Makhana -The Indian Superfood
What is a Super Food?
A super food is a nutrient-packed or nutrient- rich food that is considered to be beneficial for overall health and well-being. It is a category of foods or group of foods that are mostly plant-based but also can be from some animals including fish and certain dairy products.
All super foods are food that a nutritional powerhouse and loaded with the goodness of maintaining a healthy body.
Products including certain nuts, drumsticks, Blueberries, kale, salmon, and acai are a few examples of foods that have been labelled as “superfood” owing their nutrition density.
According to American Heart Association, there is no set criteria for determining categorizing foods as ‘super foods’. They are not a common food group. While medically there is no formal term as ‘super food’, however over a period of time, a food product that is naturally nutrient rich and provide multiple benefits to the human body have been labelled as a ‘superfood’.
Superfoods are known to contain a variety of nutrients, including antioxidants, which prevent damage to skin cells done by free radicals. Super food also contain healthy fats, that are helpful in preventing and managing heart disease; Another important nutrient is enough fiber, this helps in digestion and speeds up the metabolism. Consuming food products that are power packed with nutrients is great for the physical health and also the mental health. It is important to have a whole some nutritious diet along with regular exercise to make the most of the super foods!!
The concept of a superfood has gained popularity over the last few years. Superfoods are naturally dense in various nutrients and provide numerous health benefits. Consuming them on a daily basis results in reducing the risk of chronic diseases and keep infections at bay. These food products are also low in calorie count and therefore helpful in weight management also.
Why Makhana is a Super Food
Makhana is considered to be one of the most potent Indian super foods. Starting its humble journey a few centuries ago, the name ‘Phool makhana’ or Gorgon nut or Lotus seed or Fox nuts is now popular in different parts of the globe.
Makhana is an ancient Indian food, cultivated since prehistoric times across the Asian continent. The Indian state of Bihar is the origin place of this super food. Makhana due to its different nutritional and healing properties have also found a lot of use in Ayurveda and also the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). These power-packed water lily seeds are one of the oldest aquatic crops grown in Bihar for nearly two hundred years now.
Our humble phool makhana has now transformed into powerful super food. When consumed daily, lotus seeds provide over all protection from various common ailments. It is better to also consult a nutrition expert so that one in takes a whole some diet along with physical exercise to maintain a good fitness level.
Makhana or ‘Phool Makhana’ or lotus seeds or the fox/gorgon nut are a potent source of carbohydrates, fiber, plant-based protein, nutrients including magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and zinc to name a few. These small and white puffed seeds are also low in fat and sodium. The magnesium content present in lotus seeds also makes them useful for those suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Phool makhana is also known to have an anti-aging enzyme that assists in repairing damaged cells and proteins.
Benefits of Super Food Makhana
Phool makhana is a loaded with host of benefits for the human body. No wonder people around the globe swear by this power nut. Owing to an exponentially increasing demand over the last decade, makhana cultivators and other stakeholders in the entire supply chain have worked on improving the product quality, product packaging, product seasoning and flavors to ensure that the final product meets the customer and consumer expectations on all parameters.
Listed below are some of the benefits of adding this Indian Super Food to your daily diet:
1. Aids in weight management and loss
Being high in fiber, low in carbohydrates, makhana or lotus seeds are helpful in weight management and with the right kind of nutrition when combined with exercise, will lead to weight loss also. These days a lot of nutrition experts swear by the power of nuts and Makhana has gained popularity as one of the wonder nut more beneficial than almonds or walnuts. With low calorific value, makhana is a must have for anyone looking at maintaining a healthy BMI and weight.
2. Helpful in slowing down the process of Ageing
Phool makhana contains antioxidant known as kaempferol that assists in the body’s fight against inflammation and other harmful free radicals in the body. This in turn helps in slowing down the ageing process. It slows the process of healthy cell and protein break down and naturally maintains the quality of skin, hair and other age related problems.
3. Protection and management of Heart Disease
Lotus seeds are rich in much needed minerals including magnesium and potassium. These minerals helps to lower and maintain blood pressure, thereby protecting the heart from different diseases. It is high in fiber which again is good for the heart. Phool makhana is also a good source of folate – a key vitamin which plays an important role in guarding heart health.
4. Managing and Controlling Blood Sugar
Makhana is very popular amongst healthy eaters as it has a low glycemic index, and a fair amount of carbohydrates. Makhana releases the energy slowly into the body after consumption and does not led to immediate spike of blood sugar, therefore it is also good for people suffering from diabetes.
5. Building Muscle Mass
Makhana or fox nut is also a very god plant-based source of protein. Therefore, more and more vegans and vegetarians turn to this delicious food for their daily protein intake. one cup of fox nut contains 3.9 grams of protein, which is great for building muscle mass and promoting cell growth.
6. Improvement in Digestive Health
Fox nut or phool makhana has high fibre content, so it aids good bowel movement and improves the digestion. It is a boon for people who suffering from poor digestion. Also the food is gluten-free and hence consumed the whorl over by people who taken gluten-free diet plans.