Do you know where makhana grows? Know some facts and health benefits of this healthy food

Phool Makhana or Crispy Lotus pop seeds grow on the leaf in a pond or ideally in stagnant water. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock Images)

Fox nuts, popularly known as makhana, are a healthy snack option. A bowl of roasted makhanas peppered with some black salt and pepper is the ideal substitute for popcorn to keep the hunger pangs away. Also known as euryale ferox or lotus seeds, they also make for the perfect tea time snack, and can also be added to curries, and sweet dishes like kheer or pudding.

In some parts of India, it is considered auspicious and is often offered to gods on special occasions and festivals.

Where it is grown?

Makhana is largely produced in the state of Bihar in India and in countries like Japan and Russia. According to the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, the seeds are edible after being processed and are highly nutritious.

The seeds grow on the leaf in a pond or ideally in stagnant water. Collected seeds are then washed and sun-dried for a couple of hours. After they dry up, they are roasted in a pan at high flame and then hit immediately so that the black shells are broken and white puff pops out. Generally, only one-third of makhana is recovered from the whole lot as most of the water produced can’t be used.

Here are some health benefits

* It is low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. This makes it an ideal snack to satiate those in-between meal hunger pangs. Also, it’s an ideal weight-loss snack as it is low on calorie. So binging on it won’t harm your weight loss journey.

* They are beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure, heart diseases and obesity due to their high magnesium and low sodium content.

* It is also recommended for diabetics too due to their low glycemic index.

* An anti-ageing enzyme in these seeds is said to help repair damaged proteins.

* Ayurvedic beliefs suggest that fox nuts have astringent properties that benefit the kidneys.

* Makhanas are gluten-free, protein-rich and high in good carbs.