Aki awusa is one the popular edible nuts packed with lots of health benefits. It is called tiger nut in English, Aya in Hausa and Ofio in Yoruba. The health benefits of aki awusa is seen both in eating the nuts and taking drink made from the nut.
Tiger nut is more common in the Northern parts of Nigeria, because this is where it is mostly cultivated. This reason alone also give it the Igbo name Aki awusa which means Hausa kernel.
Uses of Tiger Nut
Tiger nut is used for so many things and certainly more uses will still be discovered. Below are some of the uses of the nut;
- It can be eat as snacks
- The milk can be extracted and used as alternative to diary milk
- When roasted, Confectionary industries use them in baking
- Oil extract from tiger nut can be used in making soaps
- Used to flavour ice cream
- Added to improve the taste of biscuits
- Can also be used as starch extract
- Aki awusa can also be used treatment option for flatulence, indigestion, diarrhoea, dysentery and excessive thirst
All this adds to the numerous benefits of aki awusa that we know.
Aki awusa Benefits
The vast health benefits of aki awusa can be linked to its valued nutritious starch content, dietary fibre and carbohydrate. The nut is also very rich in mineral content (Sodium, Calcium, Potassium, Magnessium, Zinc and traces of Copper. The following are the benefits of aki awusa;
Helps in Digestion
One of the benefits of aki awusa that is enjoyed by eaters is seen in its role in food digestion. The nut is a good source of insoluble fiber, that prevents constipation and help digestion run smoothly. They also contain resistant starch that nourishes the guts flora.
Also tiger nuts may contain enzymes, such as catalases, lipases, and amylases, which help break down foods in your gut, relieving gas, indigestion, and diarrhea. It is important to add them to your meals or take a glass of tiger nut drink after food to enjoy this benefit.
Helps Reduce Blood Sugar Level
For people with diabetes, aki awusa a good choice for your meal because they are a relatively low-carb food. Also tiger nuts have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity by nearly 40 percent, thus reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes.
They specifically contain arginine, an amino acid that increases insulin sensitivity and production, both of which are essential in controlling blood glucose levels. If you suffer from diabetes or prediabetes, be sure to include these nuts in your diet on a regular basis to enjoy these benefits of aki awusa.
Aki awusa is good for weight loss
Tiger nuts are low in calories and rich in fibers which help in weight loss. Foods that are rich in fiber may be vital for weight loss and weight management. This is so because, when you eat fiber-rich foods, it will stimulate the release of gut-satiety hormones, which may help reduce your overall appetite.
Sexual Benefits of Aki awusa
Tiger nut has been proven to be more beneficial to women sexually because very helpful in increasing the levels of oestrogen hormone in a woman, thereby making her become more fertile and sexually active.
Essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients in tiger nuts helps to maintain menstruation levels in women making them more prone to becoming pregnant. In addition, tigernut has been demonstrated to contain higher essential amino acids than those proposed in the protein standard for satisfying adult needs
Aki awusa is also believed to help erectile dysfunction but there’s no scientific evidence to back that up. But natives of Ghana have been using this traditional medicine for decades in the form of palliative for treating ED.
Increases production of breast milk
Tiger nut is high in essential nutrients and vitamins, which can boost the production of breast milk from a woman’s breast during pregnancy.
It also contains a high amount of antibiotics and builds the baby’s immune system.