Fox nuts are also known under the name of “lotus seeds” or ” Makhana seeds”. These are the seeds of Euryale ferox, a plant that grows in areas of stagnant water in East Asia.
With these grains, some snacks similar to popcorn are usually prepared. But it is also possible to eat them whole or cook sweets, breads and porridges from the flour obtained from their grinding.
In India they are considered a sacred food and they are often an offering for the gods in festivals and religious ceremonies. However, they have also been used medicinally for over 3,000 years in traditional Chinese and Hindu medicines.
Little by little, they have become better known around the world for their delicious taste and possible benefits. Find out more about its origin, its properties and how to take it in the following article.
Featured Nutrients in Fox Nuts
In the nuts obtained from the Euryale ferox plant, the carbohydrate content (75 grams per 100 grams of product) and protein (11.16% of the total weight) stand out. The proportion of lipids is low and they also contain a small amount of fiber.
Regarding the presence of minerals, the presence of potassium, calcium and magnesium is noteworthy and to a lesser extent iron and phosphorus. Apart from these, there are glycosides and other valuable compounds with antioxidant activity.
It is interesting to report that this food does not contain saturated fat, hydrogenated lipids, cholesterol and very little sodium; This, added to the nutrients present, makes them a food with great nutritional value.
What properties do they have?
Plants and food contain a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals. Due to its particular composition, each one of them exerts specific properties in the body. In general, they help prevent, improve or alleviate minor discomforts and some illnesses at home and through diet.
These are the main properties of fox nuts:
Health Benefits of Fox Nuts
Like many nuts, makhana stands out as a nutritious food that, taken regularly as part of a healthy diet, can provide some health benefits.
1. Bone health
There are a number of key nutrients necessary for optimal bone development. The dietary guidelines focus above all on ensuring the supply of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and potassium.
All of them (except vitamin D) are present in the seeds of Euryale ferox. They also have low levels of sodium, which is also positive for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones.
A proper nutrition is essential for building and maintaining bone mass in perfect condition. This allows, in the long run, to avoid deterioration and fragility that can lead to osteoporosis and a greater possibility of fractures.
2. Fox nuts and cardiovascular problems
Hypertension is one of the risk factors for heart disease. The supply of potassium along with low sodium levels help keep blood pressure under control and, therefore, reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular problems.
There are studies in animals that corroborate these benefits for the heart. In several of them it has been found that they lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, which also contributes to the decrease in cardiovascular risk.
3. Reduced risk of chronic diseases
Various types of antioxidant compounds abound in the fruits of the makhana. In the body they have the ability to neutralize free radicals that, in excess, cause damage to biological molecules. This can cause functional problems in cells and even their death.
This situation is known as oxidative stress and as some studies show, it can have detrimental effects on health. Among others, it is related to the onset and development of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurological problems or premature aging.
4. Body weight control
These seeds contain protein and a little bit of fiber. Therefore, your intake the feeling of satiety is greater. In the same way, they allow you to control the urge to eat during the hours that follow.
Diets with a high percentage of protein (between 25 and 30%) lead to better control of body weight. This is one of the conclusions of a study published in the journal Missouri Medicine which shows its ability to improve the maintenance of body weight and to exert positive changes in body composition.
For this reason, fox nuts can be a positive food to eat as a healthy snack or snack, both for the general population and for people who follow weight loss or high protein diets.
These days, euryale seeds can be a bit tricky to find. However, it is possible to find them in specialized stores, Asian supermarkets or in some online shopping platforms.
One of the most popular ways of taking them involves a preparation similar to that of popcorn. They are roasted in a skillet until puffed and seasoned with salt and your favorite spices and herbs.
To integrate them into the daily diet, they can be added to many types of dishes: salads, roasted vegetables, curries or rice dishes. In addition, they are ideal for cooking traditional recipes of Indian cuisine, either whole or ground.
Finally, it should be noted that they are a gluten-free food. Initially, they are suitable for people with celiac disease or those who must avoid gluten in their diet, as long as they are not cross-contaminated in their preparation.
Makhana seeds: a novel and healthy food
The Internet and social media are often the medium of transmission and expansion of many food fads. And one of the last to arrive has been a healthy snack made from fox nuts.
In this case it is not only the latest trend but it is a traditional food in some Asian countries: seeds that have also been used as a traditional remedy for some medicines such as Chinese or Hindu.
Due to its interesting nutritional value and its properties, they would collaborate to improve health in general. This can be possible as long as they are accompanied by a proper diet and healthy lifestyle habits. We encourage you to try them and enjoy their fantastic flavor and all its benefits.