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7 Proven Health Benefits Of Makhanas That Will Make You Want To Include Them In Your Diet!

Krithika KumarKrithika Kumar  |  Dec 10, 2019
7 Proven Health Benefits Of Makhanas That Will Make You Want To Include Them In Your Diet!


Makhanas, popularly known as Fox Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks and are known to be great substitutes to fried namkeen. In India, you will see a lot of people eating Makhanas during their fasts. These puffed lotus seeds are not only healthy but also super nutritious. Recently, they have become a rage with all the nutritionists. They are popularly used in various recipes and in addition to that, they can also be used as a snack that one can munch on at any time of the day. They have also been used for medicinal purposes during medieval times. They contain micronutrients that are essential for every human being. 

Fox nuts or Makhanas are very easily available in the market. You can buy them in bulk and store them as they come with a very long shelf life. You just have to store them in an airtight container and keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture. Wondering how you can include this superfood in your diet? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you. Read on to know more!

Makhanas: Origin & Nutritional Value

Makhanas come from a plant called Euryale Fox which grows in stagnant water in the ponds in Eastern Asia. As we mentioned, they have been used for medicinal purposes for the past 3000 years by Chinese people. They are also widely used in Ayurveda. In addition to that, they also find an important place in religious ceremonies in India. They are also widely used during fasts in India, especially during Navratras.

Fox nuts are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium and so, they are good for your heart. They are also low in calories and hence promote weight loss. They are good sources of magnesium, potassium, protein, phosphorus, iron and calcium. Needless to say, they good for your bones and also to keep your haemoglobin in control. Makhanas also help in controlling blood pressure and is great for an overall body detox. We call them superfood because these seeds also have anti-ageing properties. 50 grams serving of dry makhanas have about 180 calories with no saturated fat or sodium. If you are on a gluten-free diet, then Makhanas will be your best friend!

Health Benefits Of Makhanas


Makhanas come with a lot of health benefits, read on to know more.

It helps in weight loss


Makhanas are high in protein, which is why only a handful will keep you feeling full for a long time. Makhanas make up for great substitutes for the deep-fried and unhealthy snacks that we usually like to munch on. They are low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. Not just that, they are also gluten-free and are rich in protein and carbohydrates. Needless to say, if they are eaten in the right quantity, they help in stimulating weight loss.

Also Read: Health Benefit of Green Apple

It is very good for your heart


Fox Nuts are full of magnesium which is known to improve blood levels and oxygen. They also help in the easy flow of other nutrients. Low levels of magnesium in your body can actually put your body through the risk of having heart problems. So, it’s safe to say that consuming makhanas can increase the levels of magnesium in your body, reducing the risk of any heart problems, keeping your heart super healthy at all times! 

It helps to cure insomnia


Phool makhanas or roasted makhanas can actually help people suffering from insomnia. They contain ingredients that have a calming impact on your body. Consumption of fox nuts or makhanas can help you cure restlessness, palpitations and other disorders that result in the loss of sleep.

Fox nuts are good for inflammation


Several things can cause inflammation in your body. The inflammation indicates that your body is trying to fight something and is healing itself. Inflammations can be long term or short term. Inflammation is further responsible for diseases like diabetes and arthritis. Fox nuts or makhanas have antibacterial properties which help in curing inflammation thus saving you from the risk of so many more diseases.  

They help your body flush out toxins


Your spleen is the graveyard of cells in your body. It is responsible for recycling the red blood cells and for the storage of white blood cells. They thus, make up for great detoxifying agents which flush out toxins from your body.   

Has medicinal properties


In the medieval Chinese period, Makhanas were used for medicinal purposes. They help in curing erectile dysfunction, diarrhoea, arthritis and diabetes. Its anti-oxidant properties aid in digestion and help in rejuvenating your respiratory system. 

It has anti-ageing properties


Fox nuts contain enzymes that have anti-ageing properties. These enzymes obstruct the ageing process. Not just that, it also helps in slowing down the ageing process. Not just that, it helps in controlling the other signs of ageing such as greying of hair and the formation of wrinkles.

Awesome isn’t it? If you’re someone who is new to this superfood, then we’re pretty sure you have some questions. We have picked the most frequently asked questions and their answers to help you!



FAQs about Makhanas

1. How many makhanas can I eat in one day in order to lose weight?

30 grams of Makhanas are perfect as your evening snack if you’re aiming to lose weight. 

2. Can I eat makhanas with milk for breakfast?

It is not advisable to eat makhanas with milk for breakfast as it can cause bloating. You can, however, cook makhanas in milk and make it a makhana kheer which is touted to be healthier than the normal kheer. It is best to have makhanas with green tea as it helps in weight loss and keeps those hunger pangs away.

3. Are makhanas good for diarrhoea?

Makhanas are known to be a cure for chronic diarrhoea. It contains astringent properties and is also consumed by a lot of people to improve the lack of appetite. Makhanas should be avoided by people who are suffering from constipation.

4. How do they taste?

They are lotus stem seeds and look exactly like popcorn. They have a bland taste most of the time. However, you can add some masalas to it while eating if you like to eat something spicy every time you feel like munching.

5. Can I eat the packaged makhanas as a snack?

Yes, you can. Makhanas in any form make up for a good snack. You can buy the packaged one too. They’re healthy and tasty.

Makhanas For Your Skin & Hair

We all want healthy skin. Fox nuts or makhanas are known to have numerous benefits for your skin and hair. 

1. Heals skin problems

They provide moisture to your skin and have properties that hydrate your skin. Switch to makhanas and in no time, your skin will have that glow you have been wanting!

2. Reduces wrinkles and delays ageing

We all know the amazing properties of Makhanas that actually almost reverses the ageing effect. No, you will not look younger than what you already do, but they definitely slow down the process.

3. They are natural hair conditioners

Many conditioners that we all see in the market contain fix nuts that are known to keep your hair healthy and shining. Consuming them will keep your hair luscious-looking for a long time!

4. Adds volume to your hair

If you’re suffering from thinning of hair then makhanas should be your go-to snack. Makhanas are really good for your hair as consuming them will make your hair thick and beautiful over a period of time.

5. Prevents premature greying

Fox nuts prevent pre-mature greying of hair. They stimulate melanin into your hair follicles preventing premature greying of hair for both men and women.

Recipes Using Makhanas

By now, we’re all aware of all the health benefits of Makhanas and while we all want to include them in our diet, we are mostly not sure of the things that we can make. Fret no more, as we have made a list of recipes using makhanas that will not only help you lose weight but will also help you adopt a healthier lifestyle!

1. Spicy Makhana

This is the easiest recipe for people who are on a diet. It needs the least amount of ingredients and will suffice your spice cravings within seconds!


  1. Makhana — 3 cups
  2. Turmeric powder
  3. Red pepper powder
  4. Salt
  5. Chaat Masala
  6. Black pepper
  7. Ghee/cooking oil


  1. Heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan and roast the nuts for about 11 minutes over low heat. Keep stirring.
  2. Add all the spices. Turn off the flame and discard the nuts well.
  3. If necessary, add more Chaat Masala. Mix well.
  4. Place immediately in the airtight container cool, use later.

(You can also dry roast them if you want to completely avoid using oil or ghee)

2. Makhana Matar Curry

If you want to replace your traditional paneer or chicken then you can make this recipe with makhana and matar (peas). 

  1. Makhana
  2. Peas — 1 cup
  3. Onion 2 large, chopped
  4. Tomato puree — 1 cup
  5. Red pepper powder (optional) — 1 tablespoon
  6. Coriander powder — 1 tablespoon
  7. Garam Masala — 1 dessert
  8. Caraway – 2 tablespoons
  9. Turmeric – 1 tablespoon
  10. Cashew nut 5–6
  11. Garlic — 5–6 cloves
  12. Ginger – 1 inch piece


  1. Put the Makhana in the heated pan and roast over low heat until crisp. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
  2. Heat some oil and sauté half of chopped onions and garlic until lightly browned. Turn off the flame and add the cashews that heat in the heat of the tub. Allow the mixture to cool before adding a paste to the mixer with a little water.
  3. Heat more oil in a saucepan. Add the sesame seeds until they crack. Add half of the chopped onions to the pan and fry. Add onion paste and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato puree, turmeric, coriander powder and fresh powder. Mix well. Cover the pan and cook until the oil dissolves.
  5. Add half a cup of water, peas and salt. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low flame for 4–5 minutes.
  6. Add the makhanas in the end and wait for the mixture to cool down. Enjoy with chapati or rice.


3. Makhana Tikki

Age-old tikki recipes are passe. Especially when you can switch to a healthier alternative, right? Here is how you can make a healthier version of aloo Tikki at home. 


  1. 4 medium potatoes — cooked and mashed
  2. Fox nuts — 1 cup
  3. Green peppers — 2, finely chopped
  4. Grilled peanuts-2 tablespoons, roughly crushed
  5. Coriander leaves — handle, finely chopped
  6. Fennel seed powder — 1 teaspoon
  7. Garam Masala Powder — 1 teaspoon
  8. Chaat Masala — 1 teaspoon
  9. Cooking oil — 4–5 tablespoons
  10. Salt to taste


  1. Roast ghee with fox nuts until they are crisp. 
  2. Put the coarsely ground Makhana, the mashed potatoes and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Change the salt and spices to your taste.
  3. Form the mixture into round or oval patties. Sauté lightly in a pan until both sides are golden brown.
  4. Serve with ketchup or pudina chutney.

We all love us a healthy snack. So, are you making the decision to switch to healthy snacks today?

Featured Image: Shutterstock 

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