Tiger nuts, a superfood

Hi again,

today I am writing about tiger nuts as I find it’s a very interesting food (or rather superfood) that remains quite unknown to the general population.

Tiger nuts are not nuts, but actually tubers, small root vegetables which comprised up to 90% of our ancient african ancestors’ diet (from who we are all descended) around 2 million years ago according to some research from Oxford University published last year.

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2014-01-09-ancient-human-ancestor-nutcracker-man-lived-tiger-nuts

This ancient superfood originates from Northern Africa and the Mediterranean and it’s extremely high in fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamins E & C.

Other properties of tiger nuts are:

1. A source of resistant starch, a prebiotic fiber that resists digestion and becomes fuel for our “good” bacteria (probiotic). One ounce of tiger nuts has 40% of our daily recommended fiber.
2. Remarkably nutrient dense containing as much Iron as red meat, as much Potassium as coconut water (& more than banana) and are high in Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus and vitamins E & C.
3. Research suggests tiger nuts can help control your blood pressure, may help protect you from cancer, cardiovascular disease and can help control your diabetes.

In addition, for those who need a substitute to cow milk or soya milk, this is a delicious alternative that doesn’t seem to cause food allergies despite its high protein content. So the only and relevant problem might be its price, as it’s not so cheap as other common milks.

Just in case you want to have a look at some research on the subject below you can find some articles.

Coskuner Y, Ercan R, Karababa E, Nalizcan AN. Physical and chemical properties of chufa (Cyperus esculentus L) tubers grown in the Cukurova region of Turkey. J Sci Food Agric, 82 (6) 625-631 (2002).

Duggan C, Gannon J, Walker WA. Protective nutrients and functional foods for the gastrointestinal tract. Am J Clin Nutr, 75, 789- 808. (2002)

Frega N, Conte LS, Lercker G, Carnacini A. Composizione dei tubercoli di Cyperus esculentus. La Rivista della Società Italiana di Scienza dell’ Alimentazione,13 (3) 211-214 (1984).

Linssen JPH, Kielman GM, Cozijnsen JL, Pilnik W. Comparison of chufa and olive oils. Food Chem, 28 (4) 279-285 (1998).

Morell J, Barber S. Chufa y horchata: características físicas, químicas y nutritivas. CSIC. Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos. Valencia (1983).

Temple VJ., Ojobe TO, Kapu, MM. Chemical analysis of tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus). J Sci Food and Agric, 1990, 50 (2) 261-263.

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About Patricia Contreras

I was born in Spain, studied for my masters degree in Chemistry as well as Chemical Engineering in Barcelona. I Completed my PhD in Food science and technology and have worked in different countries in different areas from customer focused jobs in hospitality business, bank, but mainly in research in the food science field. I then decided to work in the food industry as a product developer to be able to apply my research skills and interest in the subject to create or improve food products. I am also very interested in consumer research, market trends and product innovation and I believe universities are catching up and now focus more on research that could be of interest to the industry.

One Response to Tiger nuts, a superfood

  1. KA Recovery says:

    nice work.

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