What is Makhana?
Makhanas is the other name given to lotus seeds. Belonging to the family of genus Nolumbo, this species of plant based product is proved to be packed with umpteen health benefits. It is known in the other parts of the world by the name of Euyrale fox, or fox nuts or gogon nuts. While in India it is simply referred to as phool makhana up North due to the distinct resemblance to a flower. Read more about the Health Benefits Of Makhana – Nutrition & Side Effects.
Makhana in English – Fox Nuts
Makhana in Tamil – Thamarai Vithai
Myth surrounding Makhana
There is a common belief among people that Makhana is ideal for consumption while you are fasting, as it belongs to the family of nuts. It is offered to gods and goddesses during Pooja festival as it is considered to be auspicious. That is not all about Makhana. Not many people are aware of its health benefits and nutritional value.
How do we get/make Makhanas?
Makhanas are grown and cultivated in the wetlands and ponds of Eastern Asia, especially Korea, China, Japan, Russia and India. The Lotus seeds were traditionally cultivated, harvested and processed by the Mallah community in Bihar. They are not that easy to cultivate and require skilled farmers to plant, cultivate and process these little round balls. These seeds are commonly found either in brown or white peel categories. The brown peel lotus seed is reaped once the head of the kernel is ripe and the white peel variety is reaped when the head of the kernel is fully green. It is difficult to consume Makhanas in the raw stage so need to be processed to make them edible.
Nutritional facts about Makhana
Makhana is the new popcorn. It is crunchy, tasty, easy to prepare and the best part being it is economical and super healthy. The most amazing benefit of Makhana is that they they contain 0% transfa, making it a favorite snack to indulge in at whatever point of the day. The list does not end here – it is loaded with the goodness of protein, potassium, phosphorus, carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, iron and zinc. Thus making it a must add on to your diet. You could consume it raw, or in roasted form, add on to various delicacies, both sweet and in gravy form. It has been an essential ingredient in the preparation of medicine in the medieval times. These are easily available in the grocery store and have a really long shelf life.
Nutritional facts about Makhana per 100 grams
Calories – 350 grams
Fats – 0.1 grams
Carbohydrate – 77grams
Protein – 9.7 grams
Health Benefits of Makhana
The consumption of Makhana has proven to provide many health benefits such as:
Slowing down the Ageing Process
The most fascinating and much wanted health benefit by all is that the consumption of Makhana on a regular basis helps to fight the free radicals, thereby acting as an anti-ageing agent. A natural flavonoid called kaempferol present in this seed helps to slow down the ageing process. The signs of ageing primarily being the formation of wrinkles, graying of hair, hair loss, fine lines – could all be kept at bay.
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Makhana is rich in antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties as they contain high amounts of sodium and magnesium. These properties aid in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure.
Effective in weight loss
Being low on calories and high on nutrition content, it is rating low on the glycemic index, thereby making it an ideal snack to munch on during the in between hunger pangs.
As they are low on the glycemic index, they help the body to release energy at a faster pace throughout the day; so you remain energetic throughout the day.
Good for Kidneys
Loaded with astringent properties, Makhanas can help in the proper functioning of the kidneys by enhancing the regulated blood flow to the kidneys and the other parts of the body.
A Boon to Diabetics
Lotus seeds contain vital proteins and starch which is a pre requisite for the well being of a diabetic. Thereby aids in reducing the blood sugar levels and maintain them.
Loaded with fiber
Makhanas are rich in fiber, so including them in everyday’s diet helps in aiding the regular bowel movement. Indigestion and constipation could be kept at bay by just including these humble looking lotus seeds in your everyday diet.
Aids in treating Diarrhea
Being high in caustic content, these seeds are said to improve the appetite of the kids as well as adults. They are also helpful in stopping prolonged diarrhea by strengthening the digestive system.
Helpful in relieving Arthritis in Adults
The main cause of Arthritis is the deficiency in calcium levels in our bones. Makhanas are proven to be rich in calcium, thereby work wonders in treating arthritis and other joint problems by fulfilling the calcium requirements of the body.
A natural way to boost fertility is the consumption of this humble, yet potent Makhana seeds. In men, the sperm quantity and quality could be largely enhanced; and in women as well it enhances the female reproductive system.
Helps in treating Insomnia
Recent studies have proved that Makhanas help in de stressing the body and rejuvenating the energy levels. Thereby, resulting in quality sleep and rest, so very useful in treating Insomnia.
Detoxification of the spleen
Spleen is located on the left side of the stomach and serves as a filter for the blood supplied to the parts of the body. The old and worn out red blood cells are flushed into the spleen and the new white blood cells and platelets are retained in the spleen. So an excellent source of de toxification for the system.
How to consume Makhana
Makhanas are generally tasteless and they take on the taste they are garnished with. The best and easiest delicacy is Roasted Makhanas. In a shallow pan add some ghee and toast the makhanas till golden brown and then spice it up with black salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala. A perfect on-the-go snack. It also could be added in delicacies such as coconut laddoos and kheer as well.
Side Effects of Makhana
Lotus seeds or Makhana have to be consumed in moderation; as we all know anything in excess is not good for health. Some of the common side effects being spike in insulin levels, gastro intestinal issues, allergies. Excessive consumption also results in flautulence, constipation and bloating. In case of any of these symptoms it is definitely advisable to consult your general physician before consuming Makhanas.
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