Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use

 Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use

Phool Makhana/Lotus Seeds/Eurayle fox seeds /Indian popcorn is an option that is healthy and can be easily included in our diet. We can include Phool Makhana in Indian Deserts, Indian Curries, Indian Bread, and Indian Snacks. Phool Makhana health benefits come from its rich nutritional profile. It is a plant-based food that is popularly included in Indian religious offerings and in Navaratri/ Ekadashi fasting food. Recently Phool Makhana has gained Superfood status and replacing regular Potato Chips and Packaged Namkeens for munching. Let us walk through the health benefits and healthy recipes of Phool Makhana.

Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use

What is Phool Makhana? 

Phool makhana or Lotus seed are obtained from of Indian Lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera). 

The seeds are collected from the bottom of the Pond or River. The collected seeds are cleaned thoroughly and dried. Good gradient seeds are selected for further process. The dried seeds are roasted twice to prevent the seeds from spoilage. Once the fried seeds cool down, they are manually cleaned to remove the outer black covering to get white colored Phool makhana. They are then packed and sold in markets.

In India, Bihar is the main producer of Phool Makhana. Research Center Makhana, Darbhanga conducts various research to improve the quality of Phool Makhana.

Various names of Phool Makhana….

  • Hindi Name: Phool Makhana
  • English Name: Euryale Fox, Foxnuts, Gorgon Nuts, Lotus Seeds.
  • Marathi Name: Kamalache Beej.
  • Tamil Name: Tamara Vitaikal.
  • Kannada Name : Kamalada Bijigalu.
  • Telugu Name : Taamara Vittanalu.
  • Bengali Name : Padmera Beej.
  • Malyalam Name : Taamara Vittukal
  • Sanskrit Name: Padma Beej
Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use1

Nutritional Profile in Phool Makhana

            Table 1 :   All Values are per 100 grams of edible portion

                 Nutritional Parameters                         Nutrient Value
Moisture12.8 grams
Energy347KCal
Protein9.7 grams
Fat0.1 grams
Carbohydrates76.9 grams
Fiber14.5 grams
Calcium20 mg
Phosphorous90 mg
Iron1.4 mg
Potasium171 mg
Sodium0.75 mg
Magnesium26 mg

Reference: Nutritive Value Of Indian Foods, National Institute Of Nutrition by C.Gopalan, B.V.Rama Sastri & S.C. Balasubramanian.

Table 2: Comparative value of Essential Amino Acids Index (EAAI) of various foods

        Foods (100 grams)

       EAAI

Raw Makhana93.63
Fried Makhana89.92
Rice82.88
Wheat65.18
Bengal Gram81.55
Soya Bean85.59
Amaranth57.72
Cow’s milk88.8
Fish89.2
Mutton87.24

Reference : Jha et.al, A Review on Gorgon Nut, International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biological Archives,2010.

Essential Amino Acid Index (EAAI) indicates that Makhana are good source of essential amino acids, thus making it a good protein source.

Health Benefits of Phool Makhana

  1. Good for heart health

Phool Makhana is a good source of Magnesium and Potassium and low in Sodium. This makes it a perfect option for People suffering from Hypertension. It helps in controlling sudden spikes of blood pressure in patients with blood pressure issues. Makhanas are low in Cholesterol and saturated fats, which makes them a perfect option for people suffering from cardiovascular issues.

2.  Good for Weight Loss

Makhana is rich in both protein and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates keep your energetic and protein keeps you satiated for a longer time. Carbohydrates present in Makhana are mostly resistant starch which is digested slowly and cause low glucose spikes in the blood.  They are also low on calories making it an ideal option for people struggling with obesity. Weight watchers can include them guilt-free as an anytime munching option. A small cup of Phool Makhana can make your tummy happy with fewer calories.

3. Good source of calcium

Calcium is very crucial for healthy bones and teeth. It is also very important to carry on various biochemical reactions in our bodies. Makhana too has a significant amount of Calcium which makes it a great option for strengthening bones. Mixing it with Moringa leaves powder or Curry leaves powder or Sesame Seeds powder makes it richer in Calcium. A meal made with these can be taken by people suffering from Arthritis to get some relief from joint pains.

4. Anti Inflammatory Properties

Makhana is rich in flavonoids and alkaloids. 

  • Flavonoids are important antioxidants promoting anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergy ( eczema, Sinusitis, hay fever, and Asthma) health benefits.
  • Alkaloids are involved in many endocrine functions in the body. They are therapeutically used as antidepressants and reduce insomnia.

Consuming Makhana on regular basis can benefit you from all the above health benefits. It keeps your skin wrinkle-free and young. It also prevents the greying of hair.

5. Improve Cognitive Functions

Apart from good antioxidants, Phool Makhana is a good source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Together, Antioxidants and Vitamin B1,  improve the generation of Acetylcholine, which plays a prime role in euro transmission. Consuming them maintains the cognitive function of the nerves.

6. Diabetic Friendly

Being antioxidant-rich and low in glycemic index range Makhana is safe for diabetics. Eating in moderation and mixing it with fiber-rich food can prevent sugar spikes in the blood of diabetic patients. The carbohydrates present in Phool Makhana are digested slowly which in turn releases glucose molecules very slow in the blood. This makes it an ideal option for diabetics.

7. Gluten Free Option

Like other seeds and nuts, Makhana is gluten-free and can be safely incorporated into a gluten intolerant diet.

8. Detoxifier

Makhana antioxidants help in detoxifying the Spleen Organ which is involved in the formation and removal of Red Blood Cells.  It also improves kidney function, as a diuretic and useful for Gout patients. Research shows that Makhana antioxidant property helps in curing Diabetic Nephropathy.

9. Improves Digestion 

Makhana can help in improving symptoms associated with Upset stomach like Indigestion and Constipation. People suffering from IBS -C, with constipation can include them in moderation to improve their health.

10. Can Cure Cancer

Research Study shows that organic compound Neferine, present in the lotus seed, has the potential to kill and hinder the spread of Lung cell Cancer. More research is going on Makhana/Lotus Seeds for curing Cancer.

Phool Makhana in Ayurveda

Phool Makhana holds a good position in Ayurveda foods. It is said to balance Vata and Pitta Dosha because of having Madhura (sweet), Sheet Veerya (Cold in Potency), Snigdha (Oily), and Guru( Heavy in Nature) properties. 

Phool Makhana/Lotus Seed is considered as Aphrodisiac, Immune Strengthening, and Anti Diarrhoea food.

Health Tip: A teaspoon of Lotus seed powder mixed with Honey is said to soothe a sore throat and ease cough Symptoms.

Phool Makhana is popular fasting food

Phool Makhana is not only rich in Carbohydrates but it is a good source of protein as well. It can be made into sweet or savory while doing fasting to keep you energized for a long time. Snacks made from Phool makhana are light and gets easily digested. Usually, in fasting a person goes 8 hours or even longer time without eating anything, and later the fast is broken with special fasting foods.

Phool Makhana will provide both energies as well as nutrients to the body to finish the fasting without struggling with hunger pangs, weakness, and headaches.

How Much Phool Makhana is safe to be consumed?

  • 25 – 30 grams/day of Phool Makhana can be taken safely by everyone. You can include them daily or weekly thrice for reaping its health benefits. 
  • It can be safely consumed by kids, elders as well as Pregnant Women. It can be definitely a healthier option than regular deep-fried packaged Potato Chips and Ready to eat Popcorns etc.
  • Like other seeds and nuts Phool Makhana/Lotus seeds can be consumed on empty stomach. 4-6 dry roasted makhana can  be taken on empty stomach.You can munch them as midnight snack,always remember moderation is very important while snacking on phool makhana.
  • If you are having frequent sugar fluctuations, Breastfeeding or suffering from Arrhythmia, Please consult your physician or qualified Nutritionist before adding them to your diet.

Side Effects Of Phool Makhana/Lotus Seeds

  •  Few individuals are allergic to Lotus Seeds, if you see any allergic symptoms please after consuming Makhana consult your physician immediately.
  •  Excessive Consumption can cause Bloating and Constipation

Phool Makhana or Regular Popcorn?

Both Phool Makhana and Regular Popcorn are nutritious if prepared in the right way. The following points will help you to choose the better option.

a) Preparation:- No matter how healthy is Popcorn (Corn kernels puffed up in heat), it gets unhealthy if not prepared in a healthy way. If it is air-popped, it will be low in calories or else unhealthy preparation with excess butter and oil can shoot up the calories. Medium-size popcorn in your favorite movie theatre can give 1200 calories in one go. These popcorns are mixed with unhealthy fats, high salt, and sugar.

Pre-packaged microwave popcorns contain Perfluorooctanoic acid ( PFOA), diacetyl, and trans fats. These are associated with ADHD, Thyroid Problems, Lung diseases, and heart attacks.

Making healthy popcorns are a little time-consuming and will need skill until you get hang of it. On the other hand, Phool Makhanas can be very easily prepared at home in a jiffy without much fuss. Bachelors, working people, students anyone can prepare, stock, and munch on them.

b) For Celiac Patients:- Both Popcorn and Phool Makhana are gluten-free. But, Popcorns contains Maize prolamins, which can cause inflammatory reactions in a few people with gluten sensitivity. So, People with Celiac disease must be very cautious before consuming popcorns.

Phool Makhana, on other hand are very safe option for Gluten intolerant and celiac patients.

Healthy Indian Phool Makhana Recipes

Now, let us see healthy recipes of Phool Makhana/Lotus seeds which can help you to achieve all the health benefits associated with it.

Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use 3

 

  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 1: Herbed Makhana

Ingredients

  1. Makhana – 4 Cups.
  2. Olive Oil – 1and 1/2 tablespoon.
  3.  Dried Herb Powders – Mint Powder, Curry Powder, Basil Powder, and Thyme Powder( 1/4th teaspoon each).
  4. Dried Chilli flakes (optional) 1 teaspoon.
  5. Salt – As per Taste.

Method

  1. In a cup take half a teaspoon Olive oil. Add all the dried herb powders and salt.
  2. Mix all of it well and keep aside.
  3. In a hot pan add 1 tablespoon oil and add Makhanas.
  4. Roast them for 8 minutes.
  5. Makhana will turn crisp.
  6. Add the herb mix and Toss it well.
  7. Add dried chili flakes for a spicy flavor.
  8. Herbed Makhana is ready.
  9. You can add herbs of your choice as well.
  10. Store it in an airtight container once it cools down.
  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 2: Indian Masala Makhana

Ingredients

  1. Makhana – 2 cups.
  2. Ghee or Oil – Half Tablespoon.
  3. Chilli Powder – Half teaspoon
  4. Jeera Powder/Cumin seeds powder – Half Teaspoon
  5. Dhaniya Powder/Coriander Powder – Half teaspoon
  6. Turmeric powder – half teaspoon
  7. Salt – As per taste.

Method

  1. In a deep bottom Pan, dry roast the Makhana for 10 minutes.
  2. Take out the crunchy makhana in a plate and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan add some oil and add all the masala along with salt.
  4. Mix them well.
  5. Add roasted Makhana and toss them well.
  6. Let it cool down and then add it to an airtight container.
Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use 4
  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 3: Makhane ki Kheer

Ingredients

  1. Lotus Seeds – 1 cup.
  2. Ghee or Coconut Butter – 1 tablespoon
  3. Full Fat Milk or lactose-free milk – 5 Cups
  4. Sugar – 3/4 Cup
  5. Few saffron strands – soaked in 2 teaspoons warm milk.
  6. Jaiphal (Nutmeg) Powder – Half teaspoon
  7. Pistachios – Finely Chopped.

Method

  1. In a deep bottom Pan, add ghee or vegan butter. Add Makhana and roast them till they become crispy. Take the makhani on a plate and cool them.
  2. In the same pan add milk and sugar. Mix it well until the sugar completely gets dissolved in the milk.
  3. Coarsely grind the Makhana in the mixer grinder.
  4. Add these to the boiling milk.
  5. Stir it well and boil till the mix reduced to half in the quantity.
  6. Add soaked saffron and jaiphal powder.
  7. Refrigerate for an hour.
  8. Serve chill with pista garnishing.
  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 4: Curry leaf powder Makhana

Ingredients

  1. Curry Leaves – 50 grams
  2. Dried Red Chillies – 4
  3. Turmeric powder – half teaspoon
  4. Amchur powder – half teaspoon
  5. Salt – As per taste.
  6. Makhana – 2 Cups.
  7. Sesame Oil – 2 tablespoons.

Method

  1. In a heavy bottom Pan, add oil, and once it gets heated add Curry leaves, dried red chilies, and spices.
  2. Once the curry leaves become a crisp turn off the flame and let it cool.
  3. Grind the mix to make a fine powder.
  4. Dry roast the makhana and add the curry leaf powder.
  5. Mix everything well.
  6. Store in an airtight container once it gets cool down.
  7. You can also add Dry Moringa leaves powder instead of Curry leaves powder.
  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 5: Sweet Makhana (Dry)

Ingredients

  1. Makhana – 3 Cups.
  2. Desi Ghee – 1 tablespoon.
  3. Grated Coconut – 3 tablespoons.
  4. Jaggery – 3 tablespoons
  5. Cardamom – 4-5.

 Method 

  1. In a hot Kadai add ghee.
  2. Roast the Makhana until they turn Crisp.
  3. Keep the makhana aside.
  4. In the same pan, add coconut and jaggery.
  5. Roast them till the jaggery melts.
  6. Add cardamom powder.
  7. Now add Makhana.
  8. Mix all of them well till the makhana gets well coated with the jaggery.
  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 6: Matar Makhana Curry

Ingredients

  1. Makhana – 1 cup
  2. Peas – Half Cup.
  3. Onion – 1 
  4. Tomato Puree – 1 cup.
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon.
  7. Turmeric Powder – Half Teaspoon.
  8. Garam Masala Powder – 1 teaspoon
  9. Cumin Seeds – half teaspoon
  10. Oil – 2 tablespoon
  11. Salt – As per taste
  12. Coriander Leaves for Garnish.

For Paste 

  1. Onion – 1
  2. Garlic – 5
  3. Ginger – 1 inch.
  4. Poppy Seeds – 1 teaspoon.
  5. Cashew Nuts – 5.
  6. Oil – 1 teaspoon.

Method 

  1. Heat the pan and add oil.
  2. Add Onions and fry till it becomes translucent.
  3. Add Chopped ginger, garlic, and saute well.
  4. Add poppy seeds and cashews and sauté well.
  5. Switch off the flame and let it cool.
  6. Grind the mix and make a fine paste.
  7.  Dry Roast the Makhana and keep it aside.
  8. Add oil to the pan and add cumin seeds to it.
  9. Once the seeds get sizzle add finely sliced onions and saute the
  10.  Add the ground paste and tomato puree.
  11. Mix it well and close the lid for 10 minutes
  12. Add boiled peas and makhana.
  13. Add all the dried spices and salt. Mix well.
  14. Garnish with Coriander leaves and serve hot. It goes well with hot Phulkas.
Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use 5
  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 7: Makhana Spread

Ingredients

  1. Roasted Makhanas – 30 grams
  2. Hung Curd – 2 cups
  3. Dill Leaves – For garnish
  4. Pepper – Half teaspoon
  5. Salt – As per taste

Method

  1. Dry Roast Makhana and set aside to cool down
  2. Now soak them in water for 5-10  minutes.
  3. Blend them in smooth paste in a mixer grinder.
  4. Combine Makhana Paste and Hung Curd in a bowl.Whisk them properly.
  5. Add dill leaves, pepper and salt.Mix well.
  6. You can use Makhana Spread with your bread, Salads and rotis.
  7. You can add mint leaves instead of Dill leaves.
Phool Makhana: Health Benefits and Use 6
  • Phool Makhana Healthy Indian Recipe 8 : Makhana Rotis

Ingredients

  1. Roasted Phool Makhana – 3 Cups.
  2. Water.
  3. Ghee.

Method

  1. Grind roasted Makhana to make fine powder.
  2. Add water to the flour slowly and knead to make Roti Dough.
  3. Make small Balls of the dough and roll it flat.
  4. Roast it on the hot Pan.
  5. Serve hot with ghee and your favourite home made curry or dal.

Conclusion

It will not be an exaggeration to say Phool Makhana as a superfood. Its rich nutritional profile and numerous health benefits got Phool Makhana the Indian Superfood status. It can be safely consumed in moderation by everyone. It can be made into many dishes both sweet and savory to treat your taste buds. Instead of eating packaged potato chips, deep-fried fritters, packed unhealthy snacks try out Indian Phool Makhana to eat healthily. It is good for heart health, maintains sugar levels, treats IBS, Improves immunity, and weight loss. It is available throughout the year in Indian Markets and E-Commerce platforms. You Can get 1 kg of Makhana in 800/- INR. Prefer organically processed makhanas and enjoy them guilt-free.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551101/
  2. https://www.ijpba.info/ijpba/index.php/ijpba/article/download/36/17/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313124008_Digital_Gene_Expression_Analysis_Provides_Insight_into_the_Transcript_Profile_of_the_Genes_Involved_in_Aporphine_Alkaloid_Biosynthesis_in_Lotus_Nelumbo_nucifera
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337856597_A_Review_on_Health_Benefits_of_Lotus_Seeds_Nelumbo_nucifera
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4913082/
  6. http://www.ijat-aatsea.com/pdf/JUN_V3_07/13-IJAT2007_07-R.pdf
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24212576_The_sacred_lotus_Nelumbo_nucifera_-_Phytochemical_and_therapeutic_profile
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23983146/#:~:text=cell%20cycle%20arrest-,Neferine%2C%20an%20alkaloid%20from%20lotus%20seed%20embryo%2C%20inhibits%20human%20lung,activation%20and%20cell%20cycle%20arrest

Akhila Y

Akhila holds a Post graduate diploma in clinical nutrition and dietetics from Apollo health education and research foundation. She is into this field since a year.She worked as an intern at Apollo hospitals, Hyderabad. She is trained in both inpatient and outpatient dietetics department. She did nutritional assessment, diet planning and clinical counselling for individuals with Hypothy-roid, Diabetic mellitus, Hypertension and kidney dysfunctions at outpatient department in Apollo. Akhila was into agricultural biotechnology but destiny had different plans and her strong passion towards nutrition and food sciences got her into clinical nutrition field. Having a strong background in biochemistry and human genetics she acquired a deep knowledge in the statistics specific to whole body macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism and its relation to metabolic diseas-es.Coming from agricultural background she did research on how organic foods are beneficial than conventionally grown counterparts in terms of nutrients such as antioxidants.She always motivates to encourage locally grown food for better health. She doesn’t encourage usage of supplements and crash diets. She believes the blend of traditional food wisdom and modern nutritional science is necessary for healthy body and mind. She em-phasises more on health gain than just loosing weight.This can only be possible by Sustainable diets.She is all happy in to help her clients who are ready to lead healthy, happy and nourishing life through Wellness munch!

Related post

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: