Fox nut it is also known as Makhana, Phool Makhana, lotus seeds, Gorgon nut, Euryale Ferox . The plant fox nut belongs to the family Nymphaeaceae. It grows in water and is found in India, Korea, China, Japan and Russia. In India, it is popularly known as makhana.
This is a native Asian water plant and is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds. They look like popcorn.
They are the edible seeds of lotus flower which can be roasted or fried. These are used in many dishes of India. They are also considered as very pious food and used in many rituals. Along with this they are also highly beneficial in terms of nutritional values.
For geographical and climatic reason Bihar in India is the heaven for Makhana Production. Around 63% of the total Makhana production comes from Bihar. Makhana is superior to dry fruits such as almonds, walnut, coconut and cashewnut in term of sugar, protein, ascorbic acid and phenol content.
HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL IMPORTANCE
These seeds are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol and are high in magnesium potassium and phosphorus. It contains 9.7% easily digestible protein, 76% carbohydrate, 12.8% moisture, 0.1% fat, 0.5% total minerals, 0.9% phosphorus & 1.4%mg iron/100gm. It also contains useful medicinal properties are as follows:
- It is high in fiber, so it helps to avoid constipation. They help the body to remove the waste and thus prevent the accumulation of toxins.
- It is digestive for all age groups. Due to its astringent property, it is helpful in diarrhea and helps in improving appetite.
- It contains flavonoids which are antioxidants and reverse the adverse effects of free radicals in the body. They also prevent the inflammations in the body. These free radicals are the main cause of many degenerative diseases like diabetes mellitus, heart problems and even cancers.
- As Makhana are powerful antioxidants they also known as anti aging foods. Aging is also a result of adverse effects of free radicals in the body.
- Makhana acts as an aphrodisiac. It increases quality and quantity of semen, prevents premature ejaculation, increases libido and helps in female infertility.
- It helps in building action in dysentery, frequent urination.
- Fox nuts regulate the blood pressure as they are low in sodium and high in potassium. So a very beneficial food for the hypertensive people.
- It can also treat insomnia, palpitations and irritability.
- It strengthens the heart.
- It is also helpful in anemia.
- According to Ayurveda, Fox nut alleviates vata and pitta dosha.
- It strengthens the body and reduces burning sensation and quenches thirst.
- According to the Chinese medicine, fox nut or Makhana is used to strengthen spleen and kidneys.
- According to herbalists it is helpful in preventing early discharge of semen and restores sexual vigor in older men.
- It is also recommended for the women during pregnancy and post natal weaknesses.
- Makhana regulates blood pressure, relieves numbness and aching near waist and knees.
- It increases moisture level in body tissues.
- They are low in calories, fat and high in fiber so can be a good food for diabetics. They also helps to lower the blood sugar levels, so a healthy snack for diabetics.
Fox nut or Gorgon Nut is a type of seed we add into our weekly cereal or soup on a regular basis to maintain overall health.