Fox nuts and its benefits
The seed portion of Euryale ferox plant is called fox nut or Makhana and is a popular food in Asian Subcontinent.
It has both nutritive as well as medicinal uses. “Euryale” is derived from the mythical Greek word “Gorgon” and both words are synonyms. Thus, this plant is also called gorgon nut.
Makhana or Euryale ferox, also known as fox nut is a popular snack in India and is widely cultivated in shallow ponds.
It is highly nutritious food that has been used as a snack all over and also used in different recipes especially in Indian cuisines. It can be had in roasted or fried form. It can be stored for a longer time if kept in air tight containers. Chinese use it as a part of medicines as it has various medicinal properties too. They use to strengthen spleen and kidneys.
Fox nut and its beneficial attributes:
- They are low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. This makes them an ideal snack to satiate those in-between meal hunger pangs.
- They are beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure, heart diseases and obesity due to their high magnesium and low sodium content.
- Makhanasare recommended for diabetics too due to their low glycemic index.
- An anti-ageing enzyme in these seeds is said to help repair damaged proteins.
- In addition, the presence of a natural flavonoid called kaempferol (also present in coffee), helps prevent inflammation and ageing.
- Ayurvedic beliefs suggest that fox nuts astringent properties that benefit the kidneys.
- Makhanasare gluten-free, protein rich and high in carbohydrates.
- They are low in calories, making them an ideal snack for weight loss.
- Ayurvedic and Unani medicine believe them to have aphrodisiac properties.
- Helps in detoxification of spleen.
- It strengthens the body and reduces burning sensation and quenches thirst.
- As it is has an astringent property it also helps cure diarrhea and improves appetite.
Fox nuts are a type of seed that could be included in the daily cereals or soup to maintain good health. Since it has good amount of protein it is considered apt snack for vegetarians. But, because it is neutral in taste, usually no one prefers to eat it raw. Apart from eating it as a snack or in your breakfast cereal it can also be added to a sweet dish or a vegetable curry or in Rice preparation.