Our desi phool makhana or makhana as it is fondly called, is going places and going global. Also known as fox nut, gorgon nut, this nutrition loaded nut or seed provides a number of advantages to human body and medicinal benefits for all. Despite the age group, right from children, to young adults, to middle aged, to elderly consume the tasty fox nut in different ways. Be it as snacks, as a curry in main course, as part of a special bread, as a sweet meal, makhana caters to everyone’s taste.
Makhana has been a part of Hinduism during pooja and other religious festivals since time immemorial. Now that the modern age humans are going back to the roots, there has to be a good reason. Usually most people would say that nutritious food is not tasty and vice versa. Makhana is an exception to the saying. It is both very healthy with numerous health benefits and also tingles the taste buds.
Listed below are some of the benefits of makhana seeds:
All of us want to look and feel young forever. Don’t we? In the current times, there is focus on being and feeling young. Owing to the ever growing demand of retaining the youth, the world market is flooded with all sorts of anti-ageing products, large cosmetic companies are looking at promoting their special products for both men and women.
There have always been concerns of taking in too many chemical laden products and such companies have also faced a backlash for the side-effects of such products. Here is where the plant based agent, Makhana seeds have come into the play with its natural anti-ageing properties. It’s like consuming the youth elixir. This plant is known to stop ageing and provide that youthful, supple skin.
This is one reason that earlier generations consumed so much makhana. Now, more and more people are turning to the age-old practices of using natural ingredients and food products to retain the youth. Makhana serves the purpose and no wonder both its demand as well as production is growing by leaps and bounds.
Source of Plant based Protein
Proteins play a great role in building up the natural defence of the body. There are different types of sources of proteins. There are animal based proteins and also plant based proteins. Plant based proteins are more healthy than their animal base counterpart. This is because these proteins have more nutrients and fibre, are easily absorbed by the body and thus preferred more.
Lotus seeds or fox nuts are a great source of plant based protein. A lot of people who want to increase the muscle mass take makhana with a combination of milk to get maximum benefit. In Ayurveda, it is recommended that individuals consume makhana early in the morning along with other dry fruits to kickstart the day, and get maximum energy. Protein intake is also known to help in shedding weight and make the body stronger.
Makhana- Low Glycemic index
Glycemic Index Classification
|High||>70||Rapid increase in blood sugar levels|
|Medium||56 – 69||Moderate increase in blood sugar levels|
|Low||< 55||Slow increase in blood sugar levels|
The Glycemic Index ( GI) is a number assigned to each food product, which impacts the relative rise in the blood glucose level after two hours of consuming it.
Food products, including fruits, nuts, cereals have different GI and have been categorized as per that. Also a food product with low GI, breaks down the carbohydrate content more slowly and hence causing a slow and gradual release of glucose in the blood stream.
In health and diet management, doctors always recommend food products that are low in GI. This becomes more important for individuals suffering from high or low sugar levels.
Makhana or lotus seeds are an excellent plant based source with a low GI index. This is why it is helpful for people suffering with diabetes. Makhana gradually releases energy in the body, thereby ensuring that one remains energetic throughout the day.
Managing Heart diseases
As per WHO, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally and take more than 17 plus millions lives every year. This risk also increases due to high blood pressure, high level of sugar etc. Maintaining a youthful heart requires a combination of light exercises and also a healthy diet.
There are natural products like Makhana seeds or Lotus seed that have abundant amount of magnesium, which acts as a channel blocker and significantly improves the blood and oxygen flow to the heart. Having makhana on an empty stomach or roasted makhanas as snacks, have proven to be helpful in maintaining the ideal weight and help individual move to good eating practices.
Aiding in Weight Loss
Having an ideal weight, proportionate to your age and height is important. This also helps to have a good Body Mass Index ( BMI). Many diseases including cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), high blood pressure, diabetes etc are all due to sedentary lifestyle and also wrong eating habits. There is more awareness than ever to have a healthy body and having a healthy life style.
Makhana or fox nuts are high in fibre and also have a low glycemic index. They release blood sugar in the body gradually and also provide a lot of energy to the body and one feels fuller during the day due to that. The craving to unnecessary munch on other foods also gets reduced. This nutritious food item, when combined with exercises and a disciplined lifestyle aid in natural weight loss.
Use in Alternative medicine
Alternative medicine is the term used for medical practices and products that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals all over the world, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice.
In the traditional Chinese medicine, Makhana seeds or Gorgon nuts, as they are famously known, they are considered quite beneficial for strengthening the kidneys and spleen. Additionally, makhana seeds or fox nuts are also used in creating medicines for managing sexual diseases like erectile dysfunction and and also other diseases like arthritis. The seeds are also known to have good antioxidant properties which helps in in digestion and rejuvenation of the entire respiratory system. These multi-purpose seeds also help in preventing excessive and frequent urination
Curing Sleeping Disorders
A lot people these days experience lack of sleep or insomnia. This has been on the rise due to change in life style factors, increased stress in both professional and personal lives. Sleeping disorders take further toll on the human body and it is always recommended that a sound sleep of minimum 8 hours is required for humans to function well. Simple makhana seeds when taken with milk help in inducing sleep and thus also naturally cure sleeplessness in human beings.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which pancreas do not product enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar level. This is one of the major diseases that afflicts million across the globe every year. As per WHO, in the years between 2000 and 2016, there was a 5% increase in premature mortality from diabetes. There is definitely a need to control the diseases by making life style changes. Makhana or Lotus seed provide important proteins and also have low glycemic index, due to which it helps to regulate the blood sugar levels, thereby helping the diabetic people.
Improving Sexual Health
A healthy sex life is always considered important for both the physical as well as mental welling of human beings. Regular consumption of makhana nuts helps both males nad females. It has been observed that fox nuts improve the sperm quality and also increases the fertility in women.
Managing Blood Pressure
Millions of people these days suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure. This is owing to a hectic and stressful life style, long working hours, etc. Makhana nuts or gorgon nuts help a lot in regulating blood pressure as it contains high amount of potassium and low amount of sodium. Regular consumption of makhana seeds, in combination with walking and light exercises everyday helps in maintaining optimum blood pressure level.