Is it a comeback for a desi snack like MAKHANA. Phool Makhanas not only make a healthy snack but are also used on many cultural and traditional occasions. Makhanas often make great recipes such as makhana kheer, raita, or makhana curry. Let’s dive deep to understand phool makhana benefits.
You must remember your mother roasting a bowlful of makhanas in ghee, sprinkling a pinch of salt, and giving you a handful of it while leaving the home. Makhanas are also considered as the best food while on a fast and are also used as an offering to God, especially during the Navratri.
While most of us eat makhanas, very few of us know that makhanas are also known as fox nuts, Euryale Ferox, lotus seeds, gorgon nuts, and Phool makhana.
Also Read: Healthy alternatives of sugar
Where do makhanas come from?
Not many of us know that makhanas are a part of our National Flower, Lotus. This flower, though gets fertilized in mud, has a lot to offer. Makhanas are widely produced in the state of Bihar, Korea, and Japan as well as a few parts of eastern Russia.
Makhanas are generally harvested by the Mallah community in Bihar in India. The complete process is as follows:
The seeds of makhanas are collected from the bottom of a pond or a river. In some parts, a long bamboo pole is fixed at one place, farmers take a dip in water and collect the seeds from all the directions and gather them to the base of the pole. These seeds are then washed and cleaned.
Cleaning & Storage
The collected seeds are put into a crescent-shaped container known as gaanja, which is shaken until all the seeds are cleaned. These seeds are then packed into a small cylindrical container and rolled on the ground to make their surface smooth. These seeds are kept overnight, the next day the female members of the family spread these seeds over the mat to let them dry.
The dried seeds are graded by sieving. Different sizes of makhanas pass through different sieves known as jharna, rectangular iron planes. The makhanas are passed through 10 different sieves for grading. All the graded seeds at different levels are stored separately.
Getting the puff
The dried makhanas are then fried, the seeds are then kept in a container made of bamboo strips is plastered with cow dung. The container is covered with a coarse cloth to maintain a certain temperature.
After some time, they are fried again, the same process is repeated and the fried makhanas are kept on a wooden plate once done to cool off. After that these seeds are manually cleaned until white puffs are out of the black seeds.
Also Read: Worst advice about healthy food
Makhanas are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, and protein. Because of their high nutritional value, they are the perfect snack. Besides, these makhanas are good for heart. Because, they are low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fats.
Phool Makhana Benefits
Good for heart’s health
Consuming makhanas could decrease blood pressure as it has less amount of sodium and a high amount of potassium. Also, magnesium helps in improving the quality of blood and oxygen in the body as decreases the risk of heart diseases.
A study on animals proved that when makhanas were fed to the rats with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease for 4 weeks. Their cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased significantly, which might cause heart diseases. However, research on humans is still lacking in this context.
Strengthen the Bones
Makhanas have a good amount of calcium in them and so helps in the strengthening of bones. Due to the high amount of calcium, it is great for teeth also. Makhanas are easily available in a variety of flavors even at the local departmental stores, to name a few, you can get plain salted, peri-peri, herb and cheese, mint, and even wasabi.
Helps in Weight Loss- Phool Makhana Benefits
The first thing you must have heard from your nutritionist while planning to lose weight is to increase the intake of protein in your diet. Just one cup of makhana contains 83 calories as compared to a plate of fritters having 315 calories followed by one packet of chips with 536 calories.
Makhanas are full of protein which makes you feel full for quite a long time and thus you do not feel the urge to eat. Also, makhanas are low in calories and are thus the perfect weight-loss snack.
Controls blood sugar level
People with high blood sugar can also consume makhanas as they are rich in protein and carbohydrates and low in glycemic index. The presence of magnesium and low sodium content in makhanas makes them a portion of good food to fight obesity and diabetes.
A study conducted on animals showed that feeding rats with a supplement containing makhana extract with diabetes helped in improving blood sugar levels and an increase in antioxidant enzymes. Many other studies also observed similar findings. However, the research on humans is still lacking.
Good for digestion- Phool Makhana Benefits
Fiber is a great thing that helps in improving the digestive health of a person. Makhanas are rich in fiber and helps in easy bowel movement. People having constipation can consume this to improve their digestion process.
Even if you are struggling with morning dump, add a bowl full of makhana to your diet and you will be good to go.
Also Read: Is it good to take a multivitamin everyday
Due to the presence of antioxidants, makhanas works as an anti-aging food. Eating a handful of makhanas every day makes you look younger. It also make your skin glow when consumed as a fried snack. Makhanas also prevent the problem of excessive and frequent urination.
According to a review it has been found that makhana contains several amino acids that helps prevent aging, such as glutamine, cystine, arginine, and methionine. It also helps in promoting skin health and slows signs of aging.
Improves cognitive functioning- Phool Makhana Benefits
Makhanas have a high ratio of thiamine content which helps the improved functioning of nerves. Consumption of makhanas also generates acetylcholine and in turn, contributes to the process of neurotransmission.
It can be consumed by both vegetarians as well as vegans. One bowl of makhana contains 4 grams of protein which is almost equal to 7% of the daily protein requirement by the body. As these are obtained for plants, therefore it is a vegan-friendly food.
Takeaway- Phool Makhana Benefits
Being versatile, makhana can be eaten in any form. You can roast them, fry them, or can make makhana kheer, creamy makhana with mushroom and makhana chops. Many Japanese and Chinese desserts contains paste of lotus seeds.