Every weekend, when I visit the supermarket to buy grocery, the colorful packs of roasted Fox Nuts (Phool Makhanas) attract me no end.
However as Fox Nuts are easy to roast, I buy them raw. These can be consumed as an anytime snack. Salted and lightly flavoured makhanas are a great competition to a pack of chips or fried namkeen.
Makhana or Fox Nuts are seeds of an aquatic plant Euryale foerx (not of lotus as is commonly thought) which grows in stagnant waters of ponds in all Asian countries.
80 per cent of makhana in India comes from wetlands of Bihar. These are used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines. Fox Nuts are considered to be a complete food, this is perhaps the reason these are included in religious rituals and are eaten during the fasts.
Here are some benefits of Fox Nuts:
Gluten Free: People who are intolerant to gluten can use Fox Nut flour without hesitation. This is the reason for rising in Fox Nuts consumption over the last few years.
Low Glycemic Index: Fox Nuts are rich in proteins and fibre. As the glycemic index is low, the digestion of Fox Nuts takes longer. Fibre rich Fox Nuts are good for digestion and keep one feeling full for a longer duration.
Controls Blood Pressure: Being low in Sodium and rich in Potassium, Fox Nuts maintain the electrolyte balance in the body and keep the blood pressure low.
Rich in Antioxidants: Fox nuts are rich in Kaemferol, an antioxidant found in coffee, tea and broccoli. These antioxidants prevent ageing and inflammation. Best way to keep away wrinkles and premature greying of hair.
Rich Source of Calcium and Magnesium: As these are rich in Calcium, highly recommended for people suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis. High level of Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and keeps the heart attack away. Also rich in Zinc and Phosphorus.
Weight Loss: Makhanas are low in calories and rich in fiber so these are useful if one wants to lose weight. 100 g of Fox nuts contain only .9 g fat. Best for snacking between the meals.
Good for Pregnant Women: Fox Nuts are rich in iron which is important for haemoglobin formation. So helps in fighting anaemia during pregnancy.
Makhanas are believed to enhance fertility, improve appetite, fight insomnia and boost the immune system.
Ways to Eat Makhana:
Dry roast them in a heavy karahi on low flame. Your low-calorie snack is ready.
Roast with ghee or butter and salt.
Roast with ghee, salt and spices like black pepper, turmeric. These taste far better than the packaged ones.