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12 Proven Health Benefits Of Makhana (Fox Nuts)

By Dhwani Jerajani +2 more

Commonly associated with fasting, fox nuts are popular as ‘Makhana’. Used for centuries as a snack food, fox nuts have myriad benefits. Such is their beneficial properties that the Chinese use as medicine. Fox nuts help to strengthen the spleen and kidneys. Almonds, walnuts, cashews and other dry fruits pale in comparison to fox nuts when it comes to nutritional value. Indian cuisine makes ample use of these. They can be had roasted with a sprinkling of spices and condiments to provide a tasty treat. Take a look at some of their benefits.

Nutritional value of Makhana:

Superfood makhana is rich in proteins and fibre and low in fat. 100 grams of makhana gives around 347 calories of energy.

There are around 9.7 grams of proteins and 14.5 grams of fibre in makhana. Makhanas are a very good source of calcium.

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They also contain magnesium, potassium and phosphorus in a good amount. A few vitamins in less quantity are also present in makhana.

Magnesium is required for normal metabolism, it is involved in everything from muscle function, nerve function and even in the production of proteins.  Makhana has ample amounts of carbs as well as other minerals like calcium and iron. Calcium is vital for healthy bones and teeth, while the iron is essential for healthy blood. Overall, fox nuts nutrition brings a lot to your diet especially if you are lacking in minerals and fibre. 

Health Benefits of Makhana (Fox Nuts) Are:

  1. Fox nuts have really high protein content. This is why they make such an important part of fasting food because a handful can provide you with energy to last the entire day. Most snacks are either deep-fried or have a high amount of preservatives and additives. Having a bowl of fox nuts will fill you up and also keep the calories in check.
  2. Fox nuts make for great anti-ageing food as they have an abundance of anti-oxidants. A handful every day can keep you looking younger and making your skin glow. The catch is that they must not be consumed as a fried snack. Gallic acid and chlorogenic acid as well as epicatechin are some of the beneficial antioxidant substances found in Makhana nuts. These may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and chronic conditions like diabetes.  
  3. Fox nuts are great snack food for diabetics and heart patients as they contain good fat and have a low quantity of saturated fats. These properties make makhanas good weight-loss food. In certain animal studies, makhana extract was shown to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels and improve symptoms of fatty liver disease. A similar study showed a reduction of the same markers in rats with diabetes. Although further studies are required, the benefits of fox nuts make it promising as a food item for those looking to protect their heart health.  
  4. Fox nuts are high in fibre. The digestive process gets sorted with them as they prevent constipation and add bulk to the stool.
  5. Fox nuts are great detoxifying agents. They aid in flushing out toxins from the body. They are really beneficial to the spleen which is like a graveyard for cells in the body. It recycles the RBCs (red blood cells). The spleen is the nerve centre of the immune system because it also stores white blood cells and platelets.
  6. Having fertility issues? Fox nuts will come to the rescue. Touted as an aphrodisiac, they help with premature ejaculation, improve the quality of semen and help women suffering from infertility.
  7. Fox nuts have a low glycemic index which means that they release glucose slowly in the blood. This keeps you feeling full for longer.
  8. Those suffering from wheat allergies can gorge on fox nuts as they are gluten-free but still high in protein and carbohydrate content.
  9. They are high in magnesium and potassium and low in sodium. This makes fox nuts an ideal snack for those watching their weight. High potassium and low sodium is a great combination for patients suffering from hypertension. The potassium brings down the blood pressure and sodium tries to bring it up. So those who suffer from high blood pressure can snack on fox nuts without facing any spikes in their blood pressure.
  1. Fox nuts have a natural compound, kaempferol that reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is responsible for most modern diseases like diabetes, arthritis, rheumatism. Also, fox nuts have antibacterial properties.
  2. Apart from magnesium, potassium, and sodium, foxnuts also contain a high amount of calcium. This means they fall under the category of foods that are good for the bones as well as the teeth.
  3. Makhna is also high in thiamine content which means they help in aiding cognitive function as well. The consumption of foxnuts helps the body to produce acetylcholine and thus contributes to the process of neurotransmission. This process of neurotransmission is key to maintaining the good functioning of the nerves.
  4. Fox nuts are naturally bestowed with astringent properties which means people with weak kidneys can easily snack on fox nuts. Fox nuts have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help to reduce inflammation and the effects of oxidative stress.  
  5. Mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia are quite common these days owing to stress and lifestyle changes. Insomnia particularly can be debilitating as lack of sleep over time can lead to failing health and lowered cognitive ability thus affecting productivity. Instead of turning to store-bought medications to tackle the problem of insomnia try a quick home remedy at home with a hand few fox nuts. This desi antidote can be easily brewed with only milk and dates. All you need to do is soak a few dates and fox nuts in water for a few hours. Drain them and put them in a blender along with a glass of milk. You need to drink up this fox nut smoothie before you go to bed. For added sweetness, you can add honey. Consume this daily for a few days and notice an improvement in your sleep quality.

How to Prepare Makhana?

A few quick and easy recipes to add makhana to your diet:

RecipeMethod
Spicy Makhana– Add 3 cups of fox nuts into a pan with ghee, roast for 10 minutes while stirring constantly- Combine black pepper, salt, turmeric powder, red pepper powder, chat masala into the pan- Let it cool and taste. Add any additional chaat masala at this stage- Store in an airtight container
Caramel Makhana– Roast the fox nuts in oil or ghee till cooked- Melt the jaggery in another pan with a small amount of water, let it thicken slightly- Pour the fox nuts into the melted jaggery and stir till they are covered- Cool it down and enjoy
Makhana Chat– Dry roast the makhana for 4-5 minutes (you may also use ghee or oil), stir often to avoid charring- Remove the cooked makhana and add a little ghee to the pan- Throw in spices like red chilli powder, turmeric, chat masala and salt- Add the makhana to the spice mix and stir well, then let it cool- Combine the spiced makhana with onion, tomatoes, coriander, tamarind, green chutney, lime juice and roasted peanuts- Garnish with sev and coriander leaves

How Much to Consume Each Day?

It has been estimated that 100 grams of foxnuts contain about 347 calories. Moreover, the nutritional content of 100 grams of foxnuts includes 9.7 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fats, 76.9 grams of carbohydrates and 14.5 grams of fibre. This means you need to consume an adequate amount relative to your needs. For example, if you aim for weight loss, it is beneficial to consume 30 grams of foxnut daily. However, to know the daily intake of foxnuts based on your specific needs, it is advisable to consult a nutritionist or dietician

Excess Consumption May Lead to Side Effects like:

  • Digestive issues like constipation, gas and feeling bloated.
  • A spike in insulin levels may lower blood sugar levels tremendously in patients with diabetes. So excess intake must be avoided.
  • They can cause allergies in some people.

FAQs

Are Makhanas hot or cold food? 

Makhana is tri-dosic, which means it balances vata and pitta doshas as they increase moistness of tissues and has cold potency.

What is the ideal time to eat Makhana?

Makhana or fox nuts are a great snack for in between your meals or midnight. They’re low in sodium, cholesterol and fat and have high protein content. They’re also gluten free, making it ideal for people who are allergic to gluten.

Can one eat makhana everyday?

Yes, makhanas help improve digestion and keep constipation at bay. They are great anti-ageing foods because they have an abundance of antioxidants. A handful of makhanas every day will also give you youthful skin. Remember to not consume it as a fried snack.

Also Read: 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Almonds.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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Divya Prakash

Very useful

Ashir Sahal

Thank you. Please stay tuned for more such articles.

Tumpa

Great to know this important benifits