10 Benefits of Fox Nuts (Makhana)

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10 Benefits of Fox Nuts (Makhana)

10 Benefits of Fox Nuts (Makhana)

Fox nuts, also known as lotus seeds or makhana, are the seeds of the Euryale ferox plant, commonly found in Asian countries like India, China, Japan, and Korea. These seeds have been used in traditional medicine for centuries and are gaining popularity in modern times due to their numerous health benefits. Here are some potential health benefits of fox nuts:

1.     Nutrients-rich

Fox nuts are a good source of essential nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. They also contain vitamins such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), and niacin (B3), which are vital for overall health and well-being.

2.     Rich in Antioxidants

Fox nuts are abundant in antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress in the body, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and slow down the aging process.

3.     Supports Heart Health

The high magnesium and potassium content in fox nuts can contribute to heart health by helping to regulate blood pressure and promoting proper heart function. Additionally, the low sodium content makes them heart-friendly.

4.     Weight Management

Fox nuts are low in calories and fat, making them an excellent snack option for those trying to manage their weight. The combination of protein and fiber in these seeds can help promote satiety and reduce overall calorie intake.

5.     Blood Sugar Regulation

The low glycemic index of fox nuts means they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-carb snacks. This characteristic can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.

6.     Helps with Digestion

Fox nuts are a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes a healthy digestive system. Adequate fiber intake can prevent constipation and support gut health.

7.     Enhance Bone Health

The presence of phosphorus and calcium in fox nuts can contribute to maintaining healthy bones and teeth. These minerals are essential for bone density and preventing conditions like osteoporosis.

8.     Rich in Protein

Fox nuts contain a fair amount of protein, making them a suitable snack for vegetarians and vegans to help meet their protein requirements.

9.     Anti-inflammatory Properties

Some compounds found in fox nuts have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body and support overall health.

10.   Stress Relief

Fox nuts contain natural alkaloids that can have a calming effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety levels.

While fox nuts offer several health benefits, it’s essential to consume them as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle. As with any food, moderation is key, especially for those with specific allergies or medical conditions. If you have any concerns about incorporating fox nuts into your diet, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian.

Nutritional Value of Makhana

Makhana, also known as fox nuts or lotus seeds, is a highly nutritious and healthy food option. The nutritional value of makhana can vary slightly depending on factors such as how they are processed or prepared. Here is the approximate nutritional composition of 100 grams of raw makhana:

  • Calories: 347 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 64.6 grams
    • Dietary Fiber: 14.5 grams
    • Sugars: 0.1 grams
  • Protein: 9.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
    • Saturated Fat: 0 grams
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 0 grams
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 1 milligram
  • Potassium: 350 milligrams
  • Calcium: 60 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 228 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 329 milligrams
  • Iron: 1.4 milligrams
  • Zinc: 0.8 milligrams
  • Copper: 0.4 milligrams
  • Manganese: 1.9 milligrams
  • Selenium: 9.5 micrograms
  • Vitamin C: 1.2 milligrams
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 0.3 milligrams
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.1 milligrams
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 0.7 milligrams
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 0.3 milligrams
  • Vitamin B6: 0.1 milligrams
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): 62 micrograms
  • Vitamin E: 1.9 milligrams
  • Vitamin K: 1.1 micrograms

Makhana is a rich source of various nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, and essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is low in fat and contains negligible amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy snack. The presence of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, contributes to its health benefits.

As with any food, it’s important to consume makhana in moderation as part of a balanced diet to enjoy its nutritional benefits. Additionally, the nutritional values mentioned above are based on raw makhana; if they are processed or prepared with added ingredients like oil or seasoning, the nutritional composition may change accordingly.

How to Prepare Makhana?

Preparing makhana is a simple and straightforward process. You can enjoy them as a healthy and delicious snack or use them in various recipes. Here’s how to prepare makhana:

Dry Roasting Method

 

  • Heat a non-stick pan or a wide skillet on low to medium heat.
  • Add the raw makhana to the pan. There’s no need to add any oil or butter as they will roast well on their own.
  • Keep stirring continuously to ensure even roasting. This will prevent them from burning and give them a crunchy texture.
  • Roast the makhana for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they become crisp and light brown in color.
  • Once they are roasted, remove them from the pan and let them cool completely.
  • You can sprinkle some salt or your favorite seasonings like chaat masala, black pepper, or any other herbs and spices for added flavor.
Air Frying Method

 

  • Preheat your air fryer to about 320°F (160°C).
  • Spread the raw makhana evenly in the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry the makhana for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  • Once they become crisp and golden brown, remove them from the air fryer.
  • Let them cool and then season with salt or any other seasoning of your choice.
Stovetop Method with Ghee

 

  • Heat a non-stick pan or skillet on low to medium heat and add a small amount of ghee (clarified butter).
  • Add the raw makhana to the pan and stir them to coat evenly with ghee.
  • Roast the makhana in ghee for about 5 to 7 minutes or until they become crisp and light brown.
  • Once done, remove them from the pan, let them cool, and season with salt or any other preferred seasonings.

After preparing makhana, store them in an airtight container once they have cooled down completely. Properly stored, they can remain fresh and crunchy for several days. You can enjoy roasted makhana as a healthy snack on its own, or use it as an ingredient in various recipes like makhana kheer (a popular Indian dessert), curries, or other dishes. The preparation methods mentioned above are relatively healthier as they use little or no oil, making it a guilt-free and nutritious option.

How Much to Consume Each Day?

The recommended daily consumption of makhana, like any other food, can vary depending on individual dietary needs, age, activity level, and overall health. Makhana is a healthy snack and can be included as part of a balanced diet. Here are some general guidelines for makhana consumption:

As a Snack
Makhana can be consumed as a healthy snack between meals. A small handful (approximately 20 to 30 grams) of roasted or air-fried makhana can make a satisfying and nutritious snack. It provides a good amount of fiber and nutrients without adding excessive calories.

Portion Control
While makhana is nutritious, it’s essential to practice portion control to avoid overeating. Overeating any food can lead to excessive calorie intake, which may not align with your daily energy needs.

Dietary Needs
Consider your overall dietary needs and goals. If you are trying to manage your weight, monitor your overall calorie intake and ensure that makhana fits within your daily caloric allowance. If you have specific dietary restrictions or health conditions, consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine the appropriate portion for your individual needs.

Balance with Other Foods
While makhana is a healthy snack, it’s important to have a varied diet that includes a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Makhana can be a part of this balanced diet.

Preparation Matters
The way makhana is prepared can impact its nutritional content. For a healthier option, choose dry-roasted or air-fried makhana with minimal added oils or butter.

Remember that the key to a healthy diet is moderation and balance. While makhana is a nutritious and delicious snack, it should not replace a well-rounded diet. Always listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and enjoy makhana along with other nutritious foods as part of a wholesome and varied eating plan. If you have any specific health concerns or dietary questions, it’s best to seek advice from a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized recommendations based on your individual needs.

Excess Consumption May Lead to Side Effects like

While makhana (fox nuts) is generally considered a healthy and nutritious food, excessive consumption may lead to some side effects. It’s essential to consume makhana in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Here are potential side effects of excessive makhana consumption:

  • Overeating Calories
  • Digestive Issues
  • Allergies
  • High Sodium Intake
  • Imbalanced Diet

As with any food, moderation is key. It’s crucial to be mindful of your overall dietary habits and to consume makhana in appropriate portions. If you have specific dietary concerns or health conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice and recommendations. They can help you create a diet plan that aligns with your individual needs and health goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are makhana is cold or hot?

Because Makhana is tri-dosic and has a cool potency, it balances the vata and pitta doshas, which cause tissues to become more wet.

Can a person have makhana every day?

Yes, makhanas aid in digestive improvement and prevent constipation. They are excellent anti-aging meals due to their high antioxidant content. Additionally, having a few makhanas each day will offer you younger-looking skin. Keep in mind not to eat it as a fried snack.

What time of day should you eat Makhana?

Fox nuts, also known as makhana, make a delicious midnight snack. They include a lot of protein but little salt, cholesterol, or fat. Additionally, they are gluten-free, which makes them perfect for those who have a gluten allergy.

Is makhana safe to eat when pregnant?

Yes, consuming makhana (fox nuts or lotus seeds) during pregnancy is generally considered safe and can be a nutritious addition to a pregnant woman’s diet. However, as with any dietary changes during pregnancy, it’s essential to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet.

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