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Tiger Nut Oil: Healthier Than Olive Oil?

Tiger nut oil

In the last few years, a spate of studies have investigated the potential health benefits of tiger nuts, a trending superfood that has gained a lot of fans in paleo/primal circles. But also tiger nut oil, which is extracted from tiger nuts, has received a considerable amount of attention from scientists. One reason for the growing interest in the health benefits of tiger nut oil, also known as chufa oil, is its high content of oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty that is also thought to be responsible for many of the well-known health benefits of olive oil. In particular, evidence suggests that oleic acid may help fight atherosclerosis, reduce hypertension, and combat obesity by suppressing appetite. It has also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which might at least partially explain why olive oil appears to be good against rheumatoid arthritis.

In this article, we compare the nutritional value and potential health benefits of tiger nut oil and olive oil. Also included is information about the beauty benefits of these two extraordinary oils, as well as tips on where you can get cold-pressed tiger nut oil.

Tiger Nut Oil vs Olive Oil: Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

Benefits linked to their high content of oleic acid

Oleic acid is the predominant fatty acid in both tiger nut oil and olive oil. This monounsaturated fatty acid has been reported to make up 66% to 76% of tiger nut oil, and 56% to 85% of olive oil (1). The fatty acid composition of plant-based culinary oils made from seeds, by contrast, is typically dominated by polyunsaturated fatty acids (2). As mentioned earlier, oleic acid may help fight atherosclerosis (3), reduce high blood pressure (4), prevent weight gain by suppressing appetite (5, 6), and alleviate rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions linked to chronic inflammation.

Both oils are packed with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant

Both tiger nut oil and olive oil are excellent sources of vitamin E, with tiger nut oil containing 146 mcg/g (7) and olive oil 144 mcg/g (8). Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting your body against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are tiny, unstable molecules that have been linked to many degenerative diseases as well as the aging process in general. They are formed as a result of normal metabolic processes, but also things like environmental pollutants, poor dietary habits, cigarette smoke, stress, and exposure the sun's UV radiation can increase the levels of free radicals in your body.

Tiger nut oil contains much more phytosterols

From a nutritional perspective, one of the key differences between these two healthy oils is that tiger nut oil is much higher in phytosterols: Tiger nut oil contains 986.49 of phytosterols mcg/g, whereas olive oil only contains 100 mcg/g (9). Phytosterols, or plant sterols, are a group of molecules related to cholesterol. A large body of evidence suggests that they can help reduce cholesterol levels in humans. However, their impact on overall cardiovascular health is still under debate, with some experts (and evidence) suggesting they might even increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (10). But, while the jury is still out on whether phytosterols are good for people with cardiovascular problems, there are plenty of studies documenting the anti-cancer properties of phytosterols (11).

Both are available in "cold-pressed" quality

As you may already know, extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed, meaning that no high heat has been used during the extraction process. This helps protect the nutrients in the oil, and results in a product with superior flavor and aroma. But what you probably didn't know is that also tiger nut oil can be cold-pressed. If you want to give it try, you can buy cold-pressed tigernut oil here. The oil is golden brown in color and has a slightly nutty flavor, which makes it perfect for salad dressings. Due to its high smoke point, it can also be used as a cooking oil.

Beauty Benefits

Olive oil is famous for its beauty benefits, and this kitchen staple has been used to keep the skin smooth and beautiful since ancient times. But also tiger nut oil can be used in homemade beauty products. Organic Gemini, who sell their tiger nut oil here, state on their website that tiger nut oil is good for the skin because of its high oleic acid content and low acidity.

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