Makhana is a type of seed obtained from the Euryale ferox plant. They are also sometimes known as fox nuts or lotus seeds.
Makhanas are widely cultivated in Asia and are often used in forms of traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions (1 Trusted Source).
It is also sometimes roasted and consumed as a savory snack or added to curries, side dishes or desserts.
Here are the 6 main benefits of makhana.
6 interesting benefits of makhana
1. Rich in nutrients
- Makhana is an excellent source of several important nutrients and is an excellent addition to a well-rounded, healthy diet.
- It contains a good amount of carbohydrates in each serving and is also rich in various micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus
- Calcium, in particular, has been shown to support bone health, helping to lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels
- Meanwhile, magnesium is essential for a wide variety of metabolic reactions in the body and is involved in protein synthesis, muscle contractions, nerve function, and more.
2. High antioxidants
- Makhana is rich in a variety of antioxidants, which are compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals and prevent oxidative stress
- In particular, makhana contains specific antioxidants such as gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and epicatechin
- Studies show that antioxidants play an important role in several aspects of health and may help protect against chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes
- Antioxidants may also reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease
see a;so: Benefits of Makhana
3. May Help Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
- Some research suggests that makhana may help improve blood sugar control.
- For example, one animal study showed that giving diabetic rats a supplement containing makhana extract helped improve blood sugar regulation and increased several antioxidant enzymes (10).
- Another animal study found that a specific compound isolated from makhana seeds improved blood sugar and insulin levels in rats with diabetes
- Several other animal studies note similar findings, noting that makhana extract may improve blood sugar control
- Note, however, that these studies used highly concentrated amounts of makhana extract in animals.
- Therefore, more research is needed to determine how makhana might affect blood sugar levels in humans when consumed in typical amounts.
4. May support weight loss
- Adding makhana seeds to your diet is a great way to increase your intake of protein and fiber, two essential nutrients that can benefit weight loss.
- In particular, protein has been shown to reduce cravings and help regulate appetite
- Meanwhile, fiber moves slowly through your digestive tract to keep you feeling full throughout the day
- Some studies show that consuming more fiber may be linked to reduced belly fat as well as greater weight loss
- Still, additional studies are needed to evaluate the effects of makhana specifically on weight loss.
5. May have anti-aging properties
- Some research suggests that certain compounds found in makhana may have powerful anti-aging properties.
- In fact, according to one review, makhana contains several amino acids known for their anti-aging properties, such as glutamine, cystine, arginine, and methionine
- For example, glutamine is used to produce proline, an amino acid found in collagen, a compound that promotes skin hydration and elasticity
- Methionine and arginine also play a role in the production of creatine, another compound that has been shown to have anti-aging effects in several previous studies
- Makhana is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help promote skin health and delay signs of aging.
6. May improve heart health
- While human research is lacking, some animal studies have found that makhana seeds may benefit heart health.
- An animal study found that giving makhana extract for 4 weeks to rats with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease significantly reduced high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both of which are common risk factors for heart disease (27).
- Another animal study noted similar findings, noting that makhana extract improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats with diabetes (10).
- Additionally, an older animal study found that makhana extract protects the heart from injury and helps neutralize damaging free radicals (28).
- However, more studies are needed to determine how makhana might affect heart health in humans when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
how to enjoy makhana
- While makhana isn’t as readily available as other types of nuts and seeds, you can find it at many specialty stores or online retailers.
- It has a mild, neutral flavor that works well in a variety of recipes.
- One of the most popular ways to prepare makhana is to roast the seeds and season them with herbs and spices of your choice, such as sea salt, turmeric, chili flakes, or black pepper.
- It’s also a great addition to curries or main dishes, including bhel puri, a dish made with puffed rice, peanuts, hot sauce, and vegetables.
- Alternatively, you can try mixing chopped and roasted makhana seeds with kheer, a type of rice pudding popular in India.