There are tons of healthier options that you can try to beat your evening hunger pang. Makhana also known as fox nut is one of them. Available in several brands and flavours now, makhanas are mostly grown in Asian countries. They need large areas of wet, marshy lands. Makhanas are also grown in places like the eastern parts of Russia, Korea and Japan. The highest production of Makhanas in India takes place in Bihar. What is different with these is they require skilled farmers to plant makhanas as they are very difficult to cultivate. They belong to the Euryale genus and have a distinct appearance of small flowery looking round balls.Makhana, in fact, comes from the seeds of the lotus flower and is packed with protein, potassium, phosphorus, carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium and zinc. It also contains kaempferol , a flavonoid having inflammation reducing properties.
Fox nuts are also rich in iron which helps to increase the quantity of haemoglobin in blood.Fox seeds are rich in calcium which helps strengthen your bones.They can also be beneficial for those suffering from osteoporosis or other joint issues. Traditionally, makhana has also been used to treat arthritis due to its high calcium content.Makhanas are great for weight loss as they are low in calories and rich in fibre content. What makes it a great healthy weight loss snack is that it is free of calories or saturated fats.
Consumption of fox seeds has also been found to have a detoxifying effect on your liver. They improve your metabolism, which in turn, helps in reducing weight. The rich magnesium content in makhanas also helps to curb obesity.Makhana, due to its rich magnesium and low sodium content, keeps a check on your blood pressure, obesity, and heart diseases. High levels of magnesium can also help in regulating the amount of sodium, potassium and calcium in your blood which can improve your heart health.Makhana works amazingly for your skin as it contains an anti-ageing enzyme that helps repair your damaged proteins. These nuts also help to fix and preserve the impaired cells in your skin and slow down their ageing process making you look younger.Natural flavonoids like kaempferol present in these nuts help in controlling, reducing and preventing inflammations. Makhanas are also loaded with antioxidants which further help to lower your inflammation levels. It is also a gluten-free product. You can add it to bajra, jowar and soybean flour to make gluten-free rotis.Makhanas are very beneficial for diabetics due to their low glycaemic index (GI). If you are suffering from high blood sugar levels, you can snack on fox nuts or add them to your curries or vegetables. The GI of makhana is lesser than that of bread or rice. The low Gl index also increases your energy levels, and keeps you active throughout the day.Adding just makhanas to your diet in small quantities, can help in curing any sleeping disorder that you may be suffering from. These nuts can also help to reduce stress due to the presence of nerve-stimulating properties in them which also contribute to better sleep quality.Makhanas are gluten-free. Gluten is a type of protein found in food products, especially in grains like wheat, barley, rye, etc. This substance helps food to retain their shape by acting like a glue. Gluten has been found to have harmful effects such as triggering an autoimmune response. This response can attack your small intestine lining. Makhana is a gluten-free product and protects you from all these possibilities. You can add it to bajra, jowar and soybean flour to make gluten-free rotis.