Offering various health benefits, Lotus seeds “Makhana”, low in cholesterol and saturated fat, is an extremely healthy snacking offer.
Also known as fox nuts or Euryale ferox, they are the seeds obtained from the lotus plant Nelumbo nucifera. These edible seeds are tiny, round, and mostly off-white in appearance. These seeds can be consumed in the raw, roasted, fried, boiled, or ground form.
Nutritional Facts of Lotus Seeds
Lotus seeds are rich in magnesium, potassium, proteins, phosphorus, minerals and contain vitamins such as vitamins B, C, A, and E. It contains lesser amounts of fats, sodium, and cholesterol.
As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of makhana contains 350 calories, 9.7 gm proteins, 14.5 gm fiber, 77 gm carbohydrates, 0.1 gm fat, 56 mg of magnesium, 60 mg calcium, 1.4 mg iron, 500 mg of potassium, 200 mg of phosphorus, 210 mg of sodium, and 0.1 mg of vitamin B6. It also contains certain amino acids. 100 gm of makhana contains 0.05 gm of Tryptophan, 0.2 gm of Threonine, 0.3 gm of Leucine, and 0.2 gm of Lysine.
Potential Health Benefits of Lotus Seeds
Acts as an anti-aging agent
1. L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase, an enzyme found in lotus seed helps in assisting the repairing and maintaining of the damaged proteins.
2. Kaempferol content of makhana helps in slowing down the aging process.
3. Regular intake of lotus seeds helps in rejuvenating dead skin.
1. The presence of isoquinoline alkaloids in Lotus seeds, helps in the dilatation process of the blood vessels thus, reducing anxiety and depression.
2. The natural sedative property of lotus seeds is effective in healing the restlessness and thus promotes sound sleep. These Lotus seeds can regulate the unnerving condition.
1. The high fiber and antioxidant properties content of fox nuts aids in regular bowel movement thus, preventing indigestion and constipation.
2. Lotus seeds help in detoxifying the kidneys and liver, removing food wastes.
Controls blood sugar levels
1. The low-calorie content, low sodium, high magnesium, and the high dietary fiber content of lotus seeds aids in reducing high sugar levels.
2. The absence of sugar content in lotus seeds helps in maintaining a balance in sugar levels.
3. The low glycemic index of lotus seeds prevents the sudden spike in blood sugar levels.
4. Lotus seeds monitor the insulin response in the body.
Lotus Seeds/Makhana is one of the most famous ingredients in religious ceremonies and are part of ‘fasting’ food during the Indian holy festivities like Navratri.
Other possible benefits
Lotus seeds produce several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such asimproves heart health, controls blood sugar levels, aids in flushing out the toxins from the body, improves cognitive function, heals diarrhoea, treats urinary issues, relieves gum conditions.
Helps in maintaining a healthy pregnancy, improves appetite, treats various sexual diseases, cures fatty liver, heals inflammation and infection, controls excessive bleeding, alleviates stomach complaints, treats mouth sores and ulcers, help in aiding kidney-related issues, provides instant energy, boosts energy, and treats arthritis.
How to use Lotus Nuts in the Diet?
Lotus Seeds can be added in various forms in the diet. They can be either consumed in the raw, roasted, fried, boiled or ground forms. Some of the ways by which lotus seeds can be consumed are as follows…
- As a snack.
- Used in bread making.
- Used in pastries and desserts.
- Used as a substitute for coffee.
- Used to make makkhane ki kheer.
- Added to soups and in other dishes.
- Added in several food dishes, cakes, soups, desserts, rice porridge, and sweetmeat.
How to prepare Makhana Kheer?
Take popped lotus seeds and ½ cup cashew nuts in a pan and roast it with 2 tsp ghee and season it with a pinch of rock salt.
After it cools, take ¾th of the mixture and grind it in a blender with ½ tsp of cardamom.
In another pan, take 3 cups of milk and bring it to boil.
Add little sugar to taste, followed by the ground makhana mixture, and stir well.
Add the remaining cashew and roasted makhana.
Continue to stir till the mixture thickens.
Serve the kheer either cold or hot, garnished with chopped dry fruits.