9 Amazing Benefits of Tiger Nuts

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Tiger nuts are an important culinary and nutritive crop in various parts of the world and have been throughout history, but there are many surprising benefits of this popular tuber.

What are Tiger Nuts?

Tiger nuts, also commonly known as chufa, are the edible tubers of the Cyperus esculentus plant, which has been cultivated for at least 9,000 years for its nutrient density and oils. These nuts aren’t actually nuts, although they are commonly referred to as earth almonds. They taste a bit sweet and nutty just like pecans and almonds. While these plants are considered weeds in certain places, the dense nutrient profile of these tubers make them an important source of resistant starch fibers – far more than sweet potatoes and regular potatoes.

Tiger Nuts Nutrition

In terms of nutritive value, tiger nuts possess high levels of fiber and protein. They are also rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, and vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin C. Their high starch content means a high carbohydrate level, and there are approximately 120 calories in one ounce of these nuts. There is also a good amount of healthy fats, primarily oleic and linoleic acid, which are healthy monounsaturated fats.

Tiger Nuts Benefits

The most impressive benefits of tiger nuts include their ability to improve cardiovascular health, reduce cholesterol levels, prevent diabetes, relieve headaches, and lower your risk of cancer, among others.


The presence of dietary fiber in tiger nuts makes it easy for stimulating digestion and peristaltic motion and thus reducing symptoms of both constipation and diarrhea.

A wooden pot of tiger nuts on a white cloth

Cardiovascular Health

Potassium has a particularly high presence in these tubers, which is a natural vasodilator, and thus able to lower blood pressure and protect cardiovascular health.


While there is a lot of starch in tiger nut tubers, they are complex carbohydrates and can help to control blood sugar levels in the body and moderate symptoms of diabetes.

Anti-aging Properties

With antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E, as well as polyphenolic compounds, these tubers have a strong antioxidant potential and can prevent premature aging, wrinkles, blemishes, and age spots.


The anti-inflammatory nature of these tubers is well studied, and it can help cut down on the pain and discomfort of migraines and headaches.

Anticancer Potential

A study published in 2010 suggests that tiger nut tuber may help in preventing cancer as it has a high content of soluble glucose.

Tiger nut milk is also able to reduce the risk of liver and colon cancer as per a research paper published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology.

Immune System

There is a good amount of vitamin C in these tubers, which can provide a boost to the immune system.


With beneficial fats like oleic and linoleic fatty acids, tiger nuts can lower overall cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Weight Loss

Despite having a moderate amount of calories, the high fiber content can keep you feeling full, thus preventing overeating and snacking, and aiding weight loss efforts.

How to Eat Tiger Nuts?

While they are hard in texture and difficult to eat raw, after soaking them in water, they can be eaten easily, as well as roasted, dried, baked or turned into tiger nut milk.

  • If you toast these tiny tubers, they can be chopped and sprinkled on salads or soups for a flavorful and nutritious burst.
  • Perhaps the most famous use of tiger nuts is in the creation of the Spanish drink – horchata – made with cinnamon, or perhaps even blended with dates.
  • Mixing the tubers with nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit also makes for a delicious trail mix.

Tiger Nuts Side Effects

There are very few side effects of eating these nuts aside from the following:

  • Gastrointestinal problems: If you consume too many of these tubers, the high level of dietary fiber could have a constipating effect, so be sure to consume these nuts in moderation.
  • Potential allergic reactions: Allergies to these tubers are possible and may manifest as stomach issues, such as nausea, vomiting, or excess flatulence.

So are you adding tiger nuts in your shopping cart already?

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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