Seems like there is a new superfood beauty trend everyday now. First came chia seeds and then it was goji berries, with açaï hot on their heels. Now however, health experts are extolling the health benefits of an exciting new superfood to add to our smoothies: tigernuts.
What Are Tigernuts?
Tigernuts are a misnomer, because these aren’t nuts. They are actually a vegetable – a type of starchy tuber. Tigernuts are also called chufa, nut grass, or yellow nutsedge.
I call myself a Traditional Foodie, meaning that I believe we can gain vital nutrition insight by studying the dietary habits of ancient cultures. When it comes to traditional foods, tigernuts take the cake. Oxford University recently discovered that tigernuts played a key nutritional role in our evolution from pre-human to human. So tigernuts are about as Paleo a food as you can get!
Tigernuts were a highly valued food in ancient Egypt. Interestingly, there is ancient Egyptian art depicting the careful sorting of Tigernuts.
You may be wondering, What do tigernuts taste like? They taste sweet!
3 Nutrition Benefits of Tigernuts
1. Allergen free – Tigernut allergies are probably one of the rarest food allergies ever. Since they are a tuber, tigernuts are completely soy, dairy, grain, nut, seed (etc, etc.) free. Further, Organic Gemini has a dedicated gluten-free, peanut-free and tree nut-free facility to prevent cross-contamination.
2. Resistant Starch – Tigernuts are the highest whole food source of a unique type of fiber called resistant starch. Besides the pleasant flavor and texture, the resistant starch content is why you should eat tigernuts on a regular basis. Resistant starch is a highly beneficial pre-biotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract.
Resistant starch has been a hot topic lately in the health world as more and more research shows the unique benefits of this plant fiber. For example, research indicates that resistant starch could be a powerful component in preventing and/or addressing diabetes and obesity!
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that introducing resistant starch for the first time may produce some symptoms of a shift in gut flora. You may wish to introduce tigernuts gradually and see if you experience symptoms such as gas or bloating. If you do, slowly but consistently increase the amount of tigernuts starting at just one or two a day.
3. Healthful Fats – Unlike other starchy vegetable tubers such as potatoes, tigernuts are a good source of healthful fats. Tigernuts have a fatty acid composition similar to olive oil, with the fat composition being about 73% monounsaturated fat, 18% saturated fat and 9% polyunsaturated fat (source). The lower percentage of polyunsaturated fat, which can be highly inflammatory, in contrast to the specific monounsaturated and saturated fats (both nourishing, non-inflammatory types of fat) makes a healthy fat profile.
Where To Buy Tigernuts?
Select Whole Foods and Sprouts