Tigernut (Cyperus esculentus) milk is a popular homemade drink among Nigerians and many other tropical countries. If you have not tasted tigernut milk drink, then you have really missed one of the best natural drinks you can ever think of.
Tigernut milk drink is not just about tigernuts, it is also about the ingredients such as coconut and dates that are added to it.
Other names of tigernut drink
Tigernut drink is also called tigernut milk. In fact, when you see it, you’d know it is just a plant based milk. Among the Hausa, from where it originates, it is called Kunu Aya. In South Africa it is called Zulu drink. Other names include: Ground almond drink, rush nut drink, and yellow nut grass drink. Tigernut is often referred to as yellow nutsedge.
How do you make tigernut milk drink?
Before we delve into the main recipes, it is important you understand the processes involved in the preparation before the proper recipe. You’d need to assemble your tigernuts (Fresh or dried), coconut, banana and dates. You may add other things as you wished but this are the major ingredients you would need to make your tigernut milk drink.
Soak your tigernuts and dates over night.
The first step to take in making your tigernut milk drink is to soak the tigernuts and dates overnight. This is to soften the nuts if you are using dried nuts. If you’re using fresh nuts, you may not have to soak it that long.
Having soaked your tigernuts, also soak your dates to soften them. Because dates are not as hard as dried tigernuts, you may not have to soak it towards midnight till dawn. After that, open the fruits and remove those seeds. Your dates are now ready for use.
Best tigernut milk drink recipe
Since you gave done the above, including getting your coconut and banana ready for use, the next thing is to wash your tigernuts off the soaking water and rinse them. Make sure you have ice cubes around or use well chilled water during the blending.
- Cut the coconut and banana into smaller pieces and add to the tigernut and dates. Blend all till they have properly homogenised into a paste.
- Add the ice cubes to the tigernut paste to keep it cold. Remember that tigernut milk easily become sour, especially in hot atmospheric temperature.
- Use fine net to filter the milk from the paste. Your tigernut milk is not ready to use. You can pour them in clean plastic cans and keep refrigerated.
How long can you keep your tigernut milk drink?
Tigernut easily become sour and therefor no more good to drink. This usually happens when the weather is hot. Or when left at room temperature. So before making tigernut drink ensure you have light and that your freezer is not faulty. You would need to keep your tigernut drink refrigerated for as long as tow or three days. But don’t keep it for longer time.
Is it good to add honey your tigernut milk?
Tigernut milk is sweet on its own, courtesy of the dates and coconut juices in the milk. You don’t actually need to add any other sweetener to it. However, it is not bad to add honey to it.
What are other uses of tigernut?
Aside tigernut milk drink, there are other good uses of tigernuts. The most common is tigernut floor. Tigernut oil is fortified with monounsaturated fatty acids, and are useful both as dietary oil, and also for cosmetic formulations. In some countries, tigernuts are used in backing breads, pasta and in beverages.
Nutritional components of tigernut milk drink
Tigernuts are packed with nutritional components that are very important for you health. They’re rich source of essential amino acids. Proteins, fatty acids, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Other nutritional composition of tigernut include carbohydrates, fermentable sugars, and dietary fibers. All these food compositions makes tigernut a ready home energy food.
Tigernut milk drink benefits
Tigernut is eaten as snack among many people. The nutritional and medicinal properties of tigernuts make taking the milk drink a way of balancing your diet. The proteins and amino acids present in tigernut milk is enough to sustain you for a time period.
Tigernut milk for men’s fertility and libido
There’s this popular saying among young men. Once you’re seen drinking kunu aya, everyone would ask if you’re replacing the one you lost yesterday, meaning if you are replenishing the sperm you lost during yesterday’s sexual activities.
As funny as it sounds, it is true that the consumption of tigernut milk drink improves sperm count and motility. It also increases testosterone level, resulting in increased libido.
Another study has shown that the antioxidants present in tigernut confers protection from testicular oxidation. Testicular oxidative stress is a deleterious effect on sperm parameters, including low sperm count and infertility.
Another important thing about the milk is the presence of essential fatty acids like linolenic, oleic and arachidonic acids. These are good precursors for hormone synthesis.
Tigernut milk delays aging processes
When you consider the three components of tigernut milk drink, which are tigernuts, coconut and dates. You would appreciate the rich antioxidant contents of the milk.
These antioxidants, which includes vitamin C and E, and other vitamins are necessary for maintaining your normal cellular processes, prevent cellular and DNA destruction by oxidative stress, and protect you from the harmful effect of heavy metals, and UV radiations.
It is not a wonder that people who are plant based usually live younger and healthier due to the numerous active biological compounds present in plants.
Possess anticancer properties
Constant consumption of tigernuts or the milk will greatly reduce your chances of developing cancer or other tumors. The reason for this is because tigernut contain two of the most active anticancer compounds. These compounds are quercetin and chlorogenic acids. According to a study, quercetin is a strong antioxidant. It has the ability to scavenge free radicals and binds haevy metal ions. The strong antioxidative property of quercetin has been utilized in the protection of DNA from oxidative damage. You may have known that DNA damage is a risk factor to cancer development.
Another component, chlorogenic acid exerts it anticancer activity by inhibiting the cancer cell cycle, initiating apoptosis, and inhibiting the cell proliferation. This means that tigernut milk is a great way to prevent or suppress cancer cell growth. By combining their strong antioxidant and cytotoxic activities, both quercetin and chlorogenic acid can protect you from cancer. Other antioxidants present in tigernut drink include vitamin C and vitamin E, among phenolic compounds that are present in the nut.
May offer protection to your heart
Tigernut drink offers strong protection to your heart. As a result, its consumption may improve your heart health. The cocunut, banana and dates present in the milk drink is very important for maintaining strong heart. Banana is a rich source of potassium, which is needed for proper blood pumping functionality.
Both tigernuts and coconut oil contain essential oil such as linolenic and oleic acids. They also possess lots of monounsaturated and polyunsaturates fatty acids. These fatty acids are useful for maintaining a good functioning heart. Unsaturated fatty acids clean you blood of bad cholesterols, while increasing the level of good cholesterol in your blood.
Tigernut is rich in dietary fibers. These fibers are essential for improving digestion and preventing constipation. This makes tigernut drink an integral part of the society, especially in the northern parts of Nigeria.
May protect you from gastric ulcer
Both tigernut and coconut nut milk have protective as well as curative effect on ulcer induction. And this is in separate forms. So by adding coconut and dates to tigernut milk makes the drink a suitable antiulcer remedy. This antiulcer effect of tigernut milk is not just a mere speculation, as it has been substantiated by several studies.
Tigernut possess prostaglandin regulatory roles. So also is coconut oil. Through this mechanism and antioxidative activities, tigernut milk has shown itself a trustworthy remedy for preventing peptic ulcer. Another mechanism may be through neutralising the acidity of the gastric mucosa wall, and suppressing proton pumping into the space.
Tigernut milk improves you skin
The vitamins C and E that’s present in tigernut is very important for maintaining your skin tone, protecting it from the hazardous effect of U V radiations on the skin and improving your hair growth.
Tagernut and coconut oil were cosmetic materials for skin and hair growth formulations. You already know that vitamin E is a strong antioxidants. So tigernut milk will delay your skin aging process, give you a moist, and succulent skin texture, and prevent spots formation on your skin.
Tigernut milk and female fertility
More than its benefits on men, tigernut milk is a very important drink for promoting female fertility, breast milk production and general female health.
Estrogen plays important roles in promoting normal menstrual cycle. Study has also shown that tigernut root extract promotes estrogen production, and in amplifying the aromatization of androgens into estrogens.
That’s not all, tigernut milk also improves hormonal balance, enhance breast development in females during adolescent age and supports breast milk production in nursing mothers. And like Taro milk tea, supports pregnancy.
In the study, it was shown that tigernut prevents polycystic ovarian syndrome. Thus, we can agree that tigernut drink is very important for both male and female fertility.
Read also: 12 wonders of Aidan fruit pod on your health
Tigernut milk improve libido in women
If you’re a married person, you should take drinking tigernut milk serious. This all important milk drink will boost your sexual experience, help both to last longer during bed time and boost libido.
If taken ahead of bed time, it makes love making a memorable time for both partners.
Just as it improves men’s erection and sperm production, it boost female libido and sexual perfomo. So, enjoy the gifts of tigernut milk before engaging in love making with your partner.
May prevent menopausal complications
Tigernut milk is especially beneficial for women bearing their menopause stage. The complications that comes with menopause are related to the decline in estrogen secretion. So by constantly taking tigernut milk on a regular basis, you may delay menopause, or at least prevent the complications that comes with it.
Boosts your immunity
Tigernut possess immune regulators, like zinc mineral and polyphonic compounds. The rich supply of antioxidants from the milk is another important factor for boosting immune system.
Tigernut milk is also important source of amino essential amino acids which are required for the product tion of antibodies. These antibodies protect you from invading infective organisms.
May boost your brain functions
It is important you introduce tigernut milk to your children, instead of offering them carbonated drinks, which will expose them to obesity and juvenile diabetes.
Tigernut milk improves brain function in your children, thereby boosting memory and learning. It will sharpen their minds and prepare them for academic and social challenges.
Enhance good sleep
Like zobo drink, tigernut milk also improves sleep time. It makes one to sleep soundly and prevents insomnia. The milk is best served after dinner. Tigernut may also prevent depression and improve your mood.
Tigernut milk for Vegans
For vegans, tigernut milk may be a good supply of the essential amino acids required for protein synthesis. It also supplies plant based fatty acids for cellular metabolisms.
Side effects of tigernut milk
Tigernut milk is a relatively safe drink. However, when taken in excess may cause some certain side effects, which are not life threatening. Some of these side effects include:
Bloating of your stomach
Don’t take tigernut milk at late hours. Doing some may be an invitation to a troubled night. This is because tigernut causes bloating of stomach due to fermentation of the sugars by bacteria in the gastric mucosa and duodenum. It is important to drink tigernut when you still have hours of active works to do.
May increase you calories
Tigernut milk contains high calories which makes it suitable for people that are performing activities that require high energy. So it may not be suitable to take much of it during bed time. Of course you can drink enough if you’re preparing for love making at night.
Contains some allergens
Some people maybe allergic to the drink. So if you’re one of such people, it is important to stop taking the plant milk.
Generally, tigernut milk is very nutritional and medicinal as well. It doesn’t have much side effects except on special cases. And it does not require doctors approval unless you are allergjto it.
However, do not abuse the plant based milk drink. Remember that this is an academic exercise and should not replace your doctor’s advice.
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Baghel, Satyendra & Shrivastava, Nikhil & Baghel, PA & Rajput, Sarlesh. (2012). A review of quercetin: Antioxidant and anticancer properties. World J Pharm Pharmaceutical Sci. 1. 146 – 160.
Gupta A, Atanasov AG, Li Y, Kumar N, Bishayee A. Chlorogenic acid for cancer prevention and therapy: Current status on efficacy and mechanisms of action. Pharmacol Res. 2022 Dec;186:106505.
Nneli RO, Woyike OA. Antiulcerogenic effects of coconut (Cocos nucifera) extract in rats. Phytother Res. 2008 Jul;22(7):970-2.