By: Nutrition expert- Vidula Kozarekar, Mumbai.
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A lotus seed or fox nut or Makhana is the seed of a plant in the genus Nelumbo, particularly the species Nelumbo nucifera. The seeds are used in Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. Mostly sold in dried, shelled form, the seeds contain rich contents of protein, B vitamins, and dietary minerals.
Nutritional content of Makhana/ Fox nuts:
In a 100 gram reference amount, dried lotus seeds supply 332 calories and contain 64% carbohydrates, 2% fat, 15% protein, and 14% water.
The seeds contain B vitamins in rich content, particularly thiamine at 43% of the Daily Value (DV), and numerous dietary minerals, such as manganese (116% DV) and phosphorus (63% DV) (1).
Medicinal Properties of Makhana/ Fox nuts: (2)
- The seeds contain sufficient amount of vitamins so, used to treat beriberi, a disease caused by deficiency of Vitamin B1.
- Feeding of E. ferox, stimulated humeral immunity and suggested its applications in mothers after delivery and invalids.
- Makhana alleviates Vata and Pitta Dosha. It strengthens the heart and is very useful in anemia. Makhana increases quality and quantity of semen, prevents premature ejaculation, increases libido and helps in female infertility. It strengthens body and increases energy level.
- Makhana is used as a tonic and for the treatment of leucorrhoea and good immuno-stimulant.
- Makhana is a sweet and sour seed. These seeds contain starch and protein which is excellent for diabetes.
- Makhana is effective for individuals with high risk of premature ageing, premature white hairs, wrinkles and other signs of aging.
- According to principles of traditional Chinese medicine fox nut or Makhana is used to strengthen spleen and kidneys.
- The study on Makhana revealed it to contain significant antioxidant activity, which may be associated with its medical applications as a proteinuria inhibitor of diabetic nephropathy.
- The seed also has calming properties that alleviate restlessness, palpitations, and insomnia.
How to include Makhana in our diet?
- Makhana is gluten-free and can be added to daily cereals and soups.
- Popped Makhana is used in the preparation of numerous delicious and healthy sweet dishes, pudding and milk based sweets.
- Makhanas are used as food supplement for women after childbirth in Indian subcontinent.
Precaution to take:
- Excess consumption may cause bloating and constipation.
- Makhana should not be consumed if you suffer from – constipation, indigestion, urinary issues, cold and cough and by postpartum women.
Makhana is very useful drug for medicinal purpose as well as food supplement. Include makhana in your diet to enjoy good health.