The Makhana wave has started and the superfood is quickly making a name for itself as an FMCG product. The super nutritious snack that once used to go unnoticed on the supermarket aisles, is now grabbing the attention of India’s health-conscious folks.
Why is this shift happening?
It turns out that Makhana or Lotus Seeds are not only tasty but have a number of health benefits, and one among them is ‘weight loss’.
Although using Makhanas for weight loss is still a foreign idea to most people, the awareness is growing as more and more celebrities and dieticians are recommending the healthy snack to the masses.
When a fitness icon and celebrity like Kareena Kapoor Khan swears by the health benefits of Makhanas, health buffs are bound to go bonkers over it. The actress had grabbed a lot of media attention for her post-pregnancy transformation and also revealed in an interview that adding makhanas to her diet helped her shed weight and retain her glow.
If you’re someone who is trying to lose weight and are not sure how to use this newfound tool in your arsenal, we’ve got some tasty recipes to get you started. But before that, let’s have a look at how exactly do makhanas help with weight loss.
Why Makhana helps in Losing Weight
Makhanas are a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates and are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. This nutritional profile aids in weight loss by helping one stay full longer after eating. Makhanas are especially helpful in dealing with untimely hunger pangs and are a great alternative over oily and processed snacks.
You might ask, “What about the calories?” One of the reasons why Makhanas are a popular tea-time snack in the country is that they are low in calories. One cup of plain roasted makhanas (a 32 g serving) only adds up to 106 calories.
Makhanas or Lotus seeds have a detoxifying effect on the liver and help with boosting metabolism, which helps with losing extra weight.
According to a study published by PubMed Central, Lotus seed has the potential to be developed as an effective agent against obesity-related diseases. While they aid in weight loss, researchers are also beginning to see that a Lotus seeds diet may slow down the process of weight gain for those who indulge in a high-fat diet.
How to Eat Makhana for Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, Makhanas work best when consumed as a midday snack. Untimely hunger pangs pose a big threat to our weight loss goals as we are prone to binging on oily and processed snacks at such times. Preparing and storing a batch of roasted makhanas at home is a low-calorie, highly nutritious alternative over the fried chips and pakodas.
1. Ghee Roasted Makhana
Place your Makhanas in a non-stick pan and dry roast them on low flame. Keep roasting until the soft spongy makhanas turn crisp and reveal shades of brown. This might take about 7 to 8 minutes. Once ready, switch off the flame and let the makhanas cool.
Now, add two teaspoons of ghee or Olive oil (depending on your choice) to a separate hard bottomed pan. When the ghee melts, add a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper. Mix the ingredients well before adding the makhanas so that the flavours stick on well and are evenly distributed. You can add white sesame seeds for extra crunchiness.
Load the Dry Roasted makhanas into the pan and toss them on low flame. Do this until you feel that all the flavours have mixed well. The yummy Ghee Roasted Makhana is now ready. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container for daily use.
2. Healthy Makhana Chivda
Add two teaspoons of ghee to a hard bottom pan. Then add a teaspoon of cumin seeds, some finely chopped green chillies and some curry leaves. Stir them for a minute and add a few peanuts. Once the ingredients are fried well, top the mixture with some chana dal, red chillies and cashews. You can also add dried coconut if you don’t mind the flavour.
Keep tossing until they are fried well. Add salt and turmeric depending on your taste. The mixture is now ready to load the dry roasted makhanas. Mix and Roast the makhanas until they are well coated with the masala. Once done, allow it to cool and then transfer them into an airtight container for future use.
3. Mint Flavoured Makhana
This is a refreshing snack for your body during the summer. Start as stated for the earlier recipes. Once the ghee melts, add some curry leaves and pumpkin seeds and stir until they are fried well. Then, add a pinch of rock salt (or table salt) and pepper for flavouring.
Roasted Makhanas are now added to the pan and topped with herbs of choice. Finally, add a teaspoon of Mint (Pudina) powder and mix the ingredients until the flavours are evenly distributed. Your refreshing mint makhana is now ready for use.
You can customize the recipes by blending roasted makhanas with herbs and spices of your choice. If you are more into sweets, choosing jaggery based makhana sweets is a good option over sugar based ones.
For best results, pair Makhanas with a healthy diet and exercise. Stick to your regular meals and avoid crash diets for healthy weight loss.
As the saying goes ‘Too much of anything is too bad’. Refrain from overconsumption as it may cause allergies and gastrointestinal issues. When consumed in the right quantity and right manner, Makhana can be your best weight loss companion.
So how are you planning on using Makhana in your weight loss journey? Please do share with us.
This article was first published on the Nummy blog on May 6, 2020.