Health Benefits of Makhana-Delicious and nutritious
Makhana is the other name of lotus seeds, often also termed as fox nuts, Euryale Ferox, gorgon nut, onibasu, nikori, thang-jing. It is a non-cereal grown in the stagnant water of wetlands, tanks, ponds, and ditches. It comes from a plant called Euryale fox and is mostly found in Eastern Asia. These are small to look at, but they are quite large in terms of their health benefits. Some of the health benefits of Makhana are:
- Minerals and Nutrients
Makhana is a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, vitamins, minerals, manganese, thiamine, nutrients, and phytochemicals. It is an excellent fasting food as the body gets deprived of all these minerals and essential nutrients when fasting and when taken to break the fast, the body gets re-energized.
- Weight Loss
Makhana is high in fiber and low in calories. It keeps you full for a longer time because of the fiber content and as it is low in calories, you can easily munch on these cute little balls as a between-meal snack. It increases the metabolism and thus increases the chances of reducing weight to a greater extent.
- Low Glycemic Index
Lotus seeds have a low glycemic index when compared to most high carbohydrate foods like rice, bread, etc. This property makes this food an excellent choice for those who are health conscious.
Fox nuts are also rich in flavonoids. Flavonoid is a natural chemical which aid in the reduction of risk of inflammation.
- Kidney Health
Lotus seeds regulate the flow of blood as they have astringent properties. When the blood flow is properly regulated, then the kidneys’ functioning becomes easy and it also avoids frequent urination, thereby improving kidney health.
They are rich in protein and gluten-free, it keeps you energetic throughout the day. Vegetarians get a good amount of protein.
- Aids in Digestion
Since makhana is rich in fiber, it promotes proper digestion and helps to absorb all the nutrients. This way, the excretory system is maintained better and thus reduces the risk of constipation.
- Regulates Blood Pressure
Lotus seeds flush out excess water and sodium from the body. It has the right balance of sodium and potassium which helps in reducing blood pressure. They contain calming properties which also help to regulate blood pressure.
- Heart Health
Studies suggest that eating makhana on a regular basis helps in curing myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury which is a cardiac condition. It means that the seeds help to strengthen the heart and aid in the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. As mentioned, it also helps in maintaining blood pressure thus reduces the risk of stroke too.
- Respiratory System
Fox nuts help to rejuvenate the respiratory system. It helps to clear the respiratory tract and reduce the mucus formation on the walls of the lungs, so they help in maintaining a good respiratory system.
- Pregnant Women
Makhana is the vegetarian source of protein, magnesium, phosphorous, and many other necessary minerals and nutrients which are essential for the proper development of the baby and give the mother-to-be a complete package of all these essential nutrients and anti-oxidants. Therefore, pregnant women can very well snack on makhana by roasting them, or adding them to their curries, or making kheer.
- Stress Relieving
Fox nuts have stress-relieving properties. It improves the neuro-transmission and helps to produce the right quantity of hormones and neuro-transmitters thereby making it a natural stress reliever.
- Prevents Muscle Contraction
Muscle contractions often lead to muscle cramps. The presence of potassium and magnesium in makhana help in reducing and preventing these muscle contractions thus decreasing muscle cramps. They also help to maintain the elasticity of the muscles so consuming makhana will help to strengthen the muscles and have a good muscle tone.
- Diabetic Food
Rich in fiber and protein, low in calories and glycemic index, appropriate balance of sodium and potassium, all make it an excellent food for diabetic patients. They can consume this food without the fear of increased levels of sugar in the blood, however, consuming too large a quantity is not recommended.
Also read: Know the benefits of carom seeds
- Prevents Diarrhoea
The high quantity of caustic quality present in makhana helps to stop prolonged diarrhea and improves appetite.
- Improves Immunity
Makhana helps to detoxify the body and regulate the right production of RBCs, WBCs, and platelets in the blood. These are known to fight against infections and ensure good health by removing foreign bodies from the body. Thus, it improves immunity.
- Brain Health
The thiamine content in makhana is helpful in sustaining healthy cognitive functions of the nerves. It also contributes to the production of acetylcholine which is essential for neurotransmission. This means that it enhances brain health and improves memory.
In men, studies have revealed that eating makhana has increased sperm quality and quantity and in women, it increases fertility. It also fights erectile dysfunction. Source