Do We Love Them?

by Meg Gerber March 2, 2020
tigernuts

Tigernuts: My Favorite Gut Health Supportive Food of the Moment

What the heck are tigernuts and why do I love them?! These tiny root vegetables are hidden with health benefits, not to mention they taste delicious! 

High in Fiber

1 ounce of tigernuts (~50 pieces) contains 10 grams of the stuff-almost half of what you need for the day! More specifically, they are rich in prebiotic fiber-think ‘fertilizer’ for our beneficial gut bacteria.  Why is this important? This helps keep our colon healthy and has also been shown in research to contribute to improvements in blood sugar and weight management (1). 

Low allergen

Despite the name, tigernuts are actually nut and seed free.  They work wonderfully blended and made into a milk for those who cannot tolerate nut milks or in the flour form they add a nuttiness to a cookie or pancake recipe!

Vegetarian iron source

As a predominant part of a paleo diet for our ancestors, tigernuts were relied on as a rich source of minerals-especially iron.  One ounce contains about 10% of your daily needs. Iron is an essential component of supporting bodily energy as it delivers oxygen to our cells.  For those who don’t eat meat, snacking on these can be a great way to boost your levels of the mineral!

Naturally sweet

These tiny roots offer a natural sweetness thanks to the fiber-rich carbohydrates they contain!  I personally have found that baking with tigernut flour has allowed me to greatly reduce or even omit using any sweetener thanks to their lightly sweet taste profile!

Antioxidant rich

In a rat study, tigernut milk was shown to prevent liver injury due to its high concentration of phytochemicals (2)  Additionally, tigernuts offer good sources of potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins C and E. 

How to consume them?

I love to substitute tigernut flour in baking recipes, use tigernut butter as a nut butter replacement or simply snack on the peeled ones on their own!  In the mood bake?  Check out my Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe here or try making your own tigernut milk!

References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5580955/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5867888/