In India, makhanas are commonly consumed when fasting, thanks to their strong nutritional value. Commonly known as lotus seeds or fox nuts, they are also used as an ingredient in several foods or sweet dishes of the Indian cuisine.
In addition to being an extremely popular ingredient in various recipes, fox nuts can also be used as a nutritional snack that one can munch on at any time of the day. Additionally, they have also been used for medical since medieval times. They also contain several micronutrients that are extremely important for the human body.
Table of Contents
- Is Makhana Good for Health?
- Health Benefits of Makhana
- Makhana Nutrition Value
- Makhana Recipes
- Makhana Side Effects and Precautions
- Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Is Makhana Good for Health?
Lotus seeds are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. Therefore, they are good for the heart too. Lotus seeds are also extremely good sources of magnesium, potassium, manganese, protein, and phosphorus. Their extremely high nutrient content makes them an extremely healthy snacking option.
Additionally, they aid the body in various ways. Being low in calories, makhanas promote weight loss, while their calcium content makes them extremely good for the bones. These seeds also contribute greatly to the controlling of blood pressure, detoxification of the body, and improved digestive health. Their anti-ageing properties also help slow down the ageing process of the body.
Health Benefits of Makhana
Makhanas are a perfect example of how looks can be deceptive. In spite of their extremely small size, they have several health benefits that make them a very good snack to munch on. Here are 8 health benefits of makhanas:
1. Weight Loss
The presence of sufficient amount of protein in these healthy snacks helps one stay full for longer after eating these for snacks. This helps prevent overeating.
In addition to that, makhanas are also low in calories making them the ideal weight loss snack. Negligible amounts of saturated fats in them make them even healthier for the body.
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2. Improved Heart Health
Makhanas have low amounts of sodium and high amounts of potassium in them. The high potassium helps decrease the blood pressure levels among hypertension patients. Being low in sodium makes them extremely useful in keeping these blood pressure levels in check.
The abundant magnesium present in makhanas significantly improves the quality of blood and oxygen in the body. Low magnesium levels increases the risk of heart diseases in the body.
The consumption of fox nuts can help improve one’s heart condition since the folate and magnesium content help reduce the risk of diseases linked to coronary heart disease.
3. Improved Bone Strength
Calcium is an important mineral that plays a crucial role in one’s bone health. Sufficient intake of calcium is a must for anybody to improve their bone strength. As a good source of the mineral, consuming makhanas can play an important role in strengthening one’s bones.
4. Anti-Ageing Properties
The regular consumption of fox nuts help fight free radicals. Thus, they act as an anti-ageing agent. Makhanas contain a natural flavonoid called kaempferol that helps slow down the ageing process. This flavonoid helps keep away signs of ageing such as hair loss, greying of hair, and the formation of wrinkles.
5. Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Makhanas are rich in good carbohydrates and protein. As low glycemic foods, fox nuts can play an important role in managing one’s blood sugar levels. Their glycemic index is significantly lower than several staple foods.
The low sodium and high magnesium content make makhanas the right food to fight diabetes and obesity. If eaten in the right quantity and manner, they can contribute to the control of blood sugar levels.
6. Detox Agents
Fox nuts aid in flushing out all the toxins from the body. The spleen recycles the RBCs, and retains the new WBCs and platelets. Makhanas play a great role in detoxifying the spleen, thus helping in the detox of blood.
7. Better Digestive Health
Their high fiber content makes makhanas an important part of one’s digestive health. Including them in one’s daily diet helps aid regular bowel movement. The regular consumption of these lotus seeds can help keep indigestion and constipation at bay.
The antioxidant properties of makhanas make them even better for digestion, and improving the entire respiratory system. They also aid in the prevention of excessive and frequent urination.
8. Improved Cognitive Function
Lotus seeds have high thiamine content too. Thus, the consumption of makhanas helps with sustaining the cognitive function of the nerves. Eating these nuts also helps in the generation of acetylcholine, and thus, contributes to the process of neurotransmission.
Makhana Nutrition Value
Lotus seeds are generally packed with nutrients, making them an extremely healthy snack. Their protein content makes them extremely useful in one’s weight loss goals. In addition to that, they are also low on calories. 100 g of makhanas contain 347 calories.
Consuming makhanas on a regular basis can prove extremely beneficial to any individual. Try these 4 delicious recipes, and enjoy their incredible health benefits.
1. Roasted Makhana
- 100 grams of makhana
- 1 tsp olive oil
- A pinch of haldi
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy bottom pan, dry roast the makhana on low to medium heat. It will take about 10 minutes to roast evenly.
- Mix the oil, salt, pepper and haldi. Add to the roasted makhana and stir for a few more minutes, until the makhanas are crisp to taste. Allow it to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
2. Sugar-Free Makhana Kheer
- 1-litre low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup makhana (puffed lotus seeds/fox nuts)
- 3-4 dates, chopped finely
- 1 tsp chopped pistachios
- 2 tsp chopped almonds
- 1 tsp green cardamom powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder.
- Dry roast the fox nuts till crisp.
- Cool it and blend coarsely in a grinder or with a rolling pin.
- Boil the milk in a deep non-stick pan.
- Once the milk boils, add the dates and coarsely crushed lotus seeds, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2-5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add the nuts and spices, mix, serve warm or cold.
3. Makhana Raita
Prep Time – 5 Minutes
Cooking Time – 5 Minutes
- Makhana – 1 cup
- Low fat yogurt – 2 cups
- Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Chaat masala – 1/4 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Coriander leaves chopped – 2 tbsp
- Dry roast the makhanas in a pan for 5 minutes till they are crisp.
- Keep it for cooling. Now, put it in a ziplock bag and roll a rolling pin over it till it is crushed but not powdered.
- Whisk the yogurt in a bowl until it is smooth.
- Add all the masalas and salt along with the makhanas, and stir it.
- Serve the resultant raita cold, and garnished with coriander leaves.
4. Makhana Curry
Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 MINS
- Makhana – 1 cup
- Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
- Cloves – 3
- Cardamom – 1
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Haldi – 1/4 tsp
- Coriander cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Low fat yogurt – 1/4 cup
- Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp chopped
- Ghee (cow) – 1 tbsp
- salt to taste
- For onion tomato paste
- Onion – 1 big roughly chopped
- Tomatoes – 3 roughly chopped
- Ginger – 1 inch piece chopped
- Garlic – 3 cloves chopped
- Cashews – 6-7
- Boil the onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and cashews in a cup of water for 5 mins. Wait for it to cool and grind to a fine paste.
- Dry roast the makhanas for 5 mins till they are crisp.
- Heat the ghee in a non stick pan and add the cloves, cardamom, cumin and cinnamon. When the cumin crackles, add the paste and cook for 5 minutes, while stirring in between.
- Add the masalas, except garam masala, and saute for a minute.
- Add a cup of water and let it boil.
- Add the curd, and whisk it the whole time.
- Add the makhanas and cook for 2 minutes, while stirring, till they absorb the gravy. Add more water if necessary.
- Add the garam masala and coriander leaves and serve the dish hot.
Makhana Side Effects and Precautions
While makhanas have several health benefits and incredible nutritional value, there are certain precautions that must be taken while consuming them. One must take special care to take these precautions and avoid the side effects of makhanas.
Many people are known to have lotus seed allergies. If you feel any allergy symptoms upon consuming makhanas, it is best to consult a physician with regard to the same.
Makhanas are known to be anti-arrhythmic in nature. Any individual that is undergoing treatment for arrhythmia should ideally consult their doctors before consuming any lotus seeds.
3. Blood Sugar Levels
Makhanas tend to help reduce blood sugar levels in the body. A diabetic patient that is already on insulin should ideally get in touch with their physician before munching on these delicious, yet healthy snacks.
4. Digestive Problems
Consuming fox nuts in excess can lead to constipation, flatulence, and bloating. An individual that is already suffering from constipation must avoid makhanas completely.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
A: It is recommended that one eats 30 g of makhana on a regular basis if they are aiming for weight loss.
A: Makhana has low sodium content while being rich in potassium and magnesium. This helps one keep blood pressure under control, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Thus, makhanas are good for the heart.
Moreover, its low glycemic index helps one keep their blood sugar levels in check. It also contains anti-aging enzymes which is said to help repair damaged proteins.
A: Makhanas, or lotus seeds, are a part of the lotus flower, as their name suggests. These seeds are edible upon being processed.
A: Eating dried makhanas with milk is not the best idea since it can cause bloating. They can be consumed with milk in the form of kheer. Simply follow the makhana kheer recipe for the same.
You could also eat makhanas along with green tea. The best way to eat this healthy snack is during evening snacks with some vegetables.
Makhanas have several health benefits that make them a great snacking option. One can consume them in the form of the healthy recipes mentioned above, or they can also be eaten uncooked. One way or the other, you can reap the benefits of this healthy snack by simply keeping some handy in your pantry at all times.