How To Make Tiger Nut Milk | 8 Amazing Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts | Horchata De Chufa | Kunu Aya

 



What are Tiger Nuts?

Tiger nuts (Cyperus esculentus) are not actually nuts but belong to the tuber family. They are known for their sweet milk they produce.  Tiger Nuts milk is a beloved drink throughout Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Spain. In Spain Tiger nuts milk is called Horchata De Chufa. Chufa simply means Tiger Nuts. In Northern Nigeria it is called Kunu Aya. Tiger Nuts Milk is nutritious with so many health benefits It is sweet and creamy quite similar to the taste and texture of coconut milk. So Tiger Nuts milk is a great alternative for anyone with a nut allergy, on a gluten free diet, vegan diet, paleo, or with lactose intolerance as it's dairy free. 

 


How To Make Tiger Nut Milk?

What You Will Need For This Tiger Nut Milk Recipe

1 cup  "whole" Tiger Nuts, NOT peeled

2 cups Water

Blender

Nut bag or sieve/strainer

Large bowl or Large measuring cup

Ice

Steps

  1. Soak Tiger Nuts in Water for 24 hours
  2. Wash and drain Tiger Nuts after 24 hours
  3. Pour Tiger Nuts in Blender
  4. Pour Water in Blender
  5. Blend until smooth
  6. Pour blender contents in nut bag or sieve and strain out liquid into large bowl
  7. Throw away the dry contents
  8. Pour the liquid over ice in cup and enjoy!
  9. Fresh Tiger Nuts milk will remain fresh in the fridge for 2-4 days

Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts 

Tiger nuts provide a good source antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and sodium. They are about 30% fat, 43% carbohydrate, and 8% protein (1). Yogurt made from tiger nuts milk has near identical amounts of protein and fat as cows milk yogurt (2). With tiger nuts high calcium and phosphorus amounts, this makes tiger nuts a good alternative to anyone who cannot consume cows milk and/or prefers plant based milks.

1. Cancer Prevention: Tiger nuts have strong phenolic antioxidants which help to decrease cell damage and oxidative stress in the body by free radicals (3). Free radical damage in the body has been heavily researched and is linked to cancer development. 

2. Diabetes Control: In a study(5)done on 25 rats fed aqueous extracts of tiger nuts over a 30 day period, a significant decrease in blood sugar was observed. People with type 2 diabetes have poor blood sugar control that is typically higher than average. This study, showed that Tiger nuts may aid with diabetes control by decreasing blood sugar.

3. Improve Heart Health: Tiger nut oil has a very similar fatty acid composition to olive oil. They are both primarily composed of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) oleic acid (6). MUFAs are well researched and have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory effects in the body. In a study (7)conducted by the American College of Cardiology, olive oil, due to its MUFAs, was shown to significantly decrease Coronary Heart Disease risk, so it can be conferred that tiger nuts would have a similar heart healthy benefit. 

4. Improved Blood Pressure and Decrease Stroke risk:  A 11 week study (8)done on mice with atherosclerosis given a diet with 25% whole tiger nut flour showed a significant decrease in atherosclerotic lesions. Tiger nuts are 60% MUFA like olive oil and, adding MUFAs, to your diet has been shown to decrease bad serum cholesterol (LDLs). Reduction of LDLs may reduce atherosclerotic plaque formation, and improve blood flow which decreases stroke risk in the body. 

Decreased serum LDLs →Decreases arterial plaque formation → Decreased atherosclerosis→Wider more compliant arteries → Decreased risk of blood clots and improved blood flowDecreases stroke risk

5. Improve Liver Function: In a study (9) on rats with liver damage treated for 15 days with tiger nut extracts, significant improvement in liver function was observed. All rats treated had significantly less serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase activity, and bilirubin levels which are all indications of better liver function.

6. Fight Infection: Some research has shown high antimicrobial activity from tiger nut extracts(10). One study found tiger nut extracts to be effective in fighting Salmonella, a type of bacteria that causes food poisoning. Another research article suggested that extracts from tiger nut leaves and tubers may be effective in fighting E. coli that causes gastrointestinal infections like endometritis. 

7. Reduce Inflammation: As mentioned above, tiger nuts are rich in Vitamin C and E. They have high amounts of MUFAs, and have strong antioxidant effects which all have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Some research suggest that tiger nuts essential oils may have analgesic (pain reducing) effects as well as the ability to decrease edema and swelling.(11)

8. Aphrodisiac?: If you google benefits of tiger nuts milk, one of the first things you may find, is that it is used as an aphrodisiac in Africa. An aphrodisiac can be defined as a food, drink, or drug that stimulates sexual desire. But what does the research say? In fact there are a few animal studies that may support this claim(10). One study found that tiger nuts extracts increased the concentration of the male reproductive hormones testosterone and increased sperm count in mice. Another study found a significant increase in sperm concentration and motility in rabbits. And the last study found improved semen and testis weight in rabbits. 

Conclusion: Tiger Nuts should definitely be added to the list of super foods, likewise many other foods indigenous to Africa. It is however important to note, that it may be important to consume whole tiger nuts and not just the milk to reap all the health benefits of these powerful "nuts." Tiger nuts were once hard to find outside there natural land, however now with the advent of global commerce tiger nut and tiger nut products like tiger nut flour, tiger nut oil, tiger nut butter and more can easily be purchased online




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