Health benefits of tiger nuts
A nutritionist at the Wuse General Hospital Abuja, Hajiya Jummai Abdul, has said that tiger nuts help to stimulate the immune system by preventing cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer.
Abdul told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that the nuts had essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron.
She said that the minerals were used to build strong bones and muscles; repaired tissues and helped the blood stream.
“Tiger nuts are often cultivated for its edible tubers. In Nigeria, the Hausas call it ‘Aya’; Yorubas call it ‘Ofio’; the Igbos, ‘imumu’ or ‘aki Hausa’; while the Hausas make a drink called Kunun Aya from it,’’ she said. According to her, in China, tiger nut juice was used as a liver tonic and heart stimulant.
Abdul said that the nuts contained a lot of oleic acid which helped to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride, adding that it also prevented hardening of the arteries.
She explained that it helped to prevent constipation because it aided proper digestion.
“Tiger nuts contain enough protein and carbohydrates. It contains a good quantity of vitamin B1, which assists in balancing the central nervous system and helps to encourage the body to adapt to stress.
"It supplies the body with enough quantity of Vitamin E, essential for fertility in both men and women,’’ she said.
The nutritionist said that tiger nut milk was used to treat stomach pain, aid normal menstruation, adding that it helped to heal mouth and gum ulcers and was a powerful aphrodisiac.
According to her, the nut promotes the production of urine; serves as a preventive measure for prostate cancer, hernia, rectum deformation and prolapse.
“Tiger nuts help in stress management by helping the body to stay balanced and also help to prevent fibrosis as well as blockage of the tip of the fallopian tube. “The high fibre content of the tiger nuts makes it a good colon evacuator and cleanser and can help one to lose weight.
“The black specie of the tiger nuts is an excellent medicine for breast lumps and cancer,’’ she said. Abdul said that tiger nuts were also used in the production of some types of beer, cosmetics, condiments and livestock feed.
She, therefore, advised that nursing mothers should eat a lot of tiger nuts for enough production of breast milk to satisfy their babies.