Phool Makhana - Foxnuts - Nutrition - Health Benefits & Recipes
Roasted & Spiced Phool Makhana
Makhana And Lotus Seeds
Makhana or Foxnuts are many times wrongly called Lotus seeds which they are not. This confusion possibly is because both seeds look similar, are white and come from aquatic plants.
Foxnuts are the seeds of the plant Eurayle ferox while Lotus seeds are the seeds of the Indian Lotus plant, Nelumbo nucifera.
Nutritionally, lotus seeds are far superior to foxnuts
About Phool Makhana or Makhana
Makhana, Foxnuts or Gorgon nuts are the seeds of the plant Eurayle ferox. In China, they are known as Qian shi.
In India, they are quite simply called Makhana or Makhane. These seeds are popped before they are brought to the market to be sold and hence they are called Phool Makhana.
The seeds are roasted or fried and spiced before they are eaten as they turn quite crisp just like popcorn.
Makhana kheer and Makhana raita are 2 popular Indian dishes. Makhana vegetable or curry is also prepared. A very popular and traditional Indian nutritional supplement of Punjab called Panjiri has phool makhana as one of its ingredients.
Popped makhana snack are a healthier option to popcorn.
Phool makhana or foxnuts are also used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine to treat a number of diseases.
In India, Makhana are much used also form as food during festival fasting.
Makhane Ki Kheer | Fox Nut Pudding
Foxnut Plant, Leaves, Flowers And FruitClick thumbnail to view full-size
About Eurayle ferox Plant
The Eurayle ferox plant is a perennial aquatic plant belonging to the water lily family Nymphaeceae. It is native to East Asia. In India it largely grows and is cultivated in Bihar and Manipur.
The leaves of the foxnut plant are round, flat and as big as 3 feet in diameter. They lie flat over the surface of ponds, swamps, etc. They are green on the top surface and have a purple colored underside with the top surface having a quilted texture.
The plant has sharp prickles all over except the underside of the leaf. The leaf stalk is attached centrally to the large floating leaves on the underside and the rest of the leaves remain submerged in water.
The foxnut flowers are bright purple in color and the fruit seeds that are produced are starchy, white in color and edible. The plant is therefore cultivated for its edible seeds.
In India, Makhana is grown both in natural ponds as well as in low land rice fields during the months of March to September.
The plant is cultivated in China, Korea, Japan and Russia besides India.
Nutritional Benefits Of Phool Makhana (Foxnuts)
Nutrients supplied by Makhana in a serving of 100 grams
- Calories 350 calories - 2% of the daily requirement
- Fat 0.1 gram
- Protein 9.7 grams
- Dietary Fiber 7.6 grams
- Calcium 60 mg
- Potassium 500 mg
- Iron 1.4 mg
Besides these, Makhana is:
- Cholesterol free
- Low in sodium
- Low in fat
Makhana Raita | Puffed Lotus Seeds Raita | Vrat Recipe
Health Benefits Of Phool Makhana
Foxnuts have antioxidant, sedative, antitussive, antiseptic, antidiabetic, astringent, antitumor, laxative and nutritive properties.
According to Ayurveda, makhana is sweet and heavy to digest, increases the moisture level in the body tissues and therefore delays aging.
- It alleviates Vata & Pitta doshas and thereby helps in relieving arthritic pains and neuralgia, and reduces burning sensation in the body
- It strengthens the heart, kidneys, and spleen
- It has aphrodisiacal properties and benefits in issues like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, increases the quality and quantity of semen and increases fertility in women
- It prevents frequent urination and benefits in relieving anemia
- It relieves and prevents constipation, improves digestion and appetite
- It regulated blood pressure, palpitations and relieves numbness and aching of the waist and knees
- It is sedative in action and relieves insomnia
- It is beneficial for people having diabetes as it regulates blood sugar
- It aids in reducing weight when consumed in small amounts as it controls hunger. When taken with milk and in excess it increases weight and fat.
- It is beneficial in strengthening the uterus as well as in women issues like leucorrhea, excessive bleeding, those suffering from large clots during periods, recurrent miscarriages, etc.
Dosage, Side Effects & Precautions
5-10 grams of makhana every day is considered safe for a healthy adult. If taking the seed powder, as a medicine, the dose is 5- 10 grams per day. For pregnant and lactating mothers the dose is 3-6 grams per day.
Children below the age of 5 years must not consume makhana. Though safe for pregnant women if grown in polluted water this can result in fetal abnormalities due to heavy metals absorption and accumulation in the seeds.
Excess consumption may cause bloating and constipation.
Makhana should not be consumed if you suffer from - constipation, indigestion, urinary issues, cold and cough and by postpartum women.
A Very Informative Video On Foxnut
The Makhana flowers, float on the surface as they flower. But 2 days later they get submerged in the water. Fertilisation takes place underwater, the fruits are formed underwater and they burst on maturity in the water.
The seeds float on the water surface for a couple of days and then settle at the bottom of the ponds where the Lotus plants usually grow.
Once the fruiting is over these seeds are collected manually from the pond bottom by divers diving deep in the water and sweeping the pond floor virtually collecting not only the seeds but a lot of muck with it. This is a very labour intensive and painstaking process.
The plants are removed first as collection of seeds is impossible without their removal due to their prickly nature.
Flowering occurs in May and fruiting from May to July. The seeds are collected during the months of August to October, sometimes even November.
About 1200 to 1500 kgs of seeds are produced per hectare.
Read in detail how cumbersome the Makhana harvesting process is at the link below:
Processing Of Makhana Seeds
The phool makhana seeds that are sold have been processed from the raw black hard nut, as they originally are produced, to the white puffed seed we get in the market.
The raw makhana seeds are first washed well, then sun dried maintaining them at about 31% moisture content. Water needs to be sprinkled on them at regular intervals to keep them fresh. They are then graded and then roasted. During the process of roasting they are tempered as well.
At a particular temperature the seeds crackle in the nuts. At this point of time the hard nut shell is broken by hitting it manually with a hammer and the expanded kernels pop out.
This is the makhana or phool makhana. They are immediately polished to give them lustre and whiteness. These are then graded and packed and sent for sale.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2016 Rajan Singh Jolly