A nutritional biochemist, Dr Ochuko Erukainure, on Thursday said consumption of tiger nuts could prevent and help in the management of heart attack, constipation and diabetes.
Erukainure, a Senior Research Officer at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, Lagos, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the nuts contain high fibre.
He said that tiger nuts fibre helps body by providing simple relief of constipation and also keeps the eater fuller, longer and aids in weight loss.
Erukainure said that the fibre content was higher than other suggested sources of fibre such as oat bran, rice bran, peaches, cabbage, pears, apple, carrot and chia seeds.
Erukainure said: “Tiger nuts are not actually a nut, but a small tuber, which is high in fibre, protein and natural sugars.
“Tiger nuts are very healthy which can help to prevent thrombosis and activate blood circulation and its very high fibre content combined with a delicious taste, make them ideal for healthy eating.
“Tiger nuts give a heating and drying action to the digestive system in general and this gives it the potency to alleviate flatulence.”
According to him, tiger nuts are also high in calcium which is a bone building and growth supporting mineral.
He said that with only 100 grammes of tiger nuts, the body would get 13 to 17 per cent of daily recommended dose of magnesium.
He explained: “This mineral stays active in the body and participates in more than 300 biochemical reactions of our chemical.
“Tiger nuts are high in amino acids with arginine, while arginine has shown to aid in conditions that are caused or made worse by restricted blood vessels such as chest pain and erectile dysfunction.
“Tiger nuts are also rich in vitamin E and protect the eater from harmful free radicals which are responsible for the death of the body cells.
“Antioxidants help the body to protect itself from free radicals, molecules that have an unshared electron.
“The unshared electron can react with oxygen to form reactive oxygen species, which are damaging to our bodies.
“Vitamin E combined with high levels of oleic acid, two components of tiger nuts, has also been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
He also said that the oil extracted from tiger nuts contains only 18 per cent saturated fat and 82 per cent unsaturated fats.