An integral part of any north and central Indian kitchen, Makhanas find use in many East Asian delicacies. Makhanas are also known as lotus seeds or fox nuts. They come from a plant called Euryale fox, which grows in stagnant water. In this post, we look at some of the health benefits of having this superfood.
Makhanas are rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium and can fulfill about 37% of one’s daily requirement of manganese. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are quite low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. They are not just a healthy source of carbohydrate, but also a good source of protein.
It is not a superfood if it cannot slow down ageing, right? Well not necessarily, but makhanas have enzymes that help repair damaged proteins and therefore keeps your system younger for longer.
Due to their low glycemic index, lotus seeds are slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized thereby preventing insulin levels to spike, yet keeping one energetic for a long time. This property makes them an excellent snack for diabetics.
2 words, folate and magnesium. Low magnesium levels are linked to coronary heart disease (CHD) and a daily dose of folate / folic acid can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by approx 20%. Makahnas will take care of both these needs thereby making them a must have for a healthy heart.
Blood pressure and hypertension
Low sodium and high potassium in fox nuts significantly brings down high blood pressure and therefore in also beneficial in hypertension.
Makhanas have astringent properties and are beneficial for healthy functioning of the kidneys, and also help prevent kidney stones.
Listen up weight watchers, the low glycemic index of makhanas make you feel full for longer, thereby avoiding frequent hunger pangs, and helping you lose weight without starving yourself.
Only 100g of makhanas can fulfill upto 30% of your daily fibre requirement. The high fibre content in lotus seeds help smoothen your digestive process. Makhana can also help improve your appetite.
Makhanas have been recognized in Ayurveda for their aphrodisiacal properties as well as their role in improving sperm count in men and fertility in women.
Detoxifies the spleen
The spleen is the graveyard of dead red blood cells. Fox nuts help detoxify it, ridding the body of dead cells and purifying the blood stream.
There are interesting ways to eat makhanas, as they do not have an overpowering taste. They usually soak up the flavors added to them.
Roasted makhana munchies
Preparation time: 5-7 minutes
Toss some makhanas with some black salt, pepper and turmeric powder in a pan. Add some butter or simply dry roast them for a few minutes. There you have it, a bowl of healthy munchies for your next movie marathon!
Sweet makhana dessert / kheer
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Heat a teaspoon of ghee in a pan, add some makhanas and roast them for a while. After this, add some milk (at least till the makhanas are partially submerged) and bring it to a boil. Add to it, some jaggery or honey (healthier than sugar). You can add chopped cashews, almonds or pistachios to make it more interesting. That’s it! Your dessert is ready. (You may also cool it down and have it like a cool dessert)
If you happen to be a little lazy, you can also have’em straight out from the packet. So do not hesitate to add these guilt free snack packs to your list the next time you go grocery shopping!