8 Reasons why Makhana should be your movie snack

If popcorn ever had a competition, its name is Makhana. Makhanas are crunchy, tasty and a light snack you can have every day, that packs a big nutritional value and won’t make a hole in your pocket. Also known as lotus seeds, gorgon nuts, or fox seeds, Makhana comes from the leaves of a flowering lotus-like plant called Euryale Fox grown in Asian countries, and in fact, it is considered a Super-food.

In India, Makhana are offered as prashad to the gods, during festivals and religious ceremonies. Most people choose to have roasted Makhanas during fasting, traditionally during Navratris. They are a main ingredient in several salty or sweet recipes, but the benefits of including Makhanas in your diet are known by very few people.

Euryale Fox Plant - The Source of Makhana
Euryale Fox Plant – The Source of Makhana

So we decided to tell you everything on the benefits of this desi snack, right here.

Makhana is the perfect Light Snack

Makhanas have almost no cholesterol and fat. This makes them an ideal between-the-meal snack. Also, like all other seeds, makhana is Gluten-Free. So feel free to add them in your diet.

If you are travel a lot, I recommend that instead of buying potato or corn based chips on the road, pack some roasted makhanas for your journey. Makhana packs a lot of energy, even more than peanuts. You will be trading away lots of fat and bad cholestrol and gluten, for a easy-to-prepare nutritional Superfood alternative.

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Makhana Helps to lower & control Blood Pressure level

Makhanas have high amounts of potassium in them. It helps to decrease the blood pressure levels. As such, it is very beneficial to hypertension patients.

Makhana has very low amount of sodium which makes it extremely useful in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. This is the reason why it is recommended in the diet to high-blood pressure patients, by many doctors and Ayurvedic practitioners.

Makhana Is Rich in Folate

Folate is a key nutrient which helps in DNA synthesis and cell division. Folate is necessary in our body to reduce homocysteine levels which is actually the amount of naturally occuring amino-acids in the body, that can damage your blood vessels.

It is also an important nutrient for pregnant women for brain development of the fetus. A cup of makhana can fulfil almost 50% of day’s requirement for folate for both men and women.

Protects your Heart

Makhana is a flavonoid-rich food. It means it has chemicals that have a positive effect on all the functions of your body. Flavonoids reduce the risk of heart and blood related diseases, and have great anti-bacterial properties. To know more about Flavonoids, their facts and myths, check out this LiveScience study.

Having low magnesium levels in the body also increases the risk of heart diseases. A cup of makhana easily fullfills 20% of the body’s daily magnesium requirement.

The Folate present in makhanas, reduce the naturally occuring amino-acids level in our body that puts us at risk of heart diseases by damaging our blood vessels.

All these qualities present together, make Makhana an all-round protection for your cardiovascular system.

Slows down the Ageing Process

Makhana is rich in anti-oxidants which are known to visibly slow down aging by battling harmful free radicals in our body. They have detoxifying properties that help detoxify our body’s blood-production centers called spleens. Its just the complete package.

While researching for this article I was amazed by the amount of useful properties this nut had. According to modern research, as well as this Ayurveda article straight from the gurus at Patanjali, consuming makhana keeps away wrinkles, fine lines, and prevents the premature graying of hair.

Is a Great Source of Protein and Calcium

Makhana comes loaded with calcium. Around 3 cups of roasted makhana holds an egg’s worth of calcium and protein. So vegan or not, you should include Makhana in your diet. The amount of calories though is much higher in makhanas than in eggs.

Have a low Glycemic Index

Makhanas have a low Glycemic Index. Those of our readers who are calorie-conscious will know that Glycemic Index is a way to rate a food’s carbohydrates value. Having a low Glycemic Index basically means that Makhanas get absorbed slowly and so they do not increase your glucose levels by very high levels in very short times, and do not get converted to fat.

This point is of high importance to dietitians and for people who are working to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight too, make sure you check out this Ayurvedic Diet Plan.

How to eat Makhanas

Makhanas are a tasty snack, and snacks are meant to be taken in light amounts. If you have a habit of munching almonds, throw some roasted makhanas into the mix. If you are trying to reduce weight or following a strict diet, have around 30 grams everyday. Eat and enjoy fox seeds but keep portion-sizes within this limit. If you take too much, it might give you bloating(gas build up), or constipation.

Source: Jyoti’s Masala Makhana

Avoid having raw makhanas, instead add them to your salad. Alternatively, you could roast them in 1.5 teaspoons of oil or ghee or butter, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. If having small amounts of makhana upsets your stomach, you should avoid eating them or just consult your dietitian.

Check out these other yummy Desi Makhana Recipes here and try them in the kitchen!

Compared to the health benefits, the health risks of eating Makhanas are very few. If you are suffering from Arrhythmia, you should not eat makhanas. Even better, consult your doctor. Do the same if you suffer from very low blood pressures.

So When are Makhanas replacing your movie snack?

That said, with this multitude of health benefits packed into these small nuts, Makhana should be your movie snack. So for your next movie time, try munching on some Roasted Makhana instead of the regular popcorn, and make sure you check out our list of motivational movies. And tell us how you like to eat Makhanas in the comments!

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