WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE TIGER NUTS?
One of my patients was the first to tell me about Tiger Nuts and I probably thought the exact same thing you are right now, what in the world? So naturally I had to do some research and I have to say I was very excited about what I found. Tiger Nuts are small root vegetables originated from Africa. This versatile food is 100% nut-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo friendly, and high in fiber. TigerNuts can be consumed as a raw crunchy snack (not my favorite form), a dairy-free milk alternative, roasted, or ground into flour.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF USING TIGERNUT FLOUR?
One of my favorite benefits of TigerNut flour is that it is an excellent source of prebiotics or resistant starches. If you have never heard of prebiotics, I am sure you are not alone. Prebiotic fiber is resistant to digestion so it reaches the colon undigested. In the colon, these fibers help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria/microorganisms (probiotics) in the gut. Think of prebiotics as food for the good bacteria in your gut. This is SO important because probiotics have been shown to improve the immune system and promote bowel regularity. Not having enough good bacteria in the gut has been linked to depression, autoimmune diseases (ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis), irritable bowel syndrome, and more. One serving of TigerNut Flour contains 10 grams of fiber! TigerNut flour is also high in iron, supplying 10% of your recommended daily iron. If that is not enough because TigerNuts are nut-free, gluten-free, and grain-free they are approved on an autoimmune paleo diet.
HOW CAN I START INCORPORATING TIGERNUT FLOUR?
With the Holidays approaching, I am sure you are going to be doing more baking. Do I smell pumpkin pie? You can easily substitute TigerNut flour with any of your favorite recipes that call for flour. You can even add a tablespoon or two into your favorite smoothie; just make sure to drink your smoothie immediately so it does not congeal.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Kristin Oja, DNP, FNP-C, PT-C