Diet Diary: Add Makhana to your diet for that healthy edge
In today’s fast-paced and hectic lifestyle, stress, pollution, and poor eating habits tend to take a toll on our well being. Amongst this, the allure of junk food seems irresistible.
The result – our immune system fails to perform to its optimum and we fall victim to numerous diseases and conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression.
Makhana contains a wide variety of nutrients that are vital in order to maintain optimal functioning of the immune system and it comes with many other major health benefits:
Aids weight loss
Makhana got its due attention when lots of dietitians recommended Makhana as desi super food to those who wanted to reach their weight goals. Makhana, which is also known as fox nut or lotus seed comes from a plant called Euryale Fox that grows in stagnant water. It is high in fibre and low in calories, which means it will keep you full for longer. Snacking on it in between meals will curb cravings.
Makhana is known to contain an anti-aging enzyme kaempferol, which is found in coffee too. This natural flavonoid prevents inflammation and arrests aging by repairing damaged proteins. Some researchers have found out that roasted lotus seeds can make for a good coffee substitute. Makhana is also high in phyto-nutrients such as alkaloids, gallic acid and saponins that protect your body from various diseases.
Protects from heart diseases
Makhana is a good source of magnesium. Several studies identified low magnesium levels as an important cause of heart diseases. Binge on a handful of makhana daily to meet your body’s magnesium requirement. The fact that it’s low in sodium makes it ideal for those suffering from heart diseases.
Ideal for diabetics
Food with high glycemic index can spike blood glucose levels. Makahana, which has significant lower GI compared to most high carbohydrate foods such as rice and bread, is the best snacking option for diabetics.
Lotus seeds were used by the Chinese for medicinal purposes 3000 years ago. The isoquinoline alkaloids found in seeds have sedative and calming properties. The alkaloids also help dilate blood vessels and keep the blood pressure under control.
Here are several popular ways to consume makhana for weight loss:
1. Dry Roasted Makhana: Place your makhanas on a non-stick pan or griddle and roast them on a low flame until they appear slightly brown. Be careful to moderate the flame, so as to not burn the fox nuts. Once they are roasted transfer the fox nuts in an air-tight jar or container and place the container in a dry place.
2. Makhanas Roasted With Ghee/Coconut Oil: If you're not averse to a bit of healthy fat, then you may add a tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil to your pan, before placing the fox nuts in it. You may add a bit of salt or chaat masala but avoid adding to many artificial or salty flavourings and seasonings.
3. Healthy Flavoured Makhana: If you just can't eat plain makhanas, you may make flavoured makhanas at home in a healthy way. All you need to do is roast the fox nuts in ghee and flavour them with naturally spices and condiments like mint leaves, curry leaves, coriander powder, garlic powder, turmeric powder, green chillies, etc. You may also add peanuts or cashews and almonds to the mix to add a bit more crunch and nutrition to the snack.
Make sure you add spices like pepper and turmeric that aide weight loss to your roasted makhanas. Although makhana (fox nuts) are quite healthy for weight loss, you may want to control the portion that you eat in a day. Treat makhanas as mid-meal snacks to take care of untimely hunger pangs only and not as an entire meal. If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, it is recommended to never skip your meals. If you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, you may want to have them sparingly.