What is Makhana?
Makhana is a high-value aquatic cash crop and a traditional Indian snack. It grows in stagnant perennial water bodies. Makhana has been widely used in traditional oriental medicine to cure various diseases, including kidney problems, chronic diarrhea, excessive leucorrhea, and hypofunction of the spleen. Moreover, it is fast emerging as a superfood globally owing to its rich medicinal values and mineral contents.
Makhanas are considered a pious food in India and is offered to the Gods during various festivals. For people who go on fasts, dry or ghee roasted makhana is a healthy yet tasty alternative over the usual sabudana and potato fries.
They are low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats and are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese, phosphorous and protein. Unlike common ingredients like barley and wheat, they are also gluten-free. Makhanas are a recommended dietary supplement and are easily available in the market. The health benefits and nutritional value of makhanas make them a popular choice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Origin of Makhana
In India, the state of Bihar is the largest producer of makhanas. Makhanas are derived from lotus seeds. Lotus develops seed pods, and each pod contains approximately 20 seeds that mature within 40 days. The seeds are then dried and roasted on high flames. The outer black shell breaks and the white puffs pop out. These seeds are what we call makhanas.
Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Makhana:
- Improves heart health
The low amount of sodium and high amount of potassium in makhanas help decrease the blood pressure in hypertension patients. The low sodium helps in keeping the blood pressure in check.
The magnesium in makhanas helps improve the quality of blood and oxygen in the body. Low magnesium levels in the body increase the risk of heart disease.
- Strengthen your bones
We all know calcium plays a big role in keeping our bones strong and healthy. Makhanas have a decent amount of calcium, which makes them perfect for strengthening your bones.
- Promotes weight loss
Food items that have low glycemic index leave you feeling full and satisfied, eventually leading to weight loss.
- Prevents ageing
The enzymes that exist in these Lotus seeds are expected to obstruct the aging process. The enzymes that assist in fixing and preserving the impaired proteins are found in the lotus seed in high quantity.
The metabolic disorder accompanied by high blood sugar levels is diabetes which is the result of inappropriate working of the pancreas, which discharges the insulin hormone. Lotus seed contains vital proteins and starch which is great for the health of a diabetic.
It is extremely helpful in getting rid of diarrhoea. Lotus seeds are known to stop prolonged diarrhea since it contains a high quantity of caustic quality which if consumed, can even improve the appetite.
- Improve cognitive function
Makhanas have high thiamine content. Thus, their consumption helps in sustaining the cognitive function of the nerves. Eating makhanas help in the generation of acetylcholine and thus contributes to the process of neurotransmission.
- Detoxifies liver
Our liver detoxifies our body by eliminating all the waste. Makhanas help the liver to function properly and enhance metabolism.
- Maintains kidney health
Makhana ensure kidney health by controlling the blood flow and regulating urination. They detoxify and cleanse the spleen. It helps in flushing out all the toxins from the body.
- Hormonal balance
Makhana help to maintain hormonal balance in your body. During menstruation, makhanas help to keep those cravings in check and prevent overeating. They also help in dealing with premenstrual symptoms.
- Better digestion
The high fiber content in makhanas helps improve one’s digestive health. Including them in your daily diet can help improve the bowel movement. In fact, regular consumption can help improve digestion and keep constipation at bay.
- Prevents inflammation
Makhanas has a compound called ‘kaempferol’ that helps in minimizing inflammation in the body. Regular use of fox nuts can help cure inflammation.