Makhana (Lotus Seeds)- Health Benefits, and How to Use it

What is Makhana?

Makhana is grown at a large scale in countries like India, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Colombia & the United Kingdom, etc. Earlier in India, it was only consumed during spiritual days [fasting] but nowadays it is very popular as a healthy snacking option. It is produced from the lotus flower and it is hugely produced in the state of Bihar of India. 

The collection & harvesting of fox nuts is quite laborious and requires proficient individuals. Processing has mainly steps like Seed Collection, Seeds Cleaning, and Storage, classification, Pre-Heating, blistering, Roasting and Popping of Seeds, polishing ( if needed ) lastly packaging. The botanical name of makhana is – Euryale Ferox.

Different Names of Makhana

Region/ language Common names
  • Region- English speaking countries
  • Language- English
  • Fox- nut, Gorgon- nut, Lotus Seed.
  • Region- Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, H. P, Jharkhand, M.P, Rajasthan, U.P.
  • Language- Hindi
  • Makhana
  • Or Phool makhana
  • Region – Punjab, Delhi, Haryana
  • Language- Punjabi
  • Kamala dā bīja
  • Region-  Pradesh and Telangana and in some districts of Puducherry
  • Language- Telugu 
  • Melluni Padmamu
  • Region- Maharashtra, Goa
  • Language- Marathi
  • कमळ बियाणे

 

Makhana Nutritional Value

Makhana is a cardiac-pacifiers because its concentration of salt, cholesterol, and saturated fats is low. Magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and protein [amino acids are also found like-arginine+lysine /proline] are all abundant in them.

It is rich in carbs, fiber, and micro-nutrients. It also constitutes a few specific antioxidants like Gallic acid, chlorogenic acid which possess anti-inflammatory, anti-neoplastic (stops tumor formation) properties.

 

Makhana Calories

Constituent Amount per 100gm
ENERGY 347  KCAL
MOISTURE 12.8 GRAMS
PROTEIN 9.7 GRAMS
FAT 0.1 GRAMS
CARBOHYDRATES 76.9 GRAMS
FIBER 14.5 GRAMS
CALCIUM 20 MG
PHOSPHORUS 90 MG
IRON 1.4 MG
POTASSIUM 171 MG
SODIUM 0.75 MG
MAGNESIUM 26 MG

 

Makhana Benefits

Makhana

 

1. Vegetarian protein source:- The protein level of makhana is enormous. This is why they are such an important fasting food because just a handful can provide you enough strength that will last the whole day. A dish of fox nuts will satisfy your hunger.

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2. Age-defying property:- Because of its high antioxidant content, makhana is a wonderful anti-aging food. Eating a handful of makhana might help you seem youthful and your skin shine. It slows down and eventually stops the aging process.

 

3. Appease diabetes:- They are a delicious treat for diabetics and cardiovascular patients because they are high in beneficial fat and low in saturated fat. They are a wonderful option for a weight-loss diet because of their qualities.

 

4. Highly fibrous- Fiber is abundant in makhana. They help with the digestive process by preventing constipation and adding bulk to the feces. Fiber, which absorbs moisture and provides volume to the stool, may help to harden it if you have loose, watery stools which Aids in the maintenance of intestinal health. 

 

5. Detoxicating Agent:- Makhana are excellent detoxifiers. It helps in releasing toxins from the body. It also helps in the maintenance of the spleen. It also promotes the recycling of RBC (red blood cells/ erythrocytes).

 

6. Productiveness Issue:- Are you having trouble conceiving? As an aphrodisiac, it aids in the prevention of sexual dysfunction, premature ejaculation, enhances the quality of sperm, and aids in the treatment of infertility in women. 

 

The eating of makhana regularly is beneficial in the treatment and prevention of infertility, particularly in women. It works by reinforcing the endometrium, uterine lining. It has also been shown to increase the sperm count and the quality of testosterone in males.

 

7. Good snacking option for gluten allergic individuals:– They are highly recommended for wheat allergy individuals. Fox nuts are gluten-free but still full of protein [amino acids] and carbohydrates, making them ideal for anyone with wheat allergies. That chapati made up of Gorgon- nut flour is popular among wheat allergic individuals.

 

8. Delightful for Hypertension:- Magnesium and potassium levels are high in it, whereas sodium levels are low. As a result, makhana is an excellent weight-loss and high blood pressure snack. Potassium lowers blood pressure whereas salt attempts to raise it. They are dense in potassium [K] but low-lying in [Na] sodium concentration, so they help maintain our electrolytic balances and blood pressure in check (just don’t add much more sodium while roasting them).

 

9. Reduce Puffiness:– Kaempferol, a natural chemical found in fox nuts, helps in the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Most modern ailments, such as diabetes, arthritis, and rheumatism, are caused by inflammation. Consumption of fox nuts regularly will help us to avoid puffiness near our eyes and lower abdomen.

 

10. Tactful in Weight loss:– Because these nutritious snacks contain a substantial quantity of protein, they keep you fuller for longer after you consume them as a snack. This helps to keep you from overeating/binge eating. They are even better for other parts of the body because they contain very little saturated fat.

 

11. Cardiac-friendly option:– They have a low salt [Na] content and a rich potassium[K] content. The high potassium content helps hypertension sufferers lower their blood pressure. Because they’re low in sodium, they’re great for keeping blood pressure under control. Magnesium, which is plentiful in makhana, enhances the level of blood and oxygen in the body.

A low concentration of magnesium levels in the body raises the risk of cardiovascular disease. The folate and magnesium content of fox nuts can assist improve one’s heart medical situation by lowering the risk of disorders associated with coronary artery disease.

 

12. Enhance bone sturdiness:– Calcium is an imperative mineral that is necessary for good bone health. Anyone who wants to strengthen their bone strength needs to consume enough calcium. Consuming makhana can help strengthen one’s bones by providing a good source of the mineral.

 

13. Agument psychological/cerebral functions:- Lotus seeds are also high in thiamine. It is an essential vitamin that helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into the body’s fuel i.e energy. As a result, makhana ingestion aids in the maintenance of nerve cognitive function. Eating these nuts also aids in the production of acetylcholine, which aids in the neurotransmission mechanism.

 

14. Treat wakefulness [Insomnia]:– The isoquinoline alkaloids present in these seeds also have a sedative and soothing effect. It possesses nerve-stimulating effects that aid in sleep induction by lowering stress levels. A handful of fox nuts consumed daily aids in the improvement of sleep patterns and the correction of sleeping disorders.

 

15. Aids Leucorrhea:- Fox nut soaked in aloe Vera juice and then grind to formulate a fortified juice when consumed acts as a tonic and a good immune-stimulant [a component that boosts the immune system’s resistance]. It’s also used to cure leucorrhoea [a colorless or white sticky – slimy discharge from the vaginal area].

 

16. Prevents Hemorrhages:– Hemorrhages (when blood vessels burst out of their own due to any malfunction or deficiency). consumption of fox nuts prevents gum bleeding, swellings, and foul smell.

 

Side Effects of Makhana

  • Digestive disorder:-Consumption of Gorgon- nut can lead to digestive disorders. The digestive disorder will only occur if you are allergic to fox nut as it will cause constipation, flatulence, bloating, etc. you should avoid consuming makhana if you’re already suffering from constipation.
  •  Sometimes not good for diabetic patients:- In diabetic patients, an increase in insulin levels can significantly drop blood glucose levels. As a result, overeating should be avoided. As it is low in glycemic profile overconsumption can lead to the downfall of blood glucose levels. So, it should always be consumed in the proper amount to avoid fluctuation in the level of blood glucose level.
  • Unusual heart-beat:-Fox nuts are recognized for being anti-arrhythmic (Arrhythmic- a drug that supports normal cardiac rhythm). If an individual has a medical history of myocardial infarction [ heart attack] he/ she should consult a specialist before consuming Makhana as excess consumption can lead to a sudden spike or slowdown in heartbeat.

 

How to Eat Makhana

There are various ways to eat fox nuts:-

1. Roasted foxnut– It can be consumed by roasting without oil/ghee or with oil/ghee and salt to taste.

2. Herbed Phool Makhana- 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of Makhana
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Mint -curry – Basil and Thyme Powder (each 1/4 teaspoon) Dried Herb Powders
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional).
  • Season with salt to taste.

Methods:-

  • Half a teaspoon of olive oil in a cup Combine all of the dried herb powders with salt.
  • Take all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix them thoroughly.
  • Add fox nuts in a hot cooking pan with 1 tbsp oil.
  • They should be roasted for 8 minutes.
  • Makhana will crisp up.
  • Add herbs to the gorgon nut
  • put chili flakes into it.
  • Fox nut with herbs is ready.
  • You can also add herbs of your choice.

3. Makhana raita-

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt – 2 cup fox nut
  • Half tsp. Of roasted cumin powder
  • Half tsp. Of red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp parsley leaves, chopped

Methods:-

  • In a pan, roast the fox nuts for 5 minutes, or until they are crisp.
  • Keep it in the fridge to chill. Place it in a ziplock bag and pound it with a rolling pin until it is crushed but not powdery.
  • Take a whisker and whisk the yogurt and make a fine texture.
  • Add all the spices, table salt, and gorgon nuts to it.
  • Serve the raita immediately, sprinkled with parsley leaves.

4. Phool Makhana Spicy Curry:-

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon – 1-inch piece 
  • Makhana – 1 cup
  • Cloves – 3 
  • Cardamom – 1 pc. 
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Red chili 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/parsley leaves – 1 tbsp 
  • salt to taste
  • ghee or olive oil – 2tbspn

Methods:- 

  • grind tomatoes to form a lump-free paste
  • Roast fox nut for 5 minutes till it gets crackly and crispy.
  • Heat a pan, put oil/ ghee
  • Add all the spices [cardmom, cumin seeds, red chili powder, haldi, coriander-cumin powder, garam masla]
  • Cook it for 3-4 minutes
  • Pour the tomato paste into it
  • Let it boil for 4 minutes
  • Add water, make a slurry-like structure
  • Put the roasted Makhana
  • Give it 3 boil
  • Turn off the flame
  • Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves
  • Serve hot with chapati or rice

 

Conclusion

Gorgon- nut botanical name is Euryale Ferox. It is grown mostly in Asian countries and a few regions of the United Kingdom, Colombia, etc. it is produced through a lotus plant & has different names at different places. Makhana is a great vegetarian source of protein, carbs, fiber, saturated fats, etc.

It has proven health benefits like aids leucorrhoea, Hemorrhages, insomnia, weight loss, bone strengthening, and many more mentioned above. Various healthful, mouth-watering, tempting dishes can be prepared by using foxnuts.

 

FAQ

1. What is makhana made of?

 It has 2β-hydroxy botulinic acid 3β-caprylate, Glucosyl sterols, Cerebrosides – ferocerebrosides A & B as its major constituents. 

 2. Can we eat makhana empty stomach?

Yes, we can consume it empty stomach until and unless you have an allergy to the same. Because of its nutritional properties, it is popularly consumed during fasting.

3. Can we eat makhana at night?

Yes, it can be consumed at night but only as side items like- salad, dessert, porridge, etc. not as a main meal because it will not make you full when consumed in small amounts and consumption in high amounts to reach the level of satiety that can be hazardous sometimes.

4.Can sugar patients eat makhana?

Yes, because it has a low glycemic profile and is rich in fiber.

5.Who should not eat makhana?

Those who are allergic to it, or have bloating issues should not consume it.

6. Is the lotus seed and makhana the same?

Yes, fox nut is obtained from lotus seed.

7. Is makhana good for the liver?

No, it has been observed that fox nut sometimes increases glycogen in the liver which might cause ache and irritation in the liver.

8. Why makhana is called Fox nut?

It is called fox nut because the word fox has been derived from its botanical name Euryale Ferox

9. Does makhana nut increase breast milk?

Yes, it increases breast milk concentration as its rich in calcium.

10. Can we give makhana to baby?

Yes, it can be given to babies anytime after they turn 12 months old. 2-4 fox nuts daily are recommended.

11. Can makhana be eaten during fasting?

Yes, it is widely & popularly consumed in fasting because of its high carbs & protein.

12. Can we eat makhana summer?

Yes, we can consume it during summer because it is light and easily digestible. we can add roasted fox nuts in summer drinks like lime soda, watermelon juice.

 

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