One cool thing about having my style of blog that I get to have so many nuts as commenters. They’re distributed amongst the geeks, nerds, ne’er-do-wells, muckrakers, slackers…and plain ol’ assholes, like me. My comment sections are truly representative of the misfits of society, which is why they’re a perfect fit for Free the Animal.
From time to time, the geekery reaches such insane levels that it has to have its own post. Here’s “Duck Dodgers.” Asked him why that, and I guess it’s some Buck Rogers deal. Told you my commenters are weird.
He’s been digging up stuff about Tigernuts, also known as Chufa. It’s a big deal in Valencia, Spain where they make Horchata from it. Ok, here’s Duck.
A new paper from Oxford University, published earlier this month, hypothesizes that between 1.2 – 2.3 million years ago, early human ancestors “only needed to spend some 37% – 42% of its daily feeding time (conservative estimate) on C4 sources to meet 80% of its daily requirements of calories, and all its requirements for protein.”
The main “C4” source was believed to be a tiny starchy tuber that is safe to consume raw, has twice as much starch as a potato and a fat profile that is similar to olive oil. The tuber (Cyperus esculentus) is a wild weed found in Africa, and is commonly called: tiger nut, chufa sedge, nut grass, yellow nutsedge, tigernut sedge, or earth almond. However, this is no nut—it’s a very starchy tuber with a nutrient density that rivals animal meat and a caloric ratio that mimics human breast milk.
According to the author of the paper, Dr. Gabriele A. Macho:
I believe that the theory—that “Nutcracker Man” lived on large amounts of tiger nuts—helps settle the debate about what our early human ancestor ate. On the basis of recent isotope results, these hominins appear to have survived on a diet of C4 foods, which suggests grasses and sedges. Yet these are not high quality foods. What this research tells us is that hominins were selective about the part of the grass that they ate, choosing the grass bulbs at the base of the grass blade as the mainstay of their diet.
Tiger nut tubers have a low glycemic index and its starch grains have Resistant Starch properties that is similar to that of maize, which is ideal for a tuber that is safe to consume raw for energy. If the RS content of tiger nuts were higher, it would be more difficult to extract energy from the tuber. But with twice the starch of a potato, it would appear that paleo man consumed a healthy portion of Resistant Starch while eating tiger nuts.
The wild and weedy tiger nut tuber of Africa was among the first crops to be cultivated by man, at least since the 4th millennium BC in Egypt, and later for centuries in Southern Europe
Zohary and Hopf consider this tuber “ranks among the oldest cultivated plants in Ancient Egypt.” Although noting, “Chufa was no doubt an important food element in ancient Egypt during dynastic times, its cultivation in ancient times seems to have remained (totally or almost totally) an Egyptian specialty.” Its dry tubers have been found in tombs from predynastic times about 6000 years ago. In those times, C. esculentus tubers were consumed either boiled in beer, roasted or as sweets made of ground tubers with honey. The tubers were also used medicinally, taken orally, as an ointment, or as an enema, and used in fumigants to sweeten the smell of homes or clothing.
And here’s where the entire ancestral health community can re-discover an ancient prebiotic beverage called “Horchata de Chufa” that is eerily similar to Tim Steele’s “potato starch in water” recipe.
From a study on the properties and applications of tiger nuts:
“Horchata de chufa” is a sweetened water extract of tiger nut tubers (C. esculentus ), which is very popular in Spain…”Horchata” is a nonalcoholic beverage of milky appearance derived from the tubers of the tiger nut plant mixed with sugar and water…The “horchata” production requires a soaking process of the tiger nuts of about 8h, the grinding of the nuts, pressing of the mass, and mixing with sugar (between 100 and 120 g/L)…Natural “horchata” has a pH in the range of 6.3 to 6.8 and is a rich starch beverage. Consequently, it must not be heated above 72C as this would cause the starch to gel and would alter the organoleptic characteristics of the product. “Horchata de chufa” is of high nutritional quality and therefore has great potential in the food market, limited only by its very short shelf-life. The fat is rich in oleic acid (75% of total fat) and linoleic acid (9% to 10% of total fat), and arginine is the major amino acid, followed by glutamic acid and aspartic acid. With the exception of histidine, the essential amino acids in natural “horchata de chufa” are higher than the amount in the model protein proposed for adults by the FAO/OMS.
But, wait. It gets even better:
Tiger nut milk or “horchata” can be drunk by diabetics for its content in low-glycemic carbohydrates (mainly starch) and due to its arginine which liberates hormones that produce insulin. Tiger nut milk is also a suitable drink for celiac patients, who are not able to tolerate gluten and also for the lactose-intolerant who stay away from cow milk and many dairy foods. It could also be recommended for those who have problems with digestion, flatulence and diarrhea because it provides some digestive enzymes like catalase, lipase, and amylase.
Yes, a prebiotic starchy beverage that helps cure flatulence, promotes SCFA production in the colon, and is safe for virtually everyone.
So, Just how old is this starchy prebiotic beverage? According to Wikipedia:
In southern Europe tiger nut has been cultivated for several centuries. It seems to have been introduced in Europe during the Middle Ages by the Arabs after their expansion across the north of Africa. There are written records from the 13th century, which mention the consumption of a drink made from tiger nut in some Mediterranean areas, mainly the Valencia Region (southeast of Spain). This beverage could be considered an ancestor of the modern “horchata”.
Not only did paleo man gorge on these starchy tubers. And not only did he consume healthy portions of Resistant Starch. But, Tim “Tatertot” Steele’s own potato starch mixed in water concoction (Horchata de Potato?) is reminiscent of an ancestral prebiotic raw starchy beverage that has been enjoyed for a very, very long time.
As for nutrition, this is one nutrient-dense little tuber. Check out how it stacks up against red meat:
Of course, one cannot eat liver every day, so it would seem that tiger nuts would have been an ideal staple for daily nutrients in the Paleolithic diet.
What about carbs?
That could explain the human tendancy for sweets. Tiger nuts probably would have tasted like candy to paleo man.
How about fat? Tiger nuts have plenty and a fatty acid profile that is nearly identical to olive oil:
What about protein?
Note the similarity to human breast milk. Even Paleolithic toddlers could have thrived on pre-chewed tiger nuts.
Health benefits are impressive as well.
C. esculentus had been reported to be a “health” food, since its consumption can help prevent heart disease and thrombosis and is said to activate blood circulation. It was also found to assist in reducing the risk of colon cancer. This tuber is rich in energy content (starch, fat, sugar, and protein), minerals (mainly phosphorus and potassium), and vitamins E and C thus making this tuber also suitable for diabetics and for those intent on loosing weight.
Yep. Tiger nut tubers are safe for diabetics, have been shown to reduce colon cancer, are a good source of prebiotics, have a low glycemic index, and has even been shown to help with insulin resistance and metabolic disorders.
The tubers are gluten free, have no traces of nut allergens (despite their name) and are a healthy addition to virtually anyone’s diet.
For those who want to get an idea of what these tiny tubers looked like, and what they were like to grow, here is a good resource.
Addendum: Another similar C4 source could have been Cyperus rotundus also commonly called: coco-grass, Java grass, nut grass, purple nut sedge, red nut sedge, and Khmer kravanh chruk. However, in contrast to the sweet tigernut sedge, Cyperus rotundus was quite bitter and is better known for its medicinal qualities.
- Two million years ago, human relative ‘Nutcracker Man’ lived on tiger nuts
- Baboon Feeding Ecology Informs the Dietary Niche of Paranthropus boisei
- Tiger Nut (Cyperus esculentus) Commercialization: Health Aspects, Composition, Properties, and Food Applications
- Physicochemical and Binder Properties of Starch Obtained from Cyperus esculentus
- Effect of Regular Consumption of Tiger Nut (Cyperus Esculentus) on Insulin Resistance and Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha in Obese Type 2 Diabetic Egyptian Women
- Chufa: Nutrition Profile
- Nutritive Value of Nigerian Tigernut
So, where do you get Tigernuts. I’m glad you asked. Right here, and if you order via this Amazon link I get a bit or two and it costs you nothing more: TIGER NUTS. There are different sizes, peeled and unpeeled, so once you hit the link, feel free to shop.
And don’t be surprised if you get a phone call from the CEO (“Chief Nut”) within a short time of placing your order. I did, and so have others as this has been bouncing around in comments. I have two 12oz bags on the way, the peeled and the unpeeled.
Let us know what you think. I’m expecting good things.
Update: OK, so my two packages arrived just a bit ago, a few hours after posting this. I got both the peeled and the unpeeled, 12oz each.
I’m blown away. I’d sooner call this candy than a nut or a tuber—or fruit, I suppose. They are so damn sweet. I like the unpeeled the best. They’ve got more chew. From some of the stuff I had read I had expected them to be hard, like a half popped kernel of popcorn. Nope, just chewy with a texture.
Pretty amazing. It blows my mind how this is not a huge agricultural crop.
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so I’m planning to plant some
description: Great for Turkey, Deer and Hog Food Plot.
I would think that this seed will also work. right ?
sootedninjas, I’m planning on doing the same. It’s quite a process to get stuff like this sent to New Zealand so if I can get this to grow I’ll be sorted.
Be aware these are on the bio security ‘entry prohibited’ list for NZ. But if you get some through, let me know!
Although it is established as a weed in Auckland, Hamilton and Palmerston North, so happy hunting.
Damn, I completely forgot to check the list. I suppose it’ll get confiscated at customs. I live in Hamilton so will have to start hunting I suppose.
Here is a list of tiger nut recipes, including “Horchata de Chufa”:
Its tough to imagine a more manly-named food. I always wondered why Rocky Mountain Oysters aren’t called “bull nuts.”
Nobody calls them “bull nuts” because they don’t come from bulls. They come from castrated bull calves. So we (in Texas) call them “calf fries”. RMO must be a yankee term. They are oyster-like in their mild flavor but I wouldn’t eat them raw!
Ok, but don’t sell that it’s more nutrient than red meat because the bioavailability of plants nutrients is far lower than meat, you have to consider antinutrients, iron is not eme, protein index pdcaas much lower, etc…etc…
What in the fuck are you talking about, moron, on a year & half old comment thread?
That you don’t account for that, explicitly, puts you in a category of stupid I like to highlight for others.
Not at all a Yankee term. Used in the mountain west states like Colorado.
I’ve never found them either particularly tasty nor unsavory. An amusing experience, I guess.
If your state was not in the old Confederacy, or did not yet exist, we refer to you as a Yankee. (Okies being an exception to that rule.)
They were never a staple at our house. More like a seasonal treat twice a year at calf-cuttin’ time.
“Tiger Nuts are high in crunch, low in ball munch.”
One thing that’s important to keep in mind when comparing the Tiger Nut’s nutritional profile to other foods is that the Tiger Nuts are extremely dense and almost (or maybe completely) free of water. This would make Tiger Nuts look particularity good in comparison to foods such as the (undried) potato which is ~80% water by weight. You would need to compare dried potato to dried tiger nuts or an equal calorie portion of both in order for the comparison to be meaningful. This current comparison (aside from the break-down of calories per macronutrient) would be like comparing 100g of dried parsley to 100g of fresh parsley, it’s obvious which one would contain more nutrients per weight.
Absolutely true. An excellent point. Though, the comparison is of the natural unprocessed state that was found in the wild.
More importantly, I think the most interesting part about all this is that the tuber’s “Horchata” starch extract beverage is actually a very ancestral drink. Those of us who have been drinking Potato Starch in water have been drinking a kind of Horchata all this time.
The Chief Nut just called about an hour after I bought a bag. Very nice touch.
I had a great convo with him this morning. English guy. He’s 70, retired from many businesses in the past, doing this because he believes in it.
he makes no bones about doing this to make some money, but parts of proceeds go to things he cares about.
Guess how he knows about tiger nuts? Post WWII in England. And for my dad, it was potatoes in fields in post WWII Germany harvesters had left behind.
Good video from the “Chief Nut” explaining the backstory of his company:
I placed my order this morning and got a very nice call from him this afternoon. Fascinating guy. Wish him lots of luck!
Thanks so much for your good wishes,
Chef nut – do you have any distribution in Canada? Amazon,com does not ship food products here. Any chance of getting distribution on iherb? Best shipping prices to Canada. I’m happy to put in a product request to them if it would help.
@Michelle, you can get them through well.ca. I’ve ordered a couple of bags, just have to wait for delivery now 🙂
I have Tigernuts with skin, peeled, grounded and also extract. If you are interested to buy e-mail me email@example.com. I am in Toronto. You not need to Amazon.com or you not need to pay for higher shipping cost. Just let me know where you locate.
Horchata is served ice cold as a natural refreshment in the summer, often served with fartons.
I thought you were joking, John.
Alas, there are fartons.
It’s like music.
Actually the “horchata thing” is a bit of a distraction on the subject as there are numerous beverages in several cultures which share the catch-all label of horchata.
In the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala, horchata refers to a milk-based drink that also has significant amounts of almond and rice in it. Other cultures use sesame seeds and yet others, barley.
It’s not a distraction to those of us who follow this blog. Horchata is one of the main reasons I looked into tiger nuts in the first place. Many of us here have been eating and drinking raw starches — for their prebiotic benefits — for a few months now and have overwhelmingly noticed tremendous health improvements from them.
“Horchata de Chufa” is an ancestral prebiotic beverage and its modification with other starches only proves that raw starch consumption is something that has been happening for a very long time.
Hey, DD – Have you spoken with “chief nut” yet? He called me this morning after I placed my order, he is very, very impressed by your research and writings. He’s the nicest guy you’ll ever talk to. He’s very serious about bringing Tiger Nuts into the public’s conscious.
I didn’t catch him. He left a message when I was out of the house!
For the record, they are called “tiger nuts” not “tigernuts”.
Duckie, you are so sweet.
Definitely going to be snacking on some of these. Do we have an idea how much of the 29.15 grams starch/100g is resistant starch?
I’ll leave that to Tim to determine, but the best data I could find on the starch was here:
Physicochemical and Binder Properties of Starch Obtained from Cyperus esculentus
Interestingly, the starch granules are a lot tinier than that of Potato Starch. Potato Starch granules seem to range from 10.0–100.0 micrometers.
But, the tiger nut starch granules range from only 2.0–17.0 micrometers.
That implies, to me, that there is a lot more surface area in tiger nut starch than Potato Starch. The granules also have a different shape than Potato Starch (see photos in that link). I have no idea what that means exactly, but I wonder if it can attract more or less (or different kinds of) bacteria if/when they glom onto the granules.
Soil based organisms perhaps, as that’s what would be naturally ingested with them?
Another interesting factoid is that the Tiger Nut’s most abundant amino acid is Arginine. Some of the research on tiger nuts claims that tiger nuts are safe for diabetics and the Arginine may help diabetics release insulin.
But, another fun fact about Arginine is that it happens to act as a natural aphrodisiac for both men and women.
From what I understand it increases nitric oxide bioactivity and that, in turn, promotes increased blood flow.
“increases blood flow to the labia”
And who isn’t all about increasing blood flow to labia?
“causes the clitoris to swell, bringing it to the surface. At the surface, the clitoris is more responsive to sexual stimulation, which for many women triggers vaginal lubrication.”
And then you go on…
“From what I understand it increases nitric oxide bioactivity and that, in turn, promotes increased blood flow.”
Back on topic:
UR SO GUUUUUD. Marvelous compilation WINK WINK
Hey Tiger Nut sounds a lot like maca/ginseng….. (the other cough cough non-offensive looking root)
Do I want to know how they get sperm out of mice? I know how they get it out of bulls.
I guarantee the bulls like it better. The mice get their heads chopped off and nuts cut into 200 slices. This is a bizarre paper, what possessed these guys to do this experiment? The mice are prepuberty, and this is supposed to somehow translate into making 12 week old human baby fetuses progress faster? I didn’t get it.
It was interesting, but I was completely lost…and what made them think to use Tiger Nuts?
I’d cut and paste some passages, but it won’t let me. Have a read and see what you think.
I kind of had a ‘feeling’ that the poor mice got guillotined.
Seeing as how, worldwide, sperm counts in men are going down, maybe someone should do a study with Tiger Nuts. Acres and acres of Cyperus esculentus will be planted, replacing soybeans. There will be Tiger Nut Futures on the Chicago stock exchange.
WOW! I just got an idea…
Tiger Nut Yogurt
Mice That Eat Yogurt Have Larger Testicles
Someone already beat you to it…
@tater, I mentioned the idea of t-nut kefir in the first thread where we were talking about chufa (before this post by Duck/richard). Great minds think alike 😉
So do they snack on these? Or did they collect them and have a feast of Tiger Nuts and Horchata with meat or something else? It’s funny that such a healthy food went u heard of by someone like me who loves to read about health, lol.
Forget the Potato Diet, Tiger Nut diet anyone? Haaaa jk
The tubers are believed to have been their main food source:
Oxford University, School of Archaeology — Ancient human ancestor ‘Nutcracker Man’ lived on tiger nuts
Just received my tiger nuts. Bag of peeled and bag of unpeeled. I’m about to get in touch with my inner hominid.
Kate, that’s what I ordered, 12oz of each. Hopefully today.
some people use tiger nuts for carp fishing..
Yep. They prefer them peeled.
The article sports detailed photos and instructions on how to rig up the bait.
I think they are pretty tasty. The taste reminds me a little of a chestnut but smaller, denser, and sweeter.
So sad to learn that they are considered a foreig crop and must be controled in Mexico. I’m going to look for this here.
I know acorns are not tiger nuts, but this is interesting in that it shows what can happen when hunting gives way to gathering…
Strange. The Nutrcracker man, who ate all these tiger nuts, had very thick enamel.
Nutcracker man must have had good minerals (likely from the tiger nuts) and good K2 from his gut bugs, or other sources.
Acorns and tiger nuts must trigger a different amylase response in your mouth. I have no idea what it’s like to chew on a tiger nut so I will be interested to find out if they stick in and between your teeth like a nut. Starches rot your teeth, this is well known, while meat and fat do not, and apparently, neither does resistant starch.
Your teeth are the canary in the coal mine.
That’s an overly simplistic repetition of faulty conventional wisdom (like saying cholesterol causes heart disease). Starches are broken down into glucose and quickly absorbed sublingually. And the best evidence I’ve seen is that nutrition plays the greatest role in the maintenance and remineralization of dentine and enamel.
In the 1920s, Sir Edward Mellanby (the guy who discovered Vitamin D) had this to say about his wife’s research:
He went on to explain that one could even “heal” cavities with remineralization through the saliva by improving the nutrition in the diet and removing cereal grains (that were low in nutrition and high in phytates) that robbed minerals from the body:
The tiger nut happens to be rich in calcium and phosphorus, and these hominids were getting plenty of Vitamin D. This would explain why Nutcracker man had such a thick layer of enamel on his teeth, despite all of the wear and tear.
You can read more about how Mellanby’s wife discovered that low nutrient diets cause tooth decay here:
Acorns are nuts, which tend to be high in toxins. Acorns have roughly 60% of the calcium in tiger nuts and about 35% of the phosphorus found in tiger nuts, which are much lower in toxins.
If Mellanby was correct, then the mineral rich tiger nut — with high levels of calcium and phosphorus — helped lay down a thick layer of enamel on the teeth. While the acorns apparently didn’t provide enough nutrition to maintain the dentine and enamel.
You say: “That’s an overly simplistic repetition of faulty conventional wisdom (like saying cholesterol causes heart disease).”
And, then go on to quote studies that say removing cereals, i.e. starches, from the diet can improve your teeth. Weston Price said the same thing.
Well I can tell you that’s exactly what I did and my dental health improved immensely.
Poor diets are usually ones high in simple starches and low in protein and fat, so yes, better diets, i.e. more protein and fat, and less starches, will improve dental health.
Duck, enamel and dentin are different.
Secondary dentin forms from the pulp. As it develops, the pulp of the tooth becomes smaller because secondary (and tertiary) dentin are formed from the inside. (Actually, the information on irregular and poorly formed ‘secondary’ dentin is now considered to be tertiary dentin: rapidly formed in response to bacteria.
Enamel can re-mineralize provided that acid producing bacteria and acidic foods are eliminated/minimized.
Of course, WP was all over this as well. Activator X (k2 MK-4), etc. back in 2008/9, it was about my hottest topic. Lots of posts. Lots of linking up Stephan.
Here’s the weird thing. Gradually, since dosing with RS, my teeth are more pristine than they have ever, ever been. It blows my mind about more than anything else.
The quality of the diet, affects the enamel while it is being crystalized prior to tooth eruption. After that, you’ve basically got what you have. We need more examples of nutcracker man to determine if a childhood consuming tiger nuts results in thicker enamel. The people living in the Samara River Valley c. 4500 B.C.E. would have had a high calcium phosphorus diet due to high dairy consumption. (The only defect observed was iron deficiency during early childhood.) I’ve read the data and they did not appear to have anything notable in regards to enamel thickness. They did not have dental caries which is attributable to no grain consumption although they did consume various types of tubers.
If you read Guyenet’s article about Mellanby’s research, you would see that it’s not the “starches” that were shown to cause tooth decay. One of the main points in the article is to eat “starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes”.
There have been plenty of ancestral cultures who eat plentiful amounts of complex carbs (i.e. starchy tubers, corms, bulbs, rhizomes) with no evidence of tooth decay. Perhaps we are saying the same thing, but Weston Price did not blame “starches”. He is the one who figured out that it was the refined flours that tended to cause tooth decay. No one has ever shown that eating a potato or a tiger nut leads to tooth decay as far as I know.
Yes. I’ve seen you’ve mentioned the RS-fed gut bugs are probably creating more K2 and I agree. I’ve personally noticed that plaque slips off my teeth very easily with increased RS consumption. Have you backed off on K2 supplementation or kept it steady?
The confounder for me, Charlie is that I have done high dose K2 MK-4 for years. Huge, huge improvements in dental health (I had 2 surgeries in early 2000s for gum disease, had to get 4 cleanings per year, now not one in years).
Since supping RS (starch) and eating more PHD safe starches, plus legumes, my dental health is best ever by far. It was already good but now I would put it at 99.99% of the human population.
I’ll try to explain. All my life my lower inside front teeth get enormous calculus deposits. I can break them off by sticking a toothpick in. With the K2, way, way reduced, like it would take 4 times the time to build up. Now, zero. Absolutely none. Insides of my lower front teeth are as polished white as the outside of my front uppers.
It’s quite remarkable to me.
I spent my childhood eating lots of starches (bread, rice, cookies, cake) and lots and lots of sugar, brown sugar, white sugar, cola, ice cream, candy. I also drank lots and lots of milk. I never had a cavity, not one, nada zilch, until I stopped drinking milk and went on a stupid rice-based diet that I won’t even name because it was so stupid. So at age 22 I had my first cavity. (Oh and I never brushed my teeth. Never. And didn’t have bad breath at all.)
Starches don’t *cause* cavities. Sugar doesn’t *cause* cavities. Bad nutrition that doesn’t protect your teeth from all that crap causes cavities. (Oh, and *stupid* causes cavities, as I proved.)
“Have you backed off on K2 supplementation or kept it steady?”
I like to cover all bases for what I think is important, but nowadays, I’m more likely to take 8K IU of D along with 2 of the LEF K2 complex 2-3 times per week randomly.
I don’t supp every day anymore.
I thought it was just me. I started PS about a month ago. My teeth feel cleaner and look whiter than they ever have. I thought it was just a coincidence, which it might be of course, but when I was VLC a few years back, my teeth got thinner–clearly my teeth are particular about diet changes.
And here’s my experience with PS so far. But first, a little history. Diagnosed PCOS at least 15 years ago. On metformin 1500 mg since then. For the first time, my A1C got up into pre-diabetic ranges about a year ago (5.8). I’m 42 and chubby, especially around the middle. I’m the classic PCOS case. Anyway, went VLC, lost a bunch of weight, but then I started losing my hair and eye lashes. Teeth thinned. I was a mess. Stopped VLC. Hair loss stopped right away. Anyway, I’m still fat as hell, but since I’ve been taking PS, my post-prandials have been damn good–rarely over 120. Fasting varies, but usually good. I’m anxious to get my next A1C in a couple months. Thanks for the great information. I appreciate it very much.
K2 + RS + a flaxseed oil capsule (got this idea from Seth Roberts) = best feeling teeth I’ve ever had.
Charlie, cooked starch is what that’s about. Not raw starch.
The St. Helena islanders were restricted to potatoes and sweet potatoes, living in the middle of the Atlantic and all. Dental surveys indicated that they were caries free (almost). So even cooked potatoes and cooked sweet potatoes (not Louisana yams) are not cariogenic.
Caries in teeth were first seen in fossil remains in what is today Pakistan after those people started eating barley. Cooked barley.
The Samara River Valley project involved exhuming 2,200 skeletons of people from about 4500 BC. They were herders, hunters and gatherers. They ate the bulbs of Sagittaria and possibly the seeds of Chenopodia species. No caries.
This does not mean that caries and abscesses have not been found even in Neanderthal remains. They have been. Archeologists are getting smart. They are studying things like dental calculus and have found starch granules on the teeth.
Probably yeast raised gluten containing grains are not as cariogenic as flatbreads. Pasta, because it is boiled and then coated with oily sauce is also not as cariogenic as soda crackers.
Charles, I tend to agree. People think because I’m a dentist, my poor children must have suffered a diet with no ‘treats’ and constant tooth brushing. Ha! Far from the reality. They didn’t constantly nosh on sticky sweet stuff, but they ate their share of chocolate chip cookies, fruit rollups, cakes, pies and other whatnots but with meals and not endless snacking. For after school snack they had fruit. And yes, they drank milk, ate lots of good quality meats, vegetables, etc. Neither kid (now aged 29 and 31) has had tooth decay. I didn’t go out of my way to ensure that they had stellar oral hygiene either. The older one decided at age 12 that she wasn’t going to brush her teeth at all. They grew some sort of green scum on them. I kicked butt at that point. That was going too far.
Sorry Charlie 😉 , I had already been eating plenty of protein and fat and minimizing evil starches 😉 for years without dental success. When I added RS-rich foods into my diet, my dental health improved dramatically, including remineralization of a cavity that a dentist had nagged me for years to get filled and clearing up of decades-old gum inflammation.
Sparkling mineral water also helped a lot. I even combined the two with a horchata composed of sparkling mineral water and mung bean starch (usually about 1 TBSP).
Both mung bean starch and whole food sources of starches that I gradually increased in my diet also include your despised “simple starches”. RS and other prebiotics seem to have improved my tolerance of simple starches and carbs in general.
All this despite the fact that none of the vitamin K supplements that worked for Richard helped me. Just my n=1, make of it what you will.
Here in England back in the 1960s I used to buy tiger nuts from our small local sweet shop. Sweets had only quite recently been rationed so maybe it was a hangover from that. If you are looking to buy them here in the UK they are £1.56 for 250g from Goodness Direct, much cheaper than from Amazon.
We also used to buy sticks of the licorice to chew on, the actual woody plant, I wonder if that will turn out to be some sort of super food too.
Thanks for that tip Grace. I also found this discussion which tells me there’s a shop only a mile from where I live selling them… http://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-19923,00.html
I just put in an order to Amazon and shortly thereafter got my call too from the Chief Nut.
Thank you Duck Dodgers for all the research and Richard and Tatertot for all the information on resistant starch. It is really amazing
Duck! Great post! Looks like I can take a break for a while and let you do the talking.
As to RS, I think we figured that they probably contain about 5-10%RS by weight of the starch, and since the tubers are very starch heavy, even moreso than potatoes, I think I read that raw Tiger Nuts are almost 30% starch by weight. So 100g of raw Tiger Nuts would have about 30g of starch. If 10% of that were RS, that would be 3g RS per 100g raw tuber. A raw potato has about 15g RS per 100g. But, it appears early man relied on these for a substantial portion of his calories, so if he ate 2.5 pounds (1000g) he would be getting 30g of RS2. Hey! Where have I seen that figure before? And he would also be getting a huge blast of other fibers, dirt, and maybe an attached worm or two.
I don’t know how close I am, maybe way off. I don’t know if you could easily eat 1kg of Tiger Nuts by foraging around for them, but I do know that on the “all-potato diet” people need to eat 3-4 pounds of potato a day and can still lose weight.
For us in modern day, though, I think these Tiger Nuts are a great snack and a cool novelty. Maybe somebody will figure out the exact RS content and a way for us to use them to get 30-40g/day of RS. But I would say they are a way healthier snack than almonds.
According to this site: http://diet.es/alimento/chufa-cruda/
100g of raw tiger nuts has 1706 kJ (or 409 kcal).
The Oxford researchers believed the hominids could have consumed about 2000 calories of tiger nuts per day with only 3 hours of foraging. Is that roughly 500g of tiger nuts a day? (not sure about kcals)
I think the RS thing is a wash since you would have been eating so much fiber anyway. But definitely proof early man was no stranger to raw starch granules for millions of years of his ‘impressionable’ stage.
OK, so my two packages arrived just a bit ago. I got both the peeled and the unpeeled, 12oz each.
I’m blown away. I’d sooner call this candy than a nut or a tuber. They are so damn sweet. I like the unpeeled the best. It’s got more chew. From some of the stuff I had read I had expected them to be hard, like a half popped kernel of popcorn. Nope, just chewy with a texture.
Well, I think that solves the mystery of where the human tendency for sweets comes from.
Interesting. I can’t access the Coskuner report that shows the significant change in starch/sugar after a year of storage. If someone can access this, it might be useful.
However, I did find this:
And here’s a chart that shows the change in starch/sugar after 1 month of storage. So, I guess it depends on how long the storage has been going on for. I suppose there is a fair amount of sugar if they taste like candy, however a lot of the research suggests that they are safe for diabetics — perhaps they are only referring to fresh chufas?. It would be interesting to get a blood glucose reading after eating them. Sounds like fresh chufas would offer the most starch and least amount of sugar.
I thought it was mother’s milk. Human milk is much sweeter than other animal milk. You just don’t remember, Duckie.
Yes, that too. But, our taste buds mature as we age — we start to crave a bit more protein, wine, etc. And yet, the craving for sweets stays with us in a very strong way. That implies that it was beneficial to our evolution. If it weren’t supposed to be a necessary trait, you’d think we would have lost it as our taste buds mature. The whole “drinking mother’s milk memory” explanation for our tendency towards sweets seems like a total cop-out to me — as if it was some kind of mixup that follows us around and that was the best explanation we could come up with to explain it. Every animal on the planet craves what’s best for them. We are the only animal that forgot what foods we were supposed to eat and invented new sub-par foods to exploit those cravings for profit.
Fits in with this too:
Cravings for those sweet tubers when your body needs ’em.
Tigernut loses a considerable amount of water during drying and storage. The starch content of the tigernut tubers decreases and the reducing sugar (invert sugar) content increases during storage.
I should also point out that all tiger nuts are dried for 3 months before packaging. I would think the nutritional info on the package (haven’t seen it yet) should be based on that 3 month drying process.
Would be nice if the USDA included it in its database. I came across a research paper from the early 70s that said that tiger nuts were of “low nutritional value” because it had too much fat and too little protein 🙂
Great stuff Richard. I’m going to see if i can find some at the Buford Hwy International Farmers Market in Atlanta.
Here’s a great review of their history in the US
It sounds like they can spread like weeds and are grown in the wild to attract turkeys and hogs and deer.
They sell they as bulk seeds. You can get a 10 pound bag for $18.95. Not certain if they have anything added to them that might make them inedible. But it sounds like a cheap and easy plant to grow.
Actually, looks like real Chufas from spain are of the variety Cyperus esculentus var. sativus Boeckl.
And it turns out there are even a few more Cyperus esculentus varieties and closely related Cyperus species out there as well.
This link works better:
@TimM, good stuff in that agmrc.or link. Funny how different their view is from what DuckDodgers said was the USDA’s opinion in 1970…
“The plant’s tubers contain high levels of protein, carbohydrate and oleic acid, and 20 to 28 percent of their mass in the form of a non-drying oil. The oil is obtained by pressing the cleaned tubers, in the same manner as traditional olive oil extraction. The oil has a mild, pleasant flavor and is considered as a food oil to be similar, but of superior quality, to olive oil. ”
I hope people the masses don’t find out about this, if true, that the chufa oil is of superior quality to olive oil. That could really raise the price of chufas if production cannot be ramped up to balance. I’m thinking similar to how Coconut Oil prices have increased dramatically in recent years.
A few more details of their history in the US:
Just a hunch, but I would imagine that tiger nuts would suck up even more of Alabama’s cotton-belt arsenic than rice does, since tiger nuts are so good at absorbing whatever is in the soil. 🙂 My guess is these could also be grown in California. Seems like they are easy to grow, but the really hard part is harvesting them with the right machinery.
@Duck, I think this is why somewhat sandy soil makes for more successful production – easier to harvest and clean. Imagine how hard it would be in a high clay soil where you’ve got this big glob of soil with a bunch of the small tubers. The video’s I have seen show them harvested in a very dry soil after the grass has died and has been burned away. Dunno if that would be permitted in the USA due to air pollution.
Arsenic, Schmarsenic, who cares? Gut bugs take care of that for you!
Excellent paper on how the same gut bugs that grow like crazy when fed RS also get rid of things like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and even nuclear radiation. Arsenic is natural, it’s only natural we developed a way to get rid of it–what’s unnatural is the condition of the modern gut.
Lactobacillus acidophilus strains and Lactobacillus crispatus DSM20584 are known to produce S-layer proteins, which may explain their activity against arsenic (91). Singh and Sharma (97) showed that L. acidophilus was able to bind and remove arsenic from water at concentrations of 50 to 1,000 ppb, and the maximum removal occurred within 4 h of exposure in a concentration-dependent manner. It is not inconceivable that home- or community-based yogurt containing lactobacilli able to remove arsenic may be of practical use in countries like India and Bangladesh
It wasn’t the USDA’s opinion — just some random researchers (Mokady and Dolev, 1970). Also, the actual reporting on the nutritional profile of Chufa is pretty awful. Here’s an idea of why that might be (Mokady and Dolev are referenced in this as well):
I think it’s clear that the best tiger nuts seem to come from Valencia, Spain right now. They have the highest standards for growing them at the moment.
As for the nutritional info I reported in the post, above, I got it from here and it lists the references for each figure. But, based on the quote, above, the research on some of a few of those figures could be off for all we know.
Another paper I saw said that it the nutritional profiles were a bit different for certain minerals whether they were grown in Niger or some other part of Africa. Again, this could be either due to different varieties or different locations (or both).
I think the problem is that few researchers have ever looked at the full nutritional profile of a specific variety of tiger nuts. So, the information is a bit sparse at the moment. Until the USDA decides to really evaluate the tiger nuts from Valencia, it may be hard to find a trustworthy source of nutritional info (unless someone can do better than the source I found for the post).
You’d think that it would be easy to find accurate nutrition profiles of Valencia chufas in Spain. I’m sure someone here can figure it out better than I can.
Wow.. I had no idea! Cool.
I watched those videos with the burning. Good point. But, the burning seems like it could be skipped if the right harvesting machinery were in place. I bet the grass, if harvested, could be turned into some kind of fuel for all we know.
If I had a chufa farm I’d surely have some goats and chicken at minimum. Prior to harvesting I’d just let the goats out into the field to eat all the grass. Hopefully they would not be smart enough to dig up the tubers but maybe I’m wrong there. Bonus is the great goats milk.
Btw, the other post confused me. I thought “chufa” and “Yellow nutsedge” was the same thing? So the type of chufa grown in Valencia is not Yellow nutsedge?
I think it only takes a tug on the grass to pull up the tubers. It sounds like that’s why they used to use hogs to help pull up the tubers. If you think about it, a lot of farm animals that now eat grains used to eat a lot of roots and tubers before they became domesticated into a grain-based diet.
The common names are all confused and used interchangeably as far as I can tell. But there are a number of different varieties of the same classified plant. I believe in the US, the weed is officially referred to as “yellow nutsedge”.
According to Wikipedia:
Cyperus esculentus var. esculentus: yellow nutsedge – Mediterranean region east to India
Cyperus esculentus var. hermannii : (Buckley) Britton yellow nutsedge) – Florida
Cyperus esculentus var. leptostachyus : Boeckeler yellow nutsedge – United States
Cyperus esculentus var. macrostachyus : Boeckeler yellow nutsedge – United States
Cyperus esculentus var. sativus : Boeckeler yellow nutsedge – Asia, cultivated origin
So, the tiger nuts we get from Tiger Nuts USA are of the esculentus variety — since they come from Valencia, Spain. They have very strict standards in Valencia. The other US varieties probably have slightly different nutritional profiles, and that seems to be where some of the confusion comes from in terms of different nutritional profiles from US researchers.
I believe the esculentus variety is the same one that was cultivated in ancient Egypt. So, that’s the one we really care about. The problem is that a lot of US-based research was done on the weedy varieties. I think that’s what that researcher was referring to.
I suppose, for clarity, we could probably say that they grow “tiger nuts” in Valencia, Span, and “yellow nutsedge” grows in the US. But, they are just different varieties of the same plant.
So, the nutritional information I originally got from diet.es on Spanish Chufas was taken directly from the Spanish Food Composition Database (RedBEDCA)
You can download all the details here:
It all matches up with what I had found. Unbelievable. I’ve always been mystified as to why the RDA was so high for Magnesium and Potassium and if any Paleo ancestor could ever have achieved that much nutrition from diet alone. Now I can finally see how that was possible. It’s like tiger nuts fill in the holes on the nutrients that are hardest to find in the modern diet.
Tim, did you find any at BHFM? I live in Atlanta and shop there regularly. (Off topic – Mohammad who runs the meat dept is going into business for himself and will be selling grass-fed beef, I have his contact info)
I read about farms in the USA where they plant chufa to attract wild turkeys. They pull up a couple of plants to expose the nuts. Once the birds get a taste they harvest the rest of the tubers on their own. So if you wantto harvest for domestic consumption I would keepthe chickens away from the plot. I suspect squirrels could be a seriusthreat as well.
Yeah, I read there still is a small number of chufa farms in the Florida panhandle growing them for animal feed – mostly turkeys and pigs.
My husband was interested in your experimenting with tiger nuts for chickens. He does a lot of experimenting and writing on feeding chickens from homegrown resources. Here is his website and info on his book
He would like to send you an email on this subject. Would you kindly send your address?
Must have eaten too many the other week cause I had an incredible stomachache. Found it best to content myself with only a few and then put the rest away.
Have you considered writing a version of your book in Nikoley “potty mouth” language? It would make an otherwise dry subject more entertaining I think – but that’s just me.
This tuber, or a close relative, is used in TCM as a hepatoprotective. As “nutty sedge” it grows in my garden as a weed, but I can never find tubers on it (maybe not swampy enough).
Just came across this quote. And while not directly related to this post, it fits so great with meme that’s been going on here at free the animal. So thanks to Richard, Tim and all the others here who share this type of info
“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.”
— E. O. WILSON
That’s exactly right, Jason, and I have always considered myself a synthesizer and have been called that by others, so not just my view.
20 something years ago in contemplation I had an epiphany that the biggest problem in the world is “division of knowledge,” i.e., division of labor applied to knowledge. We call it “specialization” and generally, people smile, clap and take comfort in the mere utterance.
With exceptions (I do understand the requirement for it…surgery being perhaps the most perfect example), I see specialization as did-integration.
Wisdom and understanding comes from integrating the widest possible set of facts into the widest possible context.
Talking of integrating: as an athiest/anarchist/libertarian/whatever you know more about the bible than probably most christians do. If christians knew as much about atheists/anarchists/whatever as you do about christians, then there’d be a lot less bullshit in the world.
Chufas put the tiger in your nuts 😉 Good for your mojo?…
“This shows that the extract of
Cyperus esculentus has a regenerative effect on the
destroyed testicular histology induced by lead
In addition to that 6000 year old Egyptian reference there is this 9000 year old evidence…
“Prehistoric tools with traces of C. esculentus tuber starch granules have been recovered from the early Archaic period in North America, from about 9,000 years ago, at the Sandy Hill excavation site at the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The tubers are believed to have been a source of food for those Paleo-Indians”
Maybe this was manna. As per Exodus.
Soon after that report on the Paleo-Indians in Sandy Hill was published, a book titled, Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples summarized those findings:
The report mentioned they found maize and sorghum (Andropogoneae) starch granules in addition to the tiger nut granules. If I’m not mistaken, tiger nuts/nutsedge tubers, cattail tubers, bulrush, maize, water plantain are all good sources of RS. I find that fascinating. Paleo-Indians are well known for surviving off of everything possible from their surroundings (animals, insects, plants, you name it) and here they were, 9,000 years ago, using rudimentary tools to harvest all these starchy roots and plants.
Manna disappeared after the Jews arrived in Canaan.
Manna could be ground. It was sweet to children, oily to old people, etc. The Jews lived on it for 40 years.
I’m being biblical.
It should be noted that Tiger Nuts is not the latest Charlie Sheen’ism.
Although he might make an excellent spokesperson.
Doing a search now for it using some of the African names…
Hausa call it ‘Aya’; Yoruba call it ‘imumu’; the Igbo call it ‘ofio’. In South-south Nigeria, it is known as ‘aki Hausa’ and in pidgin it is called ‘Hausa groundnut.’
And though there are three varieties – black, brown and yellow – the yellow and brown varieties are more common in Nigerian markets.
Most people prefer the yellow variety for its bigger size, interesting texture, attractive colour and fleshier body. The yellow variety also yields more milk, contains lower fat and higher protein and less anti-nutritional factors, especially polyphenols. Experts have pointed out that some of the anti-nutrients found in the nut, such as polyphenols and tannins, can be eliminated by soaking the nuts in water.
Thanks BrazilBrad…I grew up in Northern Nigeria, so mentioning the Hausa name jogged my memory. They were ubiquitous definitely.
I considered buying the tubers for planting on my land in north Florida. Most people in the SE USA who plant them do it to attract and feed deer and turkey (helps to plow up the soil a bit when tubers are mature) but I was curious about real horchata: the rice-based fake stuff is getting common here but not genuine chufa-based; many people used to the fake find the real unpleasant as well as expensive. See chufa.com for the website of a firm in the Florida Panhandle that’s another source for tubers.
I think the uncultivated form is more bitter and can be a tenacious weed.
Nut Grass! That’s a annoying and frustrating weed in northern vegetable gardens. Never knew those tubers were edible.
I imagine there are lots of other healthy foods that are relatively unknown due to the food industry not pushing them for whatever reason. For example, there is another leafy green plant categorized as a weed that is high in omega-3 and is much healthier than lettuce yet it’s not sold in many places. It’s called “Perslane”.
Another supposedly healthy ancient food eaten by the Egyptians, though it’s a grain so not Paleo, is called “Teff”.
Teff is probably worth looking into BrazilBrad. The people who sell Teff are suggesting that it is 30%-40% RS and has half the phytates as wheat.
Sounds like the earliest cultivated plants were probably among the safest and best to eat. Makes sense that that is what you’d start cultivating.
I think you hit the nail on the head. I was looking through one of the early papers that tatertot referenced awhile back (Sources and intake of resistant starch in the Chinese diet) and you can see a very simple list of foods and their RS levels. Water caltrop, Silverweed cinquefoil, and water bamboo sound interesting and seem to be decent sources of RS for the Chinese.
Fascinating. Teff is considered gluten-free, so safe for celiacs, and has way more nutrition than wheat (8 times the magnesium and 4 times the potassium). This is depressing.
I believe that’s “purslane.” Well known edible garden weed. I’ve munched it while weeding, back when. Not particularly delicious, but OK.
I looked up purslane and omega-3, and the bottom line is that it’s an amazing source…………..for a plant.
I thought it was particularly interesting when I found out (forget where I read it) that Teff was also a prized food of the ancient Egyptians. So both Chufa/Tigernuts and Teff. I think we need to look more closely at the foods that the Egyptians ate as it is clear those dudes were some smart cookies.
@pzo, yeah purslane. And while it may be inferior to oily fish, it is way better than lettuce an possibly even better than Kale which has veggie rock star status now. I find the sour stems of purslane to taste better the almost tasteless leaves. I wish it was easier to find in stores (a large understatement, it is almost impossible)
I think like chia seeds, teff may have also been desireable because of its very small size and so quicker and easier to soak, grind, and cook.
Bob’s Red Mill has a “Grains of Ancient Discovery” line and one of the products in that line is Teff. I’m going to experiment with it a bit and see how I do.
Nourishing Traditions mentions Teff in their breakfast porridge section (the only time it’s mentioned in the book, I think), and just says to soak a cup of it (or whatever grain you’re preparing for porridge) for 7-24 hours in a cup of water with a big pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of either buttermilk, yoghurt, kefir or whey. So, that sounds pretty easy.
I agree that there is probably some ancient wisdom with some of these grains. The modern grains seem to have a lot of problems with them because cultures could afford to be careless when there was other sources of nutrition to make up for the negatives of grain consumption. But, the original “successful” grains probably had some good wisdom behind them since these cultures didn’t have much to fall back on and they either sunk or swam on these early grains.
Teff seems to have a leg up on many modern grains and supposedly it fuels many of the successful African marathon runners. On the other hand, I do remember seeing archaeological evidence of some Egyptian laborers near a pyramid construction camp had severe nutritional deficiencies from their grain-based diets. But, I suspect the ancient grains that lasted the test of time (like Teff) need more exploration. Heck, if maize and rice lasted the test of time, I think Teff and a few others deserve a second look.
Btw, the only downside I’m seeing to Teff is the high iron content for cultures that rely on it as a staple. Depending on where the Teff comes from, it can be quite high.
The impact of consuming iron from non-food sources on iron status in developing countries
So, I suspect anyone who has iron overload might want to avoid it.
@Duck, I love the way you just attack a subject. You get the smell of something good and go after it like a blood hound 🙂 laf.
@Duck, here’s an interesting video on Teff. Just the first one I ran across. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rze2FcMOnfc
Hi Tater and Richard. The tiger nuts info is very interesting and cool, and I look forward to trying it out (I might even give a shot to growing some this summer). But the post made me think about rice-based Horchata. Would the rice-based version be a good source of RS given that it’s made from soaked uncooked rice and almond flour? Was thinking this would be an interesting snack, especially a good way to ‘sneak’ in RS into the kid’s diet.
Actually, nevermind about that last post. After a little digging I take it that unlike potatoes which start out with high RS, and degrade after cooking (even when cooled they don’t gain back as much), rice appears to have the opposite process. So uncooked rice is not a good source. Hmm… can one make Horchata with parboiled rice? (I’m guessing ‘no’) 🙂
Mc, wish I had an answer for you.
What I would be inclined to do is have a cup of it, let it sit for some time. If there’s RS, it ought settle in the bottom and form a non-Newtonian fluid. If not, no RS.
@McSack, I don’t see why you’d want to make Horchata out of rice since it’s so low in nutrients. The almond flour might help but still, why rice?
To be honest, up until today I didn’t think there was any other way to make it. Previously I never thought there were any real benefits other than some quick carbs, but the RS/prebiotic content sounded intriguing. I may have to experiment a bit and see what combinations I can come up with.
Another one for @Duck to chew on, if you didn’t already see it…
“Abstract: This work reported the proximate evaluation of dry Chufa (Cyperus esculentus L.) tubers with
emphasis on the characterization of its oil extracted as compared with olive oil (Oleo europea). Moreover, fatty
acids compositions of both oils were analyzed by gas liquid chromatography (GLC). Minerals content of chufa
tubers were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Also, amino acids content of chufa tubers was
determination by amino acid analyzer. Chufa coated with chocolate was prepared from chufa tubers and
sensory qualities were evaluated as compared with commercial peanut coated with chocolate. Results indicated
that Chufa tubers were characterized by low moisture content (3.75 %), high levels of starch (295 g / kg) and
high fat content (30.00 %). Tubers contained significant amounts of fiber (4.30 %), rich in Ca (152.00 ppm),
P (123.00 ppm) and Na (140 ppm). Moreover, Chufa tubers are a good source of total amino acids. Amino acid
profiles were dominated by, aspartic acid followed by glutamic acid, leucine, alanine and arginine. It is
remarkable that the Chufa and olive oils are similar in fatty acid composition. Chufa and olive oils contained
palmitic acid as the main saturated acid and oleic acid as the predominant unsaturated acid. In conclusion, the
results obtained show that preparation of Chufa coated with chocolate from Chufa tuber was cheaper, more
nutritious highly acceptable healthy food. The results provide additional information about the nutritional value
and confirm that of chufa tubers are an interesting healthy food.”
I did see that one. Thanks. But, I see conflicting info on amino acids. Most reports (particularly from Spain) are saying that they are really just a good source of arginine and the rest of the amino acids are actually quite small (I guess since they are also low in protein).
That’s why this is a bit frustrating. So many reports are giving conflicting nutritional info (for the reasons explained here).
Here’s a slightly differing analysis of the nutritional content
Mg: 1070 mg/Kg.
Na: 206 mg/Kg.
K: 7100 mg/Kg.
P: 2557 mg/Kg.
Ca: 179 mg/Kg.
23.56 % Fats
21.23 % Glucose
24.13 % Fiber
26.54 % Starch
4.15 % Proteín
4.77 % Water
With the lower water content I’d wager a part of what’s listed as fiber is actually RS
If anyone reads Spanish, this paper is quite interesting:
It’s titled “Horchata de Chufa and its use in the prevention of digestive illnesses”
It mentions it is a traditional anti-diarrhea medicine, prebiotic and says up to 20% is what I understand to be RS
A small excerpt (translation by me)
“It has digestive properties derived from its content in amino acids and starch, that apart from being astringent, like “rice water”, acts as soluble fiber on a colonic level as close to 20% is NOT absorbed by the small intestine, as well as amilase and lipase enzymes such that is a prebiotic….”
The nutritional profiles differ depending on which variety of C. esculentus is being evaluated and where each tuber was grown. In many of these papers being referenced on various tiger nut sites, the citations are just from researchers who are evaluating the (weedy) varieties that aren’t sold in Spain. So, there’s a lot of confusion.
The source I used in the post, above, was taken from the Spanish Food Composition Database (RedBEDCA). You can see the profile referenced quite clearly in this paper (see Table 1) and I believe it may be from a calculated average.
Vegetable milks and fermented derived/derivative products
If the USDA were to evaluate Chufa, they would need to confirm that it was the C. esculentus variety that is sold in Valencia, Spain — since that is where the best tiger nuts are from and are mostly consumed from. I believe the variety sold from Spain is C. esculentus var. sativus Boeckl., if I’m not mistaken.
I remember when I lived in Nigeria eating this…they’re everywhere there as well, very popular. As I was younger, I didn’t appreciate the nuances of how it tasted and felt there, but I definitely recognize that dried fruit.
@GabyA, you see this?… If so email me at bbaker6212 at gmail dot com.
@Richard, regarding the Chufa-hack subject… can you forward this to @GabyA above, presuming he doesn’t see this post? I’d like to try to find a supplier in Nigeria if I can’t find one in Valencia who can ship me a large amount of chufa at a reasonable price – and I’m hoping @GabyA can help since he used to live in Nigeria. Spanish I can deal with but I have no idea and no chance due to the language barrier.
keep in mind that you can always find reports of various foods as a “super food”…
“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.”
every person from Ghana and/or Nigeria I have personally met has been an Adonis – I am starting to think this pounded cassava, tiger nut, and other RS/nutrient rich foods might be a factor
I remember watching a video my friend showed me of two village boys in Nigeria slaughtering a goat for their dinner – my word they looked like they walked out of a UFC ring and/or Men’s Fitness cover
thanks for the link – ordered some tiger nuts – 4 tbs of RS down the hatch again today 🙂
chinese are the biggest threat to the bengal tigers as they import the poached tigers for their parts ,,,nuts,,,well this is my contribution to what i found on tiger nuts
The weedy nutsedge relatives can’t easily be pulled or controlled with herbicides like Roundup because the aboveground green parts are connected to the tubers by delicate stems: pulling the tops rarely gets you the tuber; spraying the tops with other than special herbicides for nutsedge rarely kills the tuber. Not sure how similar chufa is, but I’d guess one can’t harvest tubers by pulling on tops. No idea if goats might learn to dig a bit with their hooves for tubers. Pigs could certainly grub them out and I recall they have been considered prime hog food in parts of the US.
This guy shows how easy it is to harvest chufas/tiger nuts by gently pulling on the tops.
But, I don’t think there is machinery that can do that. So, they burn the grass and dig up the tubers mechanically.
Someone above posted this link which says that “sandy-loam” soil is the best for growing chufa and Sandy Loam is 60% sand so presumably when it’s dry and the grass is dead and/or burned off the chufa tubers should be pretty easy to harvest and clean.
Sandy loam is made up of approximately 60% sand, 20% or less clay, and silt which should be 20%+.
“Sandy loam with a balance of organic matter is an ideal soil that holds air, water, and nutrients and is very easy to work with nature’s earthworms and other soil dwelling insects aerate the soil and contribute organic matter with their waste and decomposition.
Sandy loam has loose texture and a rich earthy color. Unlike a high concentration of clay, the texture of sandy loam allows oxygen and moisture to reach the roots of the plants. The sand allows adequate drainage of excess water and the loam retains moisture for plants to use later.
A simple test to determined what type of soil you have is to get a handful of soil and squeeze it making a ball. If it is too sandy, it will not make a definable ball and will fall apart if you poke your finger in it. If it is a silty loam, it will make ball, however it will crumble when you poke your finger in it. If you have too high of a concentrate of clay, when you poke your finger in the ball it will only make an indention. You want your soil to have a crumbly structure in order for the roots to flourish.”
[…] Nikoley, over at FreeTheAnimal.com just had a great post on tiger nuts: "Tigernuts" – A Nutty Tuber or Tuby Nut? | Free The Animal They aren't nuts. They are a very starchy tuber with tons of nutrients in them and one of the […]
According to the “Chufa Board” of Valencia the nutritional breakdown of the chufa is as follows:
Per 100g dry chufa:
Starch 31.8-38 g
Sugars 15.2-16.8 g
Fiber 9.8 – 11 g
Fat 23.0 – 28.3 g
Protein 8.2 – 9.2 g
Mineral Salts 1.9 g
Water 7.1 -9.7 g
Sounds like the RS content could be much higher than estimated?
[…] What was your go-to healthy food item or meal? Again, resistant starch is the thingy du jour. I believe that Richard and Tim at Free The Animal may have done something extraordinary with their resistant starch experimentation and I plan on doing a full n=1 report of my own in the future, cataloging the changes that have happened for our family since trying RS. I am slowly working my way off low carb and adding a small amount of carbs back into my diet, with mixed success. I test my blood glucose at intervals after eating and have discovered since ingesting resistant starch daily the food available for me to eat has grown considerably. To be sure, fluffy white french bread is still verboten. *Heavy sigh* My two month-going-on three stall has finally broke and I went down a few pounds. I know it is statistically insignificant but it is a big morale booster, which is more important to me at this moment. I am hoping to purchase Tiger nuts this weekend online and to try them next week. Read about them here: https://freetheanimal.com/2014/01/tigernuts-tuber-tubery.html […]
At about $6 / serving (100g), I’ll stick with mineral supplements and potato starch.
You can grow your own from seed or even get “Horchata-quality” Chufas in bulk from some farms, but most places seem to be selling out now that people are discovering them. I suspect that in a year or two they may be more prevalent at farmer’s markets (hopefully).
As for now…anything that costs about $!8 for 12 oz better have grassfed and ribeye on its label.
[…] 2. What was your go-to healthy food item or meal? Again, resistant starch is the thingy du jour. I believe that Richard and Tim at Free The Animal may have done something extraordinary with their resistant starch experimentation and I plan on doing a full n=1 report of my own in the future, cataloging the changes that have happened for our family since trying RS. I am slowly working my way off low carb and adding a small amount of carbs back into my diet, with mixed success. I test my blood glucose at intervals after eating and have discovered since ingesting resistant starch daily the food available for me to eat has grown considerably. To be sure, fluffy white french bread is still verboten. *Heavy sigh* My two month-going-on three stall has finally broke and I went down a few pounds. I know it is statistically insignificant but it is a big morale booster, which is more important to me at this moment. I am hoping to purchase Tiger nuts this weekend online and to try them next week. Read about them here: https://freetheanimal.com/2014/01/tigernuts-tuber-tubery.html […]
You know, I thought everyone was joking about getting a call from the owner. Nope. Got mine last night.
Ordered 12 oz. bags of peeled and unpeeled. Excited to get them and try them out…The CEO is not going to have enough hours in the day to make all the phone calls if this starts blowing up like PS did.
Got the nuts, got the call. Yummy.
So many more lost crops/tubers/potato like plants in Africa:
free online book where tiger nut mentioned only in a footnote on pg. 269
“…This may seem like a big indictment to pin on a few homely plants, but Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham and his colleagues are convinced that cooked tubers were pivotal in this way to human evolution. They don’t speculate on which species led to the creation of humanity, but the subject of this chapter seems a leading possibility.1 (…)
1 Assuming that modern vegetation reflects what was in southern and eastern Africa almost 2 million years ago, the only other likely candidates are yam, marama, yambean, Vigna vexillata (a fascinating legume), and maybe tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus). Lesser-known possibilities from the region where humanity arose include sweetpotato relatives (Ipomoea species), water root (Fockea species), Raphionacme burkei, and a couple of cucurbits, Coccinia rehmannii and Coccinia abyssinica.”
Awesome find Gemma! Another good one is the Enset. Not going to find that one in your local market anytime soon.
And here at page 365 they promise more oncoming volumes (VI about Tubers)
This is a fascinating subject to me. I would love to read a book or blog post(s) about the “lost foods” of our ancestors.
Great find, Gemma. I’ll check out those species over the week.
Here’s another good book:
Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables
(Volume I is about grains, for those who are interested).
Well, it was not exactly a find of my own. I remembered this book from Denise Minger’s blogpost “Wild and Ancient Fruit: Is it Really Small, Bitter, and Low in Sugar”, where this book Volume III Fruits is referenced:
Here’s a great website… “Eat The Weeds”. They have a whole category of posts devoted to plants that can be used to make flours/starches (be sure to click the “previous entries” link to go back to older articles):
Everything from Kuzu root (full of medicinal qualities) to cactuses. Really amazing clues in there that will take awhile to go through.
And truthfully, if you think about it, it was the weeds that sustained pre-agricultural cultures. That’s probably why information on these plants are so hard to find these days — they’ve all been classified as invasive!
But that’s what made them so prevalent and reliable before agriculture.
@Duck, why would anyone want to pay attention to that #eattheweeds idiot? laf!…
“I hold a degree in education, summa cum laude, from the University of Maine and did two years of graduate study in communication at the University of Central Florida. I am the author of two published books and am an award-winning writer and photographer. Besides being a life-long professional musician and member of MENSA, “
Gave a quick look at his Purslane post. Note his comment…
“As I stood there in amazement, she asked me if I knew what it was. I said yes, that it was the most nutritious green on earth”
The most nutritious green on earth! How about that. And yet, you can’t find the plant for sale anywhere. WTF! Proof how fucking ignorant we are – both the public and the food industry.
Fascinating.. This Eat The Weeds guy really knows his stuff. Sounds like he’s an outdoors survivalist and knows which plants our ancestors would have favored.
Check this out…
Of course the tubers were favored. They are energy positive! You’d think this concept of “energy positive” plants would be more prevalent in the Paleoverse.
The author goes on to give examples of nutrient-dense weeds we can find across the country and tells you which have anti-nutrients that need to be cooked out, etc.
Anyway, that Eat the Weeds blog is a tremendous resource. The author really seems to know his stuff.
I was wondering how an equal weight of Tiger Nuts would compare to an equal weight of small frogs, insects, or rodents. Pretty close, I’d bet. Maybe even better.
I’m not convinced that a fruit-based paleo is better than starch-based paleo. Ray Peat is pretty much a quack, the weedy tubers are more nutrient-dense than fruit, and there’s a ton of evidence that fructose is pretty toxic.
Plus, there’s very good evidence that our homo ancestors favored weedy tubers over fruit.
A Grassy Trend in Human Ancestors’ Diets
C4 grasses = starchy tubers/corms/rhizomes/bulbs
C3 plants = leaves and fruits from trees and shrubs
Most homo fossils that have had their isotopes analyzed over the past few years show a shift to C4 grasses as we get closer to modern humans. Either those homo ancestors were eating lots of C4-eating animals (possible, but unlikely since active hunting tools showed up later), or they were learning how to take advantage of the nutrient-dense C4 USOs (Underground Storage Organs). Since many “weedy” USOs, like tiger nuts, are more nutrient-dense than meat, our homo ancestors would have been crazy to pass them up.
And finally, most fruits have a “season”. Even the Date Palm — one of the earliest consumed fruits in Africa — aren’t something you could have obtained year round. Conversely, tubers, roots, rhizomes and bulbs on the other hand can be harvested at virtually any time and they store very well.
Fruits are obviously an excellent variety food. Eat them if you like. But, I just don’t see any good evidence that they are something that people should be eating constantly and in large quantities. Maybe I’m wrong, but given the fantastic results people are seeing with a starch-based paleo diet, I think the C4 hypothesis is on to something.
I saw a blog of a former frutarian (can’t remember her name) that went Paleo, and she started to think just that. Basically, she followed the Perfect Health Diet, but shifted the focus of Safe Staches to Fruit (think about their model apple, and just switching those two). She said she felt her best, and actually weighed the least, on “Fruit Based Paleo,” and thought that was going to be the next big thing. Also, the idea that modern fruit has way more fructose than wild varieties may be fantasy. Denise Minger pointed out that lots of wild growing fruits are similar in both sweetness and fructose content to modern, farmed varieties. Fruit certainly tastes better than most vegetables and thinking from my own experience, my favorite veggies (like cucumber, tomatoes, and avocado) are all technically fruit.
Ray Peat has said on his site that the best and safest plants to eat are fruits, root vegetables and tubers. He may be right.
Duckie, I buy my dandelion greens at the supermarket. Imported from Texas. 😉
lost and/or forgotten. Its easy to see how/why since the majority of todays foods are driven all by industry and profits, not nutrition.
BrazilBrad, of course it’s all about what is easiest to transport. That’s why there are inedible but huge strawberries, flavour-free tomatoes, dry fibrous peaches, big soggy pistachios….
A very good friend of mine was the CEO of the company that created the first GMO food, the Flavr-Savr tomato, that was supposed to be both flavorful and transportable.
Unfortunately, it was neither.
Yea, I think we’ve come full circle and realized that without salt & pepper, all but grape and cherry tomatoes are virtually tasteless, even the most beautiful beefsteak you’ve ever seen.
They were bread for beauty and weight.
#statingtheobvious but that’s why it’s better to buy from your local farmer if/when possible. I noticed a long time ago, the inverse correlation between the healthfulness of a food and it’s shelf-life. The exceptions are usually naturally dried foods.
To the Europeans, anybody tried ordering directly from Valencia for cheaper p&p? Seems crazy to order through a US distributor for a product that is produced in Europe.
I sent them email today. Since you posted 1 year ago, any luck in buying directly from the farmers? I saw that it costs 2 pounds/200g or smth like that in the UK from cheapest source but I am looking to buy in bulk IF I like the tubers(they have enough calories to replace my bodybuilding needs – so walnuts etc) and I like the idea of sweetness. I will order a packet from the online shop to try them out first.
I believe Tigernuts are sold in France and Germany probably among other places.
French: do a search for “Noix Tigrées”
German: seach for “Erdmandeln”
I believe Tigernuts are sold in France and Germany probably among other places.
French: do a search for “Noix Tigrées”
German: search for “Erdmandeln”
I have seen various German Tigernut products online. Oil, butter/spread, flour, tubers, cereals.
David, tigernuts are sold as carp bait here in the UK. Ebay and Amazon have them listed. They may not be from Valencia but is that really so important?
Sooo…. is it too expensive for someone to do a “chufa-hack”? Me thinks yes, but it would be interesting no?… Think of it, living only on Tigernuts and water for a period of time. What could be more primal/paleo than that? Even more interesting would be recording as much biomarkers as possible before and after – body fat %, blood work, gut bug analysis, etc.
@Richard, maybe talk to the Chief Nut and see if he’d be willing to fund such a thing, or at least supply the T-nuts for free. I think the cost would be low and both you and he would gain a little just deserved publicity from it and it would provide some street level science to the subject.
I think @Tatertot would be a good candidate for the chufa-hack if he’s willing given we all know what his gut makeup is/was recently.
@Tatertot, yeah you’re right Tim, the real way to do it is eating them fresh out of the ground. Would be tough for me and others to do though. How many would you have to eat per day for 2000 cals? I’m confused about the calories in them. This link that Duck provided says the raw chufas are 4kcal/gram
But at least one of the dried t-nut products says they are also 4kcal/gram. They can’t both be correct.
Another problem is that dried chufas tend to accumulate molds (mycotoxins). Whereas fresh, uncleaned, tiger nuts would probably be laced with some good SBOs.
Personally, I’m not afraid of mycotoxins, and I think it’s just something for bullet-conscious consumers to get wrapped up in. But, if someone ate nothing but dried tiger nuts, day after day after day, I’m pretty sure they’d be getting more than their fair share of molds and mold toxins.
Hi DuckDodgers, just a quick question…..with regards to mycotoxins, when buying tigernuts then, should i buy the unpeeled ones over peeled? or are the peeled dried ones available in bags ok???
Gee, thanks for thinking of me there, Brad!
The only problem is it won’t really be that great of a hack, just imagine the stuff that was clinging to those tubers as they pulled them and ate them–snails, worms, leeches, not to mention the microbial life.
It would be fun to see if you could eat nothing but Tiger Nuts for a while, and I’ve no doubt you could. I’m going to try growing some this summer and see how they are right from the ground. Maybe if i get enough I’ll do some sort of hack in September.
I’m really not that good with math, but I believe tiger nuts lose a good amount of water weight during the drying process and I know for a fact that they gain sugar and lose starch (perhaps both RS and glycemic starch). So, there is a measurable nutritional difference between fresh and dried tiger nuts.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of such a hack would be. To lose weight? To survive? Or just to see what happens (a stomach ache?). There isn’t any evidence to suggest that homo ancestors ever consumed a diet of entirely tiger nuts. We believe Paranthropus boisei consumed 80% of his nutrition from tiger nuts, since his bones were almost entirely C4 isotopes (suggesting a diet of almost entirely grassy tubers). But, homo was more varied — maybe 55% C4 consumption (including consuming C4-eating animals). The reason why Paranthropus boisei‘s diet is significant to us is that it explains what likely made up a good portion of that mysterious 55% of C4 consumption in homo fossils.
So, I don’t think a 100% tiger nut diet would do much for our health — you’d just become deficient in certain nutrients over time (B12 or Vitamin A, for instance). And maybe you’d lose weight. Maybe you’d even gain weight. I don’t know. But, maybe a diet of 30%-40% of calories from tiger nuts (just guessing) would be more accurate in terms of what homo ancestors might have done.
But, I agree that for a “hack” it would be interesting to see if someone could do it just for 5-6 days. I’m pretty sure you’d notice something happening by then. Though, I still think all the insoluble fiber in the skins would be a bit much for many people.
C’mon DD, give us the OCD pleasure of eating Tiger Nuts until we come up with a serious medical condition.
No, I’m with you, just a novelty food item for now. I can see commercial uses, though–flour, oil, snacks, etc…
Have you tried them yet? I have a bag of peeled and unpeeled. I had some unpeeled ones soaking since Friday afternoon and they are still not that great to eat. Your mouth is filled with husky, fiber that gets caught in my throat. The peeled ones, however, are amazing. Coconutty, nutty, chewy, crunchy. Just really good.
Thanks for starting this whole thing when you did! I think Tiger Nuts were a big part of our evolution and had been overlooked by researchers.
@Tatertot, I got mine last week! I haven’t soaked the peeled ones yet, but I want to make some horchata with them when I have a chance. I do prefer the peeled ones.
Supposedly the peeled ones can be roasted, so that might give them an interesting aroma and flavor.
Argh.. I meant, supposedly the unpeeled ones can be roasted to improve their taste/texture.
DD – You won’t believe this, but this morning I took the Tiger Nuts that have been soaking all weekend, and scorched them in a hot frying pan, then left them there for a while.
OMG. They taste fantastic. All the skin just sort of flakes off and you are left with a mini roasted chestnut, that tastes and feels like a very mild coffee bean.
I can see how these would make a good coffee substitute. I’ve always enjoyed crunching on coffee beans. I could see these being packaged and spiced just like Corn Nuts.
Give it a try. Probably better if they are soaked first, but I don’t know if it really matters.
@DD, all very good points as usual. So a more realistic simulation of our prim-bro’s would be perhaps 250g tigernuts per day or 500g every other day, yeah? Now where did I read about that startup selling cricket (the bug) flour? 😉 Seriously, what would make up the other 50-60%? Meat and veggies with a little fruit?
I’m just really curious what effect a large amount of tigernuts in the diet would have given the great (supposed) nutritional profile they have.
Besides a 5-7 day tigernut-hack should be more nutritional than a potato-hack, no?
@DD, I’m not too concerned about mycotoxins either. I investigated this due to the Paleo crowd’s brainless condemnation of peanuts due to this, then finding that this can happen with damn near any plant food, even the common Paleo-ist staple, Almonds. Oh my! So the issue is that of storage and testing, not a particular food. The mainstream paleo club swingers need to wise up and realize that all that almond flour, almond butter, and “paleo approved” desserts are not the healthy alternative they think.
Nice! I’m going to start a soak tomorrow and will try it soon!
If P. Boisei had 75% C4 in its bones and is believed to have gotten 80% of its calories from tiger nuts, then homo with 55% C4 in its bones and some meat consumption probably got (and I’m just guessing) anywhere from 25% to 60% of its total calories from tiger nuts.
So, I guess that 250g of tiger nuts would be more appropriate.
The cool thing is that since the macronutrient level of tiger nuts is almost identical to that of the PHD, so you could just eat a mini-PHD and supplement the remainder of the caloric needs with tiger nuts. You could even cook the tiger nuts into your dishes.
But, in terms of health, I don’t think you’d notice that much of a difference between the real PHD and a mini-PHD supplemented with tiger nuts. Seems like you’d just be eating a full PHD with slightly different ingredients. The tiger nuts are basically bits of a balanced meal in nugget form.
Right, it would be far more nutrient-dense. But the real question is whether or not the tiger nuts are satiating or not. One of the reasons the potato hack works is because its low in calories and the sheer volume of food makes you feel full all the time while you create a deficit of calories. But, with tiger nuts, I don’t know if you’d feel full or not and they are very caloric. I guess you’d know how full or satiated you felt within a day or two.
Tigernuts are basically the same macro’s as PHD?…hmm… and what about the nutrients? I personally would never eat PHD macro ratios, especially in rice due to it’s poor nutrient content. I’ve done PHD and it quickly adds belly fat on me. It’s way too many carbs for me. But maybe it would be a reasonable thing for people in general.
Btw, I have also done the Potato-hack (twice) and my experience was nothing like what you described. I felt full only when eating a very large amount and when I did that I did not lose weight. I lost weight only by eating about 1kg (5 med sized) spuds per day. When I did this, it worked and I lost weight, but I was by no means satiated. I had quite a lot of hunger pangs.
Well, as we’ve been saying, tiger nuts have a macronutrient profile that is similar to human breast milk. And the PHD gets its macronutrient profile from human breast milk. But, the PHD targets slightly less carbs than human breast milk and the reason why is because infants/toddlers need more carbs than adults do.
And this all works well for tiger nuts because an infant/toddler needs carbs for energy and fat for a growing brain (and not much protein) as evidenced by human breast milk. A paleo infant probably could have survived on pre-chewed tiger nuts and a paleo toddler probably could have survive on fresh tiger nuts — which explains why my toddler only wants to eat carby crackers and grilled cheese 🙂 But, an adult needs a bit less carbs than a kid does. And that’s what Jaminet did. He just adjusted for age difference.
Your experience with gaining weight over the short term is very common with the PHD. But, most people find it’s just a temporary setback if you stick with the PHD. Most people don’t keep gaining weight indefinitely. Rice may not be nutrient-dense, even Jaminet doesn’t recommends favoring rice as your main carb. Rice is just a good source of glucose if you need it.
Sorry to hear that the potato hack wasn’t satiating. I wasn’t aware. I’ve never tried it (I’m already too thin as it is).
In any case, I think the macronutrient profile of tiger nuts and human breast milk is pretty well balanced. You could do a lot worse.
Well Jaminet’s goals I think are overall health and longevity for the average/general public. That’s fine. I’m really focused on trying to minimize body fat while maximizing lean muscle mass without a large time investment. I have that stubborn belly fat that many have esp near my age (51) and so you can say I’m kinda pushing the envelope at least for myself. Trying to get and stay as close to 10-13% BF as I can and it’s difficult for me. PHD goals are not that of a bodybuilder or very low BF so I don’t knock it at all.
Breast milk though I don’t think is a great example to use for adults. Neither do I think that adjusting carb levels *only* due to physical activity makes the PHD equation necessarily correct. Physical activity burns more than carbs esp if you have low insulin levels and/or good met-flex (“fat adapted”). Still, PHD is a great place to start and people should adjust as they see works for them. JMO.
Sounds like hormones, no?
Well, he didn’t just use breast milk. It was just one clue. If I remember correctly, he also looked at nutrient release during fasting states and the composition of all animal cells. When he put all those clues together, he got the PHD macronutrient ratios. Did you not read the book?
Human breast milk has a macronutrient profile of about
54% fat, 39% carbs, and 7% protein.
The Jaminets calculated that, during fasting, the energy fraction profile released from a lean human body would be:
64% fat, 13% carbs, and 22% protein.
The Jaminets summarize that comparison in their book:
Then they go on to explore the energy breakdown of foods by other mammalian animals to reach their final conclusion. If you think about it, you don’t completely lose that natural tendency to eat carbs after toddlerhood. Yes, you eat less and up your protein, but I doubt a homo hominid would have quickly convinced himself at the age of 18 or 30 not to eat starchy tubers anymore for “health” reasons.
Anyway, these paleo hominids had these tasty, nutrient-dense raw tiger nuts growing everywhere with a macronutrient profile of:
51% fat, 42% carbs and 6% protein.
And given that you have carb-heavy cultures like the Kitava, the Tukisentas or Okinawans who ate far more carbs than that with good health, I’d say the human body is well adapted to a wide range of carb intakes.
But, tiger nuts are missing a bunch of crucial nutrients (A, B12, etc), so you can’t survive off of them forever. You need a variety of foods.
What I find most interesting about tiger nuts is that they are rich in most of the nutrients that are lacking in the daily foods we eat on a Westernized “Paleo” diet. Magnesium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Zinc, Folate, Vitamin E. These are the vitamins we just don’t find in the supermarket in sufficient enough quantities. So, from that perspective, tiger nuts seem to fill those modern “Paleo” holes.
@DD, yeah read it. Doesn’t matter. The macro ratios just does not work optimally (for me) and my objectives. It did however get me past my paranoia of all foods starchy, so for that I am thankful. For me, carb cycling via Leangains-IF or Anabolic-Diet style, keeps me the leanest and feeling the best, energetic, with good met-flex and good lifting/sprinting performance. I don’t do long duration “cardio” exercises.
OK, so maybe I remembered incorrectly? I thought the PHD was like 200-300g carbs/day which is too much (for me). 20% of cal’s would be around 80-100g for me. That is inline with what Sisson recommends and (I think) around what I eat – I don’t count/weigh.
Hi BrazilBrad, just a newbie to the blog so apologies for the late reply. PHD for a basic 2000 calorie day is 160g of carbohydrate. I too bought the book and must confess i too am struggling with all the carbs, sugary foods AND plant matter advised per day…..along with the meat, fish, eggs, offal etc, it’s all too much for me i’m afraid. Plus, on the meal planner there are days with no fruits/sugary foods, and days with very little calcium and iron, so for me i don’t see where all the daily nutritional needs are met. Plus, the PHD recommends basing meals on ruminants, DuckDodgers blog on iron overload tells us to be wary of iron rich foods and meats like ruminants! and ray peat advises something different again! Just gotta try them out i guess and see what works best for you. I can’t put weight on anywhere except for my stomach! and that is on low carb high fat and high carb lower fat…..higher protein is the only one left for me to try!
PHD is about 30% calories as carbs (calculated after the above summary by looking at mammalian diets) but whatever.
I would love to do this chufa-hack test but the darn things don’t exist here and the cost of shipping would be pretty high. Maybe if I can buy a 25kg or 50kg sack and have it FedEx’ed it would be reasonable? I’d totally be down for this primal experiment. Hummm… Maybe will try to find a Valencia grower and see if they are willing to send me a sack or two. Or maybe a grower in Nigeria or other place? I have no idea what hoops have to be jumped through to import a sack of dry food product.
As @Duck stated above then for a Tigernut-hack to simulate the diet our primal bro’s ate back in the day, one would eat ~500 grams of re-hydrated tigernuts (with skin) per day (or adjust if 2000 kcal/day is not your normal intake). Hopefully that won’t wreak havoc on one’s innards with all the fiber – so maybe you’d have to ramp up to that amount. And to go the extra mile (literally) one should do 3 hours of walking per day or equivalent calories-out activity to simulate the exercise . Nobody is going to spend 3 hours per day exercising so lets say one hour of high intensity exercise per day – of similar calories burned, if possible. I’m partial to lifting with low inter-set rest and/or sprint intervals, but something like a Peak-8 stationary bike sprint-interval routine, and many others of course, would also work.
If my math is correct at retail price from TigernutsUSA (@JackSims – Chief Nut) this would cost US$20 per day, so prohibitively expensive unless he’s willing to sponsor this experiment.
Other questions: So how many weeks would be a good test? Should there be any days or meals of meat eating or veggies thrown in there to simulate our Prim-bro’s life or just do a pure Tnut-hack only experiment to remove all other variables?
That sentence was cut short… “3 hours of walking per day or equivalent calories-out activity to simulate the exercise”… to simulate the exercise/energy our prim-bro’s expended to gather the Tigernuts each day.
[…] There's a previous post focussing on the nutrition and health benefits of Tigers' Nuts. […]
@Tatertot and others may find this interesting. I read a study on flour made from fermented tigernuts that shows a marked increase in both sugar and protein when the fresh chufas were fermented (I think I remember 3 days) before being dried and ground into flour. The protein content increase was around 50% from around 6g/100g to 9g/100g which is in the neighborhood of wheat protein content. Will have to go back and dig out that link.
Forgot to mention though it’s obvious from the other posts… so by fermenting you get the double whammy of reducing the anti-nutrients and increasing the protein (perhaps the flavor as well?). Dunno if this applies to dried then rehydrated then fermented. Now, where’d I put that link?…
Here be it…
Some physicochemical properties of flour obtained from fermentation of
tigernut (Cyperus esculentus) sourced from a market in Ogbomoso, Nigeria. 2009
“Yellow variety of tiger nut used was obtained from Sabo market, in Ogbomoso, Nigeria The nuts were cleaned, sorted, washed, and were soaked in water and left to ferment for 24, 48 and 72 h respectively. The nuts were drained, dried in an oven and ground into flour. The flour samples were passed through a 45 ?m mesh size sieve. The flour was analyzed for proximate composition and some functional properties. There were changes in some constituents of the flour with fermentation time. There was an increase in protein content (7.73 – 9.23%) and reduction in fat content, likewise with the ash, and starch content. There was also an increase in the sugar content over the fermentation time (7.31 – 9.69%).”
Adejuyitan, J. A.*, Otunola, E. T., Akande, E. A., Bolarinwa, I. F. and Oladokun, F. M.
Department of Food Science and EngineeringLadoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria. Accepted 22 January, 2009
[…] in comments, the one who "dug up" all the great info on Chufas, or Tiger Nuts, a starchy highly nutritious tuber that I find tastes great and is very […]
On the groundnuts…
“Indeed, for centuries Apios americana was a staple in the diets of many Native Americans, which explains why it grows profusely where they once encamped. Almost every part of the plant is edible—shoots, flowers, the seeds that grow in pods like peas, but, most importantly, the tubers. ”
“But no one’s cultivated it?” he asked.
“They’ve tried, but it takes two or three years to produce sizeable tubers, so—“
“It sounds like a permaculture crop! Commercial growers want one season and out. They don’t want to wait, to make an investment.”
“IN THE FOLLOWING MONTH I ASKED EVERYONE I encountered—friends, relatives, neighbors, foresters, checkout clerks at the food co-op—if they’d heard of groundnuts, by this or any other name. I described the plant’s habitat, vines, and foliage, its relation to peas, and its tubers, but no one, not even an acquaintance who boasts of enduring lengthy survival training and uses clamshells as utensils, was familiar with it. How had a once-vital food source become invisible, just another weed?” <<< common theme (purslane, tigernuts).
Stalking the Wild Groundnut
Interesting on the groundnuts. Looks like healthy stuff, but they say the tubers grow slowly. Up to 2 to 4 times slower than Tigernuts. Maybe that’s why their cultivation has not taken root (pun/laf). Looks like it is grown in Japan, at least.
There’s a nutrient comparison with spuds on this page – in Japanese so you’ll have to translate it. Biggest standout is Calcium 150mg/100g and it has a high water content ~50% of weight so more like a potato than a Tigernut. Protein is about the same as a Tigernut 6%.
I ordered 12 oz of unpeeled tigernuts from Tigernutsusa.com and received 2 4-oz packages, one peeled and one premium organic. There was noexplanation for the substitution and no adjustment in what I was charged for being shorted 4 ounces. I sent an email to the email address that sent me my order confirmation and did not get a response in over 2 weeks.
I sent a second email using the Contact link on the tigernutsusa.om web site and have not heard back in over a week.
I feel ripped off. Has aybody else had this problem?
@Adriana, I’m sure that was just an oversight/mistake. But yeah, they could be more responsive to emails. I sent them a msg using that contact link on the website to ask if they can ship to Brazil and what the cost would be. crickets… (as Richard likes to say)
Ever eaten a pawpaw, a forgotten native North American fruit? You can bet your ass that was the other native American staple for many Indian cultures.
@kayumochi, yeah the pawpaw looks great from a nutrient standpoint – overall broader than the staples – banana, apple, orange. Is it easy to find/buy? What’s it taste like?
Nutrients of pawpaw fruit
The taste is just okay but I am not a big eater of fruit so not the best judge… the flavor didn’t make a big impression but my intuition told me that it was nutritious. A man in Georgia who owns 200 acres of former Indian land overlooking a creek gave it to me … it seems it still grows wild on his property and he says it was a staple of local American Indians in the South.
Oh… I see they described the pawpaw flavor on that page..
“The unique flavor of the fruit resembles a blend of various tropical flavors, including banana, pineapple, and mango. The flavor and custard-like texture make pawpaws a good substitute for bananas in almost any recipe. The common names, ‘poor man’s banana,’ ‘American custard apple,’ and ‘Kentucky banana’ reflect these qualities.”
Is there any difference between papaya and pawpaw or are they the same thing?
@GabKad, no not the same thing. Read the stuff I posted if you’re interested. They originate from different parts of the world (Pawpaw is native American) and they have different nutrient profiles. The trees are quite a bit different as well.
@Richard, trying to stay on topic. You may want to spin off another post/page about the very natural/primal “Lost or forgotten healthy foods ” topic. Looks like we have a good start with – tigernuts, groundnuts, teff, purslane, pawpaw, … and there is no doubt plenty more.
Yea, that would be a good idea but haven’t the time currently. If you want to put something together, that would be great.
2011 WashPost article papaws-a-fruit-more-forgotten-than-forbidden
That nutrients link was bad… table of nutrients in pawpaw compared to other fruits
two last links on pawpaw…
csmontor.com: America’s forgotten fruit
NPR.org: The Pawpaw – Foraging For America’s Forgotten Fruit
Hey, whats the best way to store raw tiger nuts? should they be kept in the fridge?
@Michael, short term yeah, that would be fine. Longer term, fermenting them (pickling?) which increases their nutritional value. Longer term you could freeze them or air dry them in the sun or dehydrate them at low temp in the oven. Just think of them as tiny potatoes.
[…] Source […]
In the UK at least, Tiger Nuts are a very popular bait for fishing for carp, and thus are pretty cheap. You can buy 25kg bags for like £25, or smaller amounts like this on sale on ebay..
When preparing for carp fishing we boil and soak the nut to soften it to allow the fish to digest it. When soaking for 24 hours, the nut ferments, and a lovely sweet nutty smell comes off and the water is turned into a thick gloopy syrup. I have eaten a few whilst fishing and they taste delicious but never knew if it was good for me or not.
Would it be safe to buy and eat these nuts meant for fishing? I guess if they are boiled first theyd be safe?
That’s not to say they are not perfectly fine and tasty even without soaking, to state the obvious, since Richard and many others are enjoying them that way (skinned or skinless) from the Chief Nuts. Some will prefer the extra chewy-ness of them without soaking/fermenting.
I find the peeled tigernuts from Tigernutsusa.com to be fine eaten out if hand, if a bit chewy. I find the. Unpeeled organic to be not so good. Yes, they are even more chewy than the unpeeled but it’s tolerable. It’s the highly variable flavor from one nut to the next with an occasional moldy burst that I don’t love. I literally spit out the fist unpeeled nut I tried because it tasted like mold. Has anybody else experienced that?
Yes, that’s been my experience exactly. Plus, I had a faux-one that was actually a tiger-nut-sized ball of pure sand! Difficult to spit that out.
I can’t stand eating the unpeeled ones out of the bag, and notice the mold right off. My neighbor loves them.
Try this: Soak a handful of nuts over night, then heat a skillet to very hot or heat the oven to about 425, and roast the heck out of them until they are just almost about to char. Then eat them while still very hot. You won’t believe the flavors that come out.
On a side note, I tossed a handful of soaked, unpeeled ones into a houseplant pot. They are growing! So, I agree with Brad, soaked unpeeled must be very similar to what Ancient Man ate. Probably fresh picked, they had a bit more RS and long storage converts that to sugars, but still, a very real food. I was surprised they grow.
Adriana, yup. I bought mine from a Canadian company. Contacted them that the tigernuts smell like mildew. I ate a few, shared a few out at work, and just put them in the fridge pending resolution of my complaint.
Initially they wanted me to send them a picture of the bag etc. but since then they got returns from a store and I guess they’ve acknowledged, by offering me a replacement bag of peeled ones, that the unpeeled are not terribly good.
I offered to return the opened unpeeled but they’ve declined.
I have a bag of ground up tiger nuts as well. Have not opened that. I figured since the unpeeled ones were such a ‘raving success’ ..not.. I wouldn’t bother. The peeled ones should arrive shortly.
Tatertot, Why do you say “eat them while still very hot”? When cooled down they lose some flavor? Maybe the flavor from the oil/fat does not hit you as much once they’re cooled?
Just wait til you try it. You’ll see! Piping hot, they are like 2 million year old comfort food. Cooled, meh.
Ever had chestnuts roasted by an open fire? Same dealio.
We heat our house with wood in a big cast-iron wood stove, now, when I get home from work and stoke the fire for the evening, I put a handful of Tiger Nuts on top of the stove and eat them all evening. The hotter they get, the better they taste, even slightly scorched. Also comforting walking around with a handful that are too hot to eat, but warm up your hand like a ‘hot potato’.
I appreciate hearing of other experiences with mold. I ordered Tiger Nuts from a seed company and quickly spit out the first one due to mold. So I tried soaking them and vigorously shaking them in a water filled container, rinsing, and repeating; this gets rid of the mold taste. The seed company told me that the seeds aren’t treated with any chemicals; they said the seeds come from Spain.
I would stick with fermenting them for around 48 to 72 hours as it improves the nutrient profile, providing an increase of ~50% more protein and reduced anti-nutrients. The anti-nutrients are low though, in comparison to most nuts and grains. If you boil them, just like any vegetables, some of the water soluble vitamins and minerals leach out into the water and are lost, well, unless you drink the water. In addition, boiling will destroy the 3% or so (estimated) of the resistant starch content.
Me thinks soaking is the next best thing to eating them fresh, right out of the ground.
In Spain they grow and eat Tigernuts. Here a website how they do it. They ship them worldwide !
Also on the website, recipes from a restaurant .
Also how to make Horchata. ( with sugar, but you can replace that ) I did drink it a lot, when I was in Spain, delicious !
In the Netherlands they use tigernuts as fishing bait for carps. cooked. They love it !? Lol.
@Mariet, that website is of a distributor/supplier. It’s of no use here (wrong audience) since I think they deal only in very large quantities. Btw, you should read a blog post before you reply to it with redundant information otherwise it looks like you are ad-spamming.
BrazilBrad, The Tiger nuts came from Africa and were brought to Spain by the Moors.
And then by Columbus maybe to America? Yust Saying 😉
BrazilBrad, no Spam,
Not as rough. I did nothing wrong.
There are also many people from Europe, which read along here. I just wanted to provide information. And share recipes.
I have no shares in that firm.
I live in the Netherlands, more often have searched for chufa in Spain, because I wanted to let them grow in my garden. And make Horchata.
Then I knew not yet about the RS. Now though. Yes, I read this blog because I RS/PS use for my diabetes. With much success.
Mariet, don’t let BrazilBrad alienate you. The rest of us understood. He seems to be somewhat irritable for some reason. Keep commenting because your experience is very valuable.
I didn’t mean to quash her commenting, but I saw it like someone posting on one of the extensive RS posts about what resistant starch is and how you can get it from potato starch. It just looked to me like she posted without reading anything that was written above. I’m the only one who saw it that way? If so, maybe I am “irritable”. Didn’t think I was.
Thanks gabriella, for reassurance.
By the RS/PS , I’ve become very assertive 😉
Not only improved blood sugar, but also no sweet, old, lady anymore.
The connection between gut and brain restored?
And it will be even better by eathing the tiger nuts.
Mariet: LOL! Good for you.
Brazilbrad, man, you double posted. How is that? Slow down.
Mariet, it seems that Cyperus species were present in North America pre-Columbus and native people were harvesting them. The southern states in the US had these growing and people used to eat them. Not these days because it’s easier to get a Big Mac.
gabriella, oké. I did not know that exactly.
It was only a suggestion with a question mark.
But they are very old.
‘Nutcracker Man’ Lived Mostly on Tiger Nuts, 2 Million Years Ago ‘ says Dr Gabriele Macho, an archaeologist from Oxford University.
Isn’t it surprising, that we have lost this knowledge and only now, thanks to Duck Dodgers find it back ?
Yea, don’t sweat it. Mariet is a trusted commenter here with valuable contributions on her own RS experiment, so her post was not taken as SPAM.
Spammers are actually pretty dam obvious and most of the tools available now weed out 99.9% with almost zero false positives. Askimnet, plus a very secret weeder I had developed custom like. Clue, what bots see as fields to fill in for comments are not the same as humans see, as they’re looking at code, not what’s displayed.
They deal in quantities starting 25 kg. For people who have growing numbers of N#1’s going, quite acceptable, no? As for starch, we bought 25kg organic (selling only 25 upwards), with the growing -as said numbers-, half of it is gone – bought in January!
For you to decide now, what the spam is.
@Bernhard, that’s cool. I didn’t know they sell smallish qty. So you’re eating like a pound per day? You must really like them! What are your N1 test result?
I guess the shipping costs and import issues are not a problem at your location and the carrier (UPS/DHL, etc.)?
@Bernhard, you eating those in what form, dry or soaked? with or without peels? Just curious.
@Bernhard, you eating those in what form, dry or soaked? with or without peels? Any issue with that moldy taste/smell that some report? Just curious.
[…] more from regular commenter Duck Dodgers, the guy who brought us Tiger Nuts, a delightful ancient tuber with an amazing micro and macro nutrient profile. He did such a big job […]
DuckDodgers, do you know if tiger nuts hold their RS when heated? I stared in disbelief and then snagged a bag of organic, raw, stone ground ground tiger nuts (Ecoideas brand) at the store the other day. I ate a spoonful to see how it tastes and while good, it’s hard to eat straight. Mixed some in a bit of yogurt this morning, along with arrowroot starch and that works fine.
I am wondering about cooking it, was thinking it might make a coating for chicken nuggets/strips. I also came across an ‘ancient Egyptian recipe’: mix ground nuts with honey and fry it in some oil until firm and lightly toasted. Sounds delicious.
Ditto would BrazilBrad said. Tiger Nuts aren’t a good source of RS2, because if they were, they wouldn’t have been a very good energy positive food for people when eaten raw. In other words, it’s not really possible to have something that’s indigestible when raw and gives you energy. You have to pick one or the other. So, tiger nuts were a good energy positive plant — lots of digestible starch.
Tatertot did mention somewhere that retrograded (heated and cooled) would have produced a good amount of RS though. I would just eat them for the nutrients/taste, not the RS.
@Michelle, RS starts degrading at around 140-150F if I remember correctly. The high qty MUFA oils also begin to oxidize with high temperatures. But according to Tatertot above the taste of the roasted tubers may make it worth it. Perhaps the same is true for the flour. The Egyptians were no dummies after all. Mummy’s yes, dummies no. In any event, I think tater estimated they are ~3% RS content by weight but quite a lot higher in fiber which is not destroyed by heating, so…
Btw, chicken nuggets? Healthy free range birds I hope 😉
Can someone please tell me how much resistant starch is in tiger nuts? I can’t find that information anywhere.
A big thanks to DuckDodgers and Richard for the topic covered here
DuckDodgers–Where I come from DuckDodgers are sailboat racers on Lake Union and Lake Washington in Seattle, are you sailboat racer ? I have crewed on these races and on others in Puget Sound
— I ordered two bags of the Tiger Nuts, one peeled and one unpeeled.
The Chief Tiger Nut also called and left me a voicemail thanking me and suggesting that I soak each variety overnight in water.
They’re delicious and I’ve been snacking on them, but I haven’t tried soaking them yet.
The unpeeled variety requires some chomping but it’s worth it. They taste a bit like sasparilla or root beer and they have a bit of a caramel or toffee flavor. The peeled variety reminds me of roasted pistachios.
I would also add that the peeled variety sure tastes good with a little bit of coconut bliss ice cream, with a couple ounces of broken up pieces of dark chocolate. Very delicious and satisfying !!
Not a sailboat racer. Just liked the name. Glad you enjoy them!
Only for Toronto (Canada). If any one interested to buy Tiger Nuts e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
[…] size explosion has come into question. Check into Nutcracker Man, and how it's a misnomer; because, what he was eating was an endless supply of soft sedge tubers under weeds we commonly refer to as ti…. Check into how the nutritional profile is off the charts. Check into how C4 plants give us a […]
Hello! I bought 3 kg of tiger nuts here in the UK….alas they are unpeeled and not very palatable. Can anyone advise on how to prepare them? Is it just a case of soaking over night, then throw in the dehydrator for 12 hours? Would that cause the skins to fall off? Any information online seems to be for carp fishing!! Thanks!
I actually like the unpeeled ones. I think Tatertot soaked him overnight, drained and rasted them in a hot cast iron and love ’em. I’m sure that changes the nutrition profile, but in what way is unclear.
If you can get the peeled ones (I have both), the dried peeled ones are basically like more fibrous and dense raisins.
I bought a bag of peeled and of unpeeled. The peeled ones were like candy to me. Very pleasant to eat. The unpeeled ones were like eating unshelled peanuts, I considered them unpalatable.
My neighbor stopped by and I gave him a sample. He hated the peeled ones and loved the unpeeled! I’ve heard others say the same thing. I find this so odd.
At any rate, here’s a way to make the unpeeled ones very, very tasty–in my opinion, others may hate it.
Toast the unpeeled ones until almost charred. You can broil them in the oven, or brown them in a frying pan with a tiny bit of coconut (or other) oil. Get them very hot, takes a bit of practice. But when you get it just right, the skin flakes off and they taste (to me) like a cross between chocolate and coffee beans. They are especially tasty when piping hot, but retain the new flavors and texture when cooled.
I soaked them overnight before toasting in this manner. Give that atry and let me know what you think.
Here’s another idea. The unpeeled ones will actually grow! I have several right now that are about 12″ tall in a potted house plant. As soon as it’s warm outside, I have a bag destined for the garden. I’ve heard that freshly dug tiger nuts are even tastier than dried.
Tim, I tried to get my loser unpeeled ones to germinate. Nothing doing. But soaking them for a week made the mouldy smell go away. I threw them out anyway. EcoIdeas replaced the bag with peeled ones.
The peeled ones are good.
The ground tiger nuts are a great addition to the potato starch/yoghurt combo. They contribute just a nice amount of sweetness and texture. A bit of mango or soursop makes it sing.
Has anyone found a Nutrient/calorie tracker that has chufas? Or do you know of one that you can add your own food into the databank? I would like to put together some diet plans with 40% or so of calories from chufas and see what macro/micros look like with the addition of liver, veggies, staple starches, eggs, etc.
@Richard, the “login with WordPress.com” button does not work for me. I’ve tried my WP user name and email address. Nothing works. Even if I login to WP in a separate browser tab first, it won’t log me in here.
@Dan, what specific nutrient/calorie data are you looking for? Something more than the data that DuckDodgers showed in the images of his blog post above or just the same data but where you don’t have to type it in? I think I have similar data to what Duck posted somewhere and could dig it up.
hummm… and yet my mouse-lifter pic showed up… but my handle “brazilbrad” does not have link to my account. Something looks amiss.
I’ve lost my double chin since chewing tiger nuts so, girls, if you’re in your 50’s and want to lose that wobbly bit between your throat and your chin, do as I did lol
[…] nuts. Where are they from? Do not say "Tigers" Here is a post from freetheanimal.com: "Tigernuts" – A Nutty Tuber or Tuby Nut? | Free The Animal They are also called "chufa" in Spanish, "earth almond" in Nordic countries, […]
[…] “Tigernuts” – A Nutty Tuber or Tuby Nut? | Free The Animal – The tuber (Cyperus esculentus) is a wild weed found in Africa, and is commonly called: tiger nut, chufa sedge, nut grass, yellow nutsedge, tigernut sedge, or earth …… […]
Before going nuts on tiger nuts…. I ordered and consumed a couple handfuls a day this past summer. I developed horrible yeast like skin reactions. Sure enough MYCOTOXINS are well studied and shown to be present in 5-10 plus strains on all chufa/tiger nuts. Similar to how peanuts are full of mycotoxins.
Anyone else have experience or come across this in readings? It didn’t take long to find clinical studies documenting chufas and mycotoxins on the Internet.
I have eaten them every day for almost a year and am fine … it is beans I can’t eat. Go figure.
Mycotoxins show up in damn near every kinda modern produced food, not just below ground things like tigernuts and peanuts. They are commonly found in grains, corn, nuts, alfalfa/hay, and so even end up in milk, meat, breads, etc. Basically many types of plants which are dried and then stored – where if the storage is not kept cool and/or low in humidity, you get mold. You can soak the tigernuts in a diluted vinegar solution and/or ferment them to potentially lower the effect. But if they taste moldy then they should be sent back to the seller.
Also, often the problem of such reactions are due to ones poor gut health, so I’d look into that and work to solve that problem if that’s a contributor.
Our ancestors surely consumed plenty of mold produced toxins given they ate much more dirt than we do today, so I’m a inclined to believe we have (some) built in defense mechanisms for this – gut bugs I think. But if you eat a big batch of contaminated food due to poor food production handling/storage, yeah, it could cause an adverse reaction.
There were some reports by people of a “moldy” flavor with some of the with-skin tigernuts, but that was a while ago, year or two I think. Nobody reported issues just that they spit them out and threw them away or returned them to the seller. It was a handful of people. Maybe the skinned/peeled ones are less likely to have this problem. I don’t eat them dry but soaked in water for at least 24 hours and have had no problems. Even over-soaked them until they started to ferment (with sour smell) and still, no problems with digestion or any allergic reactions.
I ordered and tried 2 brands of tiger nuts about 5 months ago. About 1/5 of the Tiger Nuts brand unpeeled heated tiger nuts in the bag tasted moldy to me. They also didn’t seem as thoroughly washed as the other brand I tried (which I wouldn’t have minded if they hadn’t been moldy–I figure that soil probiotics would do me good). They didn’t digest well and the heat-dried skins were like razor blades going through me, which was particularly unpleasant at the nether end. 🙁
I tried Tatertot’s soaking and toasting trick and it only made them worse–it removed nearly all the almond flavor, which was the only thing about them I liked, and made them even more undigestible. I was nauseous for about a day and a half after eating them. One of the most unpleasant foods I’ve ever tried, and I’ve eaten many things that most people can’t stomach (such as fermented meat/fish), and rarely complain about any food. It’s too bad, because the “Chief Nut” seems like such a great guy. I hope for his sake it was just a bad batch. I was really hoping to like them.
In contrast, the bag of Organic Gemini unpeeled raw tiger nuts did not contain a single moldy-tasting tiger nut, they tasted better, and the skins were not nearly as sharp and stiff. They were also easier to digest, but still did not digest well.
When next I try whole tiger nuts, they will definitely be raw and peeled, even if I have to peel them myself. I wish someone sold them that way. I can imagine myself getting used to them that way. I also saw someone report that fresh raw unpeeled tiger nuts are much more palatable and digestible than the heat-dried ones. My next order will probably instead be for raw tiger nut flour, just so I don’t have to peel them.
I’ve eaten plenty of moldy foods in the past without a hint of a problem, so I don’t think it was the mold that was the main issue behind the extended nausea for me, though it might have been one factor.
And I don’t have problems with most beans and some beans are some of my most beneficial foods. Go figure indeed! 🙂
Both Organic Gemini and TigernutsUSA get their product from the same distributor (Tigernut Traders) in Spain, so it’s not a brand thing. Likely just a bad batch. Did you report the mold problem back to Jack? My experience with soaking them and roasting them prior to soaking does not agree with your experience. Soaking them for 24 hours made them 100 times more flavorful and easier to chew versus the dry ones which were like trying to chew and swallow wood pulp IMO. Roasting them was a much less dramatic improvement over just soaking.
Btw, none of them are “heat” dried. All tigernuts are sun/air dried and then aged over 2-3 months. They are constantly churned during the drying/aging period to keep moisture content low and minimize mold and pest growth and avoid germination.
Have you tried the Organic Gemini and Tiger Nut brands at the same time and compared them, including visual appearance and feel? Your comments suggest to me that you haven’t. I wasn’t fond of either product, but I found the differences in the finished products (whatever the original source) to be obvious, which was unexpected.
The other subpar reports in this forum fit with my experience, and I tried all the tips that have been mentioned, including yours, and more offline tips, and have little or no problem eating freshly shelled walnuts, small raw potatoes (including the skins), some beans and other foods that others have reported issues with, so I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss them all. FWIW, another person who has touted tiger nuts in this forum acknowledged to me offline that his experience with Tiger Nuts brand unpeeled tiger nuts was poor.
Richard mentioned in this thread – https://freetheanimal.com/2014/02/tigernuts-experience-behind.html#comments – that there was “a bit of grit in _some_ of the unpeeled ones”–which I also found to be the case mainly with the Tiger Nuts brand. His comment is especially credible given his overall positive review. I didn’t even mind the grit so much and normally don’t bother to wash all the dirt off of potatoes either. However, if a new batch of potatoes from a particular source is excessively moldy, I tend to avoid them thereafter (luckily, I have many sources and varieties of potatoes to choose from), so it’s not like I’m picking on tiger nuts or the Tiger Nuts brand.
Gabriella suggested that novices start out slow, and given the hindsight of my experience, that was sage advice. I didn’t eat a whole bagful at once, but if I were to try the unpeeled ones again (after letting the bad memory fade some more 😉 ), it would be no more than a few at first.
I’m not interested in a replacement of the same product (“once burned, twice shy” 🙂 ). I do plan on trying tiger nut flour some day, even though even the homemade horchata I made from tiger nuts did not suit me well. If the flour goes well, I may try to build from there into eventually trying a whole tiger nut product again. I’m optimistic and still a fan of the concept (supported by evolutionary, biological, nutritional and microbial science), despite the bad experience.
YMMV and to each his own. Everybody wins! 🙂
I suspect that eating them fresh from the ground is going to be a quite different experience than eating them dried. Seems to me there ought to be a way to wash freshly harvested TGs and package them for consumption (vacuum sealed, perhaps?).
My best experience has been a soak for 12 hours, then consume (no roasting). For me, they reconstitute into something resembling the texture of a water chestnut and the skin softens to something like the skin on a hazel nut.
But, as you say, YMMV.
@Phil, my experience with the flour is also that it’s a bit gritty, but I don’t mind and I also liked the home made horchata. The 1Kg bag I bought of whole tubers from Jack/TigernutsUSA came in a vacuum sealed bag. Maybe that makes some difference.
My experience with the dried tubers with skin mirrors Richards except I prefer a 24 hour soak.
@Phil, no I have not tried OG tigernuts only TNUSA. I just saw something a while back that indicated they got them from the same distributor and so assumed they are the same product. Could be there are different “grades” or something, dunno. I know there are lots of different sizes/shapes and some are used only for flours and horchata versus the larger snack tubers.
I also suspect that fresh tiger nuts are best.
Vacuum-sealing could indeed explain the difference. The ones I bought were the smallest packages, which were ordinary plastic packages. Might help explain the mold too. I wonder too if freeze-dried would be good (a la chuño).
The tiger nut is indeed similar to the water chestnut. Both are sedge grass tubers that grow in marshy areas (at least during seasonal flooding) and are rich in resistant starch, and both are considered healthy staple foods. I used to wonder why a food as bland as the water chestnut was in so many dishes at Chinese restaurants. It is one of the oldest staple-food types. Plus, they are sweeter and more flavorful when raw. Despite Grace’s warnings about the evils of raw RS, “In China, they are most often eaten raw” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleocharis_dulcis, whereas here in the USA they are invariably served cooked at restaurants. Many Americans don’t even know that they can be consumed raw.
Wow, African tiger nuts apparently grow much larger than the Spanish ones:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q2P0RNC_Qk That would help explain why they were a staple for our ancestors.
I was kinda doubting that those could be tigernuts so large but then saw this Russian video showing large ob-long ones too. Could be these are “purple nutsedge” tubers? The grass blades look thinner, and the tubers larger and less round than the yellow nutsedge (tigernuts) – I have some growing in my yard right now. It might not be that important but I’ve read that purple nutsedge tubers don’t taste nearly as good. Think I read they are bitter. Though it’s possible these are actually yellow nutsedge just a different variety. Sooo many different types of sedges exist.
[…] Tiger Nuts are also nutritionally dense. See below how they compare to some other foods. (Image taken with thanks from freetheanimal.com) […]
Would taking a couple of tablespoons of tiger nut powder (in a smoothie) be as nutritious as drinking it as a horchata beverage?
I believe the horchata is a _fermented_ drink. So in principle you get a dose of probiotics just like when you drink e.g. kefir. It will be transient but the rumour says it helps while they transit through (if they survive the 1st part of the ride). A loose comparison would be whether you should drink kefir or some powdered milk in a smoothie.
Much mahalo for the info!
No, horchata is not normally fermented though if you make your own you could certainly do that. Many horchatas are not all that healthy as they are usually sugar heavy, and anyway don’t drink your calories is usually a good idea. Prob best to buy unsweetened and add stevia, or make your own. I’d stick with eating the flour or the whole tubers – fresh or soaked and optionally lightly pan fried/roasted.
Ah, that’s right, horchata is not usually fermented unless you want to alcoholize the drink 😉
And yes, traditionally, the drink is sweetened. I did not say what I would do but like Brad, I would grind the tubers and use the resulting meal in various ways. The tubers are quite sweet on their own, maybe you can mix an egg, a touch of milk for consistency, and make some pancakes in a bit of butter ? Never tried but maybe I will, I still have a big bag of TN in my pantry
I’ve made pancakes with the flour from Amazon. Very good. Some people whine about the “gritty-ness” of the flour. Doesn’t bother me. Minor sacrifice for more nutrition IMO.
Cool, I’ll try that … or maybe cookies ? We’ll see.