Makhana or ‘fox nut’ is an age-old healthy snack that has made its place from your granny’s kitchen to the market aisles.
Known to be derived from the family of Nelumbo genus plants, these healthy yet tasty snacks are also known by lotus seed, Euryale Ferox, and gorgon nuts.
Most of you will question how a crunchy, tasty, and flavored snack can be healthy? Makhana will indeed prove you wrong with its innumerable health benefits. Read on!
Types and categorize
We can find mainly two varieties of makhana, one is brown peel, and another is white peel.
After the head of the kernel of the lotus seed is entirely or almost ripe, the lotus seeds reaped are known as the brown peel makhana. On the other hand, when the seeds are fully ripened, the obtained fox nuts are called white peel makhana.
The brown color of the brown peel makhana is due to the adhered skin that gives it a brown appearance.
Origin of makhana
The origin of the cultivation of fox nuts belongs to eastern Asian countries, including India. Traditionally, in India, the makhana cultivation is done by the Mallah community of Bihar. Makhanas are best cultivated in wetlands and ponds.
Nutritional value of fox seeds:
- Good source of calcium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
- The low content of cholesterol and its high fibre content increases its nutritional significance.
- One hundred grams of fox nuts gives you 347 calories.
- Its negligible fat content makes it top the grandmother’s kitchen secret health and beauty remedies list.
- Other nutrients content per 100 grams of makhana include:
- It contains thiamine that helps maintain the healthy functioning of nerves.
- Makhana intake increases the production of acetylcholine which improves neurotransmission.
Benefits of makhana
Check out some outstanding benefits of Makhana.
1. Weight Loss
The low-calorie content of makhana places it on the list of healthy weight loss snacks. The low glycemic index of fox nuts ( that means they slow down the release of glucose in your blood) helps you lose weight by keeping you full for a more extended period.
The high protein content makes it one of the most famous fasting snacks.
2. Presence of Antioxidant
The antioxidants present in makhanas like gallic acid and chlorogenic acid decrease your body’s free radicals and oxidative stress.
It plays a significant role in reducing inflammation (due to kaempferol) that causes diseases like arthritis.
3. Anti-ageing Properties
The glutamic amino acid present in it is known to have anti-ageing properties. Other amino acids like cysteine, arginine also play a crucial role in making you look young by supporting hydration of the skin.
Makhanas are rich in enzymes that help fix and preserve the impaired protein.
4. Keeps your heart healthy
The high magnesium content of fox seeds improves blood and oxygen circulation in your body. This reduces the risk of coronary diseases or heart attacks. The presence of vitamin folate helps in maintaining a good heart.
The consumption of makhanas also regulates the blood sugar level. The low glycemic index suggests that it can reduce the release rate of glucose in your blood, thus maintaining a perfect balance of blood sugar in your body.
5. Cure for insomnia
Eating makhanas can act as a stress buster. It relieves stress and improves your sleeping pattern. Due to its natural properties, it can help cure insomnia.
Other medical benefits of makhana have helped it find its place in traditional Chinese medicines. It is proven to strengthen the kidney and spleen. Apart from arthritis and diabetes, it helps treat erectile dysfunction.
The high content of fibre present in it helps improve your digestion. In case of constipation, a bowl of makhana can be helpful.
Yet another disease, diarrhoea, can be treated by consuming fox nuts.
6. Builds up muscle and strengthen bones
The protein content of makhana is 9.7 gm per 100 grams serving, making it a high protein supplement for your diet. Makhanas are rich in calcium, and calcium increases bone strength.
It enhances the cognitive function of your body. The high amount of acetylcholine production due to the consumption of fox nuts improves the neurotransmission of your body.
Side effects of makhana
Like a coin with two faces, makhana also has side effects apart from its innumerable benefits.
Moderation is the key. That way, you can reap the optimum health benefits of makhana.
- The first and foremost side effect is gastrointestinal problems and an increase in insulin level in the blood.
- Some people can be allergic to lotus seeds. In such cases, you need to consult your physician immediately.
- Excessive consumption of lotus seeds can be harmful to your gut. It can lead to constipation or bloating.
- If you are under medication, you need to consult your doctor before including fox nuts in your daily diet.
- Consulting your doctor is essential in the case of pregnant women and diabetic patients.
1. What quantity of makhana can be consumed per day?
1-2 handfuls of makhana per day should be enough to keep you full. Instead of frying makhana, you can roast them for better health benefits.
2. Is makhana safe during pregnancy?
Although makhanas are safe for pregnant women, you should always be sure than be sorry. Every pregnant body differs from one another. So consult your doctor before consumption.
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By now, you are well aware of the nutritional benefits of fox nuts and the side effects of their excessive consumption.
So every time you think of having a packet of chips, try out a plate of the healthy snack makhana. Loaded with innumerable benefits, this miracle snack will never let you down. It not only has nutritional but also beauty benefits that will surprise you.
You can check out other articles on our website. We will keep posting about the benefits, nutritional value, facts, and side effects of various food items like Makhana. Do not forget to leave comments and share them with your friends if you liked them!