Makhana, also known as fox nuts, has been a staple in Indian cuisine for centuries. Due to the growing awareness of healthy eating and weight loss, Makhana is receiving the recognition it deserves. Health experts and nutritionists are raving about the nutrient-rich superfood, which is gaining immense popularity in health and wellness. But is Makhana Good for Weight Loss? This article will help find the answer.
Just like any other meal, snacking is also an essential part of any weight loss diet. But, like healthy snacking can enhance your weight loss efforts, consuming unhealthy snacks can hamper progress. Additionally, with numerous options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. That is where Makhana comes in handy. It is a versatile food used in various ways, making for a healthy and satisfying snack. This article will explore the benefits of Makhana for weight loss and how it can fit into your diet plan.
Makhana: An Overview of the Nutrient-rich Superfood
Makhana, also known as fox nuts, is a popular snack in Indian cuisine that is gaining recognition for its health benefits. These small white seeds come from the lotus flower and are commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Makhana is widely available in India and can be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets. It is an excellent source of protein, fibre, and other essential nutrients, making it an ideal snack for those seeking a healthy diet. Let us delve into its nutritional value and its benefits for weight loss.
Nutritional Profile of Makhana
As per data, one hundred grams of Makhna offers the following nutrients.
Calories: 347Protein: 9.7gmFats: 0.1gmCarbohydrates: 76.9gmFibre: 14.5gmTotal Lipids (Fats): 0.1gmCalcium: 60mgIron: 1.4mg
Despite their small size, Makhanas, or fox nuts, are packed with nutrients. They are high in fibre, which helps promote digestive health. In addition, they contain potassium, which helps balance cholesterol levels and keep the heart healthy. Snacking on makhanas can improve skin, weight control, heart health, and hormonal balance.
Makhana and Weight Loss: How Does it Help?
Makhana or fox nuts are an excellent addition to your weight loss diet. They offer numerous health benefits that aid in weight loss in different ways.
Here are some science-backed facts that explain how Makhana helps with weight loss:
Makhana is a rich source of protein, offering around three grams of protein per serving (32g). The importance of protein for weight loss is no secret. Research shows that eating protein-rich foods can help manage and lose weight.
Consuming protein-rich foods can keep you satiated for longer and prevent overeating, leading to a calorie deficit and weight loss. Proteins also help build and repair muscles. Hence, replacing unhealthy and high-fat, high-carb snacks with protein-rich makhana can aid in weight loss.
Makhana is low in calories, which makes it an ideal snack for weight loss. The importance of reducing calorie intake is crucial in any weight-loss journey. Research shows that one factor that seems to contribute to obesity, is the greater consumption of snacks. It is because most snacks available in the market are energy dense and increase your calorie intake.
The point is that people usually munch on a small portion of a snack and do not even realise how many calories they consume. Hence, replacing energy-dense snacks with healthy alternatives like Makhana is better.
Rich in Fibre
Makhana is a rich source of fibre, with one serving (approx. 32g) of makhana offering about 4.5g of fibre. As per a study by the American Society for Nutrition, increasing one’s daily fibre intake by 4g can lead to an additional weight loss of more than 3 pounds (1.36kg) within six months. So, besides leading a healthy life and eating a balanced meal, merely adding one serving of makhana can improve your weight-loss results.
Several studies have highlighted the importance of fibre-rich foods for healthy weight loss. It is because fibre helps improve digestion and adds to satiety. As a result, it helps prevent unhealthy snacking. Hence, makhana is an excellent alternative to oily and processed snacks and aids in dealing with untimely hunger pangs. In addition, it can help curb cravings and prevent overeating, which is essential for weight loss.
Low in Saturated Fat
Makhana is low in saturated fat, which makes it a healthy snack for weight loss. As per research, foods low in saturated fat help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Detoxifying Effect on the Liver
The liver plays a crucial role in weight loss, and a healthy liver can boost metabolism, leading to weight loss.
Makhana has a detoxifying effect on the liver. It helps in reducing triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels from the body. It also helps reverse fatty liver.
Makhana, also known as fox nuts, is an excellent addition to a weight loss diet due to its various health benefits. Makhana is rich in protein, which increases satiety and reduces hunger, leading to a calorie deficit and weight loss. It is low in calories and saturated fat, making it an ideal weight-loss snack. Its fibre content improves digestion, prevents unhealthy snacking, and helps deal with untimely hunger pangs. Additionally, Makhana detoxifies the liver, which can boost metabolism and lead to weight loss. Its low-calorie, high-protein content and liver detoxifying effect make it an excellent food for healthy weight loss.
Makhana Recipes for Weight Loss
1. Makhana Salad
Makhana: 2 cups (65g)Chopped vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, etc.): 1 bowlChopped cilantro: ½ bowlLemon juice: ½ tbspSalt to taste
Method of Preparation
Heat a pan over medium heat and dry roast Makhana until they turn crispy and brown.Add roasted Makhana, chopped vegetables, and cilantro in a mixing bowl.Add lemon juice and salt to taste, and toss until everything is mixed well.Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
2. Mint Flavoured Makhana
Serving size: 2
Makhana: 2 cups (65g)Ghee: 1 tbspCurry leaves (to taste)Pumpkin seeds (to taste)Pinch of rock salt or table saltPepper (to taste)Herbs of your choice (to taste)Mint (pudina) powder: 1 tsp
Method of Preparation
Dry roast the Makhana on a non-stick pan on low flame for about 7-8 minutes or until they turn crispy and brown.In a separate hard-bottomed pan, add ghee and let it melt.Add curry leaves and pumpkin seeds. Stir until they are fried well.Add a pinch of black pepper and rock salt or table salt. Mix well.Add the dry roasted Makhana and toss on low flame until the flavours are evenly distributed.Add herbs of your choice and mix well.Add mint (pudina) powder and mix until the flavours are evenly distributed.Once done, let the Makhana cool and store it in an airtight container for daily use.
3. Spicy Makhana
Serving size: 2
Makhana: 2 cups (65g)Olive oil: 1 tbspRed chilli powder: 1 tspCumin powder: 1 tspCoriander powder: 1 tspSalt to taste
Method of Preparation
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.Add Makhana and roast until they turn crispy and brown.Mix red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and salt in a separate bowl.Add the spice mix to the roasted Makhana and toss until evenly coated.Store it in an airtight container after it cools down.
4. Ghee Roasted Makhana
Serving size: 2
Makhana: 2 cups (65g)Ghee or olive oil: 1 tbspPinch of saltBlack pepper: ½ tspWhite sesame seeds (optional)
Method of Preparation
Dry roast the Makhana on a non-stick pan on low flame for about 7-8 minutes or until they turn crispy and brown.Add ghee or olive oil to a separate hard-bottomed pan and let it melt.Add a pinch of salt and black pepper, and mix well.Add the dry roasted Makhana and toss on low flame until the flavours are evenly distributed.Add white sesame seeds for extra crunchiness (optional).Once done, let the Makhana cool and store it in an airtight container for daily use.
Other Ways of Adding Makhana to a Weight Loss Diet
Here are some other ways to incorporate Makhana into a weight-loss diet:
As a Breakfast Cereal
You can use Makhana as a healthy and nutritious alternative to your regular breakfast cereals. To make Makhana cereal, roast the Makhana in a dry pan until they become crispy. Crush them lightly and add them to a bowl of low-fat milk or almond milk. You can add some fruits and honey to sweeten it up. This breakfast will keep you feeling full for a long time, providing energy and nutrients to your body.
As a Topping for Salads
It is no secret that salads are one of the best ways to incorporate vegetables into your diet. However, sometimes, they can be boring. So, add crunch and flavour to your salads by topping them with roasted Makhana. You can add the roasted Makhana to any salad or make a Makhana salad with cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and coriander leaves. The Makhana will add a nutty flavour and crunchy texture to the salad.
As a Rice Substitute
Rice is a staple food but is high in carbohydrates and calories. Replace rice with roasted Makhana to make a low-carb and low-calorie meal. Roast the Makhana until crispy and crush them lightly. Add some vegetables of your choice and some spices to the Makhana and mix well. One can serve this dish as a side dish or a main course.
As a Snack with Dips
Makhana can also be used as a healthy snack with dips. For example, pair a low-fat yoghurt dip or a hummus dip with roasted Makhana. This snack is high in protein and low in calories, making it a perfect choice for weight loss.
Makhana for Weight Loss: Things to Watch Out For
While Makhana is a nutrient-rich food, remember a few things before adding it to your weight loss diet. Firstly, it is essential to note that Makhana is not a magic weight loss pill. Instead, one should include it in a healthy, balanced diet with regular exercise.
Another crucial aspect to remember is portion control. Makhana is a low-calorie snack, but that doesn’t mean you can overeat it. Consuming too many calories, regardless of where they come from, can result in weight gain. Therefore, limiting your intake to a serving size of 30-40 grams per day is best.
People allergic to seeds or nuts should avoid consuming Makhana. It is also not recommended for individuals who have had kidney stones in the past, as it is high in calcium and may increase the risk of stone formation.
It is best to consume Makhana without adding excessive salt or spices to maintain its health benefits. Instead, you can prepare it with a light seasoning of salt, pepper, or cumin powder, making it a healthy and flavourful snack.
While it is a nutrient-rich food, Makhana should not be considered a magic weight loss pill. One should consume it as part of a balanced diet and regular exercise. Portion control is essential, with a recommended daily serving size of 30-40 grams. People with nut or seed allergies or a history of kidney stones should avoid consuming Makhana. Consuming Makhana without excessive salt or sugar and with a light seasoning of salt, pepper, or cumin powder is best.
Try makhana pudding if you want a unique way to incorporate Makhana into your weight loss diet. This dessert-like dish is rich in protein and fibre and low in calories, making it an excellent option for a sweet snack. To make the pudding, roast the Makhana in ghee until crispy, then grind them into a powder. In a separate pan, heat some almond milk and add the makhana powder, stirring continuously. Next, add some jaggery powder and simmer until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Garnish with your favourite fruits and nuts, and enjoy a delicious and healthy treat.
The Final Word
Makhana is a nutritious and versatile superfood that can aid in weight loss. Its high protein and fibre content make it an excellent snack option. In addition, Makhana is low in calories and can replace energy-dense snacks, which can contribute to weight gain. However, remember to consume it in moderation without excessive salt or sugar. Lastly, it is always best to consult a nutritionist or doctor before making significant changes to your diet.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are makhana or fox nuts?
A: Makhana, also known as fox nuts, are small white seeds from the lotus flower and are a popular snack in Indian cuisine. They are an excellent source of protein, fibre and other essential nutrients.
Q: How can makhana help in weight loss?
A: Makhana helps in weight loss due to its high protein content, low-calorie content and richness in fibre. It can keep you satiated for longer and prevent overeating, leading to a calorie deficit and weight loss.
Q: Are makhana low in calories?
A: Yes, makhana is low in calories. One serving (approx. 32g) of makhana contains only around 100 calories. The low-calorie content of Makhana makes them a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet.
Q: Are makhana high in fibre?
A: Yes, makhana is high in fibre. One serving (approx. 32g) of makhana offers about 4.5g of fibre. The fibre-rich composition of Makhana improves digestion, enhances satiety and aids weight loss.
Q: Are makhana a good source of protein?
A: Yes, makhana is a good source of protein. One serving (32g) of makhana offers around three grams of protein. The protein helps enhance the weight loss process. In addition, it helps build and repair muscles.
Q: Are makhana low in fat?
A: Yes, makhana is low in fat, with one hundred grams of makhana containing only 0.1gm of total lipids (fats).
Q: Are makhana good for digestion?
A: Yes, makhana is good for digestion as it is high in fibre. Besides improving digestion, fibre also helps prevent unhealthy snacking, thus aiding in weight loss.
Q: Can makhana help reduce sugar cravings?
A: Although makhana is not sweet, it can help reduce cravings due to its rich fibre content. It promotes satiety and keeps one full for longer.
Q: How to include makhana in the diet for weight loss?
A: Makhana can be included in the diet for weight loss as a healthy and satisfying snack. It can be roasted or used in various ways to make a healthy snack or a meal.
Q: Are there any side effects of consuming makhana?
A: There are no proven side effects of consuming makhana, and it is safe for consumption, making it an ideal snack for weight loss. However, overconsumption can affect weight loss. In addition, those with kidney stones should avoid consuming it as it is high in calcium.
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