What is Makhana or fox nut?
The seed portion of Euryale ferox plant is called fox nut or Makhana and is a popular food in Asian Subcontinent.
It has both nutritive as well as medicinal uses. “Euryale” is derived from the mythical Greek word “Gorgon” and both words are synonyms. Thus, this plant is also called gorgon nut.
Makhana, also known as fox nut is a popular snack in India and I widely cultivate in shallow ponds.
It belongs to the lotus family Nymphaceae. It is common to east Asia, particularly India, China and Japan. It is also grown in some parts of eastern Russia.
Benefits of Makhana
Makhana, also known as gorgon seeds or fox nuts are traditionally used in oriental medicines to treat and cure various diseases, including chronic diarrhea, spleen disorders, and excessive leucorrhea, diabetes and kidney problems. The main benefits and uses are explained hereunder:
1. Good for heart
The recent studies have revealed antioxidant effects of makhana. Its antioxidant activities are due to the presence of glucosides. In addition, studies have shown makhanas can reduce the risk of myocardial ischemia. It is also beneficial for the treatment of myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury.
makhana are low in the quantity of saturated fats. However, these fats are not bad, as thought first, but these fats can increase the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in some people.
The suspended cholesterol gets deposited in the arteries, causing a condition called Arteriosclerosis, which means the arteries have narrowed down. This can lead to fatal consequences like heart attack, stroke and when the deposited cholesterol hardens, the treatment cannot happen.
The fox nut, have low saturated fats and so are perfect for consumption by heart patients and normal people who are health conscious.
This also indicates this is an ideal munching snack for everyone. Generally, either munchies are deep-fried or replete with Trans Fat, which has a harmful effect on the health, so when it is fried, it will not remain healthy nuts.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Flavonoids are chemicals, which are secondary metabolites in plants. They have been shown by many experiments to have a positive effect on human health. They bring about antioxidal reactions, help reduce inflammation and reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases in the body. They are also shown to be antibacterial in experiments. Fox nut being flavonoid rich, affects the body in a good way and helps maintain good health.
3. Rich in protein
The protein content in fox nut is about 14.52%, which is quite high as compared to the processed grains and other foods we have these days.
Protein rich food is very good for the muscular tissue of the body. Proteins make up the muscles and are regularly needed to repair the wear and tear in the body.
They are required as structural, functional and regulatory elements in the cells of the body. They can be antibodies, enzymes, messenger, structural or storage and transport in nature.
All these functions belong to the protein and thus they are required in optimum quantities or else the systematic operation of the body is affected in a bad way.
Proteins are abundant in fox nut. Thus, it is necessary to include fox nuts in the diet to provide the body with ample protein
4. Beneficial in diabetes
Makhana has plenty of fiber and low content of fats. This is a double benefit for diabetics and people with gastric disorders because fiber helps in the movement of food through the intestines and low fat means lesser sugars are released into the blood stream. Thus, fox nuts improve digestion and make for a fulfilling meal
5. Calcium rich
Makhana has good calcium content. Calcium intake is necessary for the health of bones and teeth in the body. If there is a lack of calcium, the bones start to become frail and weak and chances of fracture increase. Pain in bones may result due to weak bones. Ensuring the consumption of fox nuts fulfills the calcium needs of the body and helps the patients of osteoporosis and also other joint problems. This is the reason why it is also used traditionally in the treatment of arthritis.
This is Copyright Content by Gadge's Diabetes Care Edited and written by Preeti Jain