I first discovered TigerNuts from Organic Gemini at the 2015 W.E.L.L. Summit and have been hooked ever since!
Despite their name TigerNuts are actually are tiny root vegetable dating back to the Paleolithic era, originating from Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. These tiny tubers actually comprised up to 80% of our Paleolithic ancestor's diets - the perception that cavemen ate a mainly meat-based diet is a myth! They have a sweet nutty taste and can be eaten on their own, or ground and used as a flour. They taste great in both sweet and savory dishes and are a great alternative to the often overused almond and coconut flours.
TigerNuts are the number one source of resistant starch known to man, which in my book makes them a true superfood! Resistant starch is also known as prebiotic fiber, and is the food that the probiotic bacteria in our stomachs (the gut microbiome) feed off, making it essential for a healthy gut.
The importance of gut health is becoming more and more prevalent, and I believe we are at present only scratching the surface of how important a healthy gut is for both our physical and mental health.
An unhealthy gut does not just negatively affect energy levels, digestion and skin health, but can contribute to a wide range of health problems including autoimmune disease, depression, and even diabetes and obesity. Our gut houses over 75% of our total immune system and is often referred to as our ‘second brain’ . You may be surprised to learn that our GI tract has its own nervous systems, constantly relaying information back to our brains, giving a scientific basis to the phrase ‘gut feeling’.
The status of our gut health can be dependent on a myriad of factors including our mother’s gut microbiome, antibiotic use, travel, stress, diet, training and quality of sleep. However there are some simple and easy to implement strategies to improve gut health, including:
- Adding in probiotic foods to your diet - fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and kombucha can improve the health of your gut microbiome.
- Adding in prebiotic foods such as fibrous veggies, green smoothies and of course TigerNuts will feed the good bacteria in our stomachs to help improve digestion, nutrient absorption and energy levels.
- Certain amino acids can help to heal the lining of the stomach that can be compromised due to the factors above (leaky gut). L-Glutamine is a wonderful antidote to this, and I suggest one teaspoon dissolved in water 3 times a day for 4-6 weeks to help heal the symptoms of leaky gut.
- Collagen is another wonderful option to help heal a compromised gut, and collagen powder can be easily added to smoothies, yogurts, etc. Bone broth is also a wonderful option and a couple of cups a day is amazing for gut health and has a myriad of other benefits such as strengthening connective tissue, skin, hair and nails.
- Avoiding overtraining - too much time in the gym or pounding the treadmill can compromise gut health, and elite athletes have been found to suffer from both an unhealthy gut microbiome and leaky gut. Ensure your training program is varied and well balanced, and be sure to get enough rest and relaxation.
TigerNut Smoothie Cinnamon and Almond Protein Bars
These Cinnamon and Almond protein bars are nutritional powerhouses! A balanced blend of protein, clean carbohydrates and great fats that are not only delicious but will keep you satisfied for hours!
FOR THE BARS:
- 3⁄4 cup oats
- 2 scoops vegan vanilla protein powder
- 4 tablepoons Vanilla Bean TigerNut Smoothie Booster
- 1⁄2 cup almond butter
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch Himalayan Sea Salt
- 1 cup almond milk
FOR THE TOPPING:
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped almonds
- 1/ 3 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate
Place all of the ingredients for the bars into a food processor (or a large mixing bowl for a great arm workout), and mix well.
Line a glass or ceramic dish with parchment paper, and pour in mixture.
Top with chopped almonds and chocolate. Cover, and place in freezer to firm for at least 4 hours.
Once firm, remove from container and slice into bars. Will keep in the freezer for up to a month, or in the refrigerator for about a month.
Makes 12 bars