26-04-2021 / Health and Fitness

Fox nut (Makhanas): 8 Incredible Health Benefits and Recipes

Fox nut, commonly called Makhana, is like a panacea comprising healthy and beneficial food elements. Here you can Learn the important health benefits it offers and add them to your daily food intake.

Fox nut (Makhanas): 8 Incredible Health Benefits and Recipes
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Contents


Makhanas are consumed mainly by people during fasting. They are enriched with nutritious food elements and can be used to make several delicious dishes.

What are Makhanas?

  • Makhanas come with many names. Fox nuts, Lotus seeds, Euryale forex, Phool Makhana, and Gorgon nuts are among the most popular. Makhanas come from the prickly water lily plant. They are mainly the dried seeds of prickly water lily.

  • Makhanas grow largely in India, especially in Bihar. Apart from India, Japan and Russia are also leading producers.

  • The collecting and processing steps are a bit complicated. It only becomes edible after being processed fully. These seeds naturally grow in the pond or other stagnant water bodies.

The processing procedure includes washing and then sun-drying those seeds for several hours. Once dried up, the seeds get roasted in a pan. Then it gets hit to break the black shells and pop out all the white puffs. These white puffs are called edible Makhanas.

Nutritional Value of Fox Nut (Makhanas)

The beneficial aspects of Lotus seeds make it an exceptionally healthy snack. They contain the type of protein beneficial for someone who is pursuing a weight loss goal. Other than this, Fox Nuts have few calories. A 100 gm of makhanas has only 347 calories. Let’s check on all the nutrients in 100 g Makhanas:

Nutrition per 100 g Fox Nut (Makhanas)

All these nutrients are intensely supportive of good health. The low amount of fat it contains is the reason for its popularity among the health-conscious group.

8 Health Benefits of Makhanas

This superfood has a lot of health potential that can benefit one’s body and mind in many ways. Here are some common yet crucial health benefits of eating Makhanas regularly:

1. Sugar Level in Blood

Makhanas are infused with a rich amount of carbohydrates and essential proteins, making them crucial for the human body. Its low glycaemic index plays a critical role in managing optimal blood sugar levels. Its glycaemic index is remarkably lower than different staple foods. Hence they are often recommended by doctors for patients with diabetes.

2. Weight Loss

  • Health specialists have recommended Fox Nuts to those looking for healthy weight loss. Snacks or dishes made from them keep binging at bay and provide sufficient energy to sustain regular body activities. Thus, you will be able to stop overeating and becoming overweight.

  • Fox Nuts also bear fewer calories and fat. Nothing can justify a snack’s efficacy to be an ideal weight-loss food. The nominal amount of saturated fats is disposable and adds almost nothing to the already existing fat in the human body.

3. Heart-Friendly

  • The reduced sodium level and comparatively large amount of potassium in Makhanas help the body reduce the level of blood pressure. What can be more helpful for hypertension sufferers? 

  • Makhanas are heart-friendly as the amount of cholesterol is too low in them. So are the sodium and saturated fat. They are an ideal source of potassium, manganese, thiamine, magnesium, protein, and phosphorus. All these elements contribute to the maintenance. 

  • The extra magnesium in Makhanas remarkably increases the blood and oxygen quality flowing throughout the body. Magnesium is crucial for the heart’s health. Lack of magnesium in the system increases the chance of disorders associated with the heart.

  • Makhanas are beneficial to the heart. Eating them regularly will enhance one’s heart state as the magnesium and folate content lessens the risk of coronary heart disorders.

4. Strengthen Bones

  • There is no argument about the contribution of calcium to the construction of bones. Fox Nuts have a significant amount of calcium. Regular intake of this food will benefit your bones condition by recovering and restructuring them where necessary.

  • Besides, Makhanas are a significant source of minerals. An adequate supply of this food in the system will enhance your bones’ strength.

Health Benefits of Fox Nuts (Makhanas)

5. Aging Resistant

  • Regular usage of Makhanas helps fight free radicals. It decelerates the aging process and makes you look fresh. It includes the natural ingredient kaempferol, which is a type of flavonoid.

  • Flavonoids decrease the pace of aging procedures. It eliminates the signs of aging like wrinkle spots, whitening of hairs, and hair loss. It makes you look more youthful and in a better state of mind.

6. Body Detoxification

Fox nuts are renowned for their body cleansing attribute. They can flush out the toxin from the body. These seeds perform remarkably when it comes to cleaning and maintaining the spleen. The spleen is an organ that cleans and recovers the red blood cells and also maintains the white blood cells and platelets. Thus, Makhanas contribute to the detoxification and cleansing of the bloodstream.

7. Better Digestion

Their high-quality fiber elements make fox nuts a beneficial part of a person’s digestive health. Having them even in any one of the three daily meals improves daily bowel movements. Digestion-related diseases like indigestion and constipation will also be relieved.

8. Better Cognitive Ability

  • Fox nuts have thiamine in large amounts. The content helps in improving the cognitive functionalities of the associated nerves. Thus, the brain functions much better and takes less time to process the instructions.

  • Eating this nut generates more acetylcholine. This is the element that triggers neurotransmission—the more acetylcholine, the better will your brain function. 

Interesting Dishes Made from Makhanas

1. Makhana Kheer

This Kheer is a tongue-soaking dessert recipe infused with the flavor of dry fruit. This is a North Indian recipe and can easily be prepared at home. This special recipe is made with ingredients like Makhana, milk, sugar, ghee, almonds, cashew, and saffron.

This is one of the celebrated recipes that most Indian households make frequently. They mostly make this dish on fasting-related festivals. It is renowned for its delicious taste. It also has enormous health benefits. Makhana kheer is also servable on occasions like kitty parties and potlucks. It is tasty and elegant enough to serve at a family gathering or occasions.

Makhana Kheer


Roast one cup makhana and few cashew nuts in one tablespoon of ghee and keep them aside. Boil around 500 ml (2 cups) of milk in a thick-bottomed pan while stirring it continuously. Add 3-4 tablespoons of sugar into it. While the milk is boiling, grind the previously roasted makhana and cashew nuts in a mixer grinder with few cardamom seeds. Add the grounded Makhana to the boiling milk and mix it very well. Cook it on low flame for about 10 to 15 minutes. Your makhana kheer is ready! Garnish it with chopped dry fruits and saffron strands. You can serve it both hot and cold.

2. Maple Chikki with Makhana

Now, this one is a sweet snack. Easily prepared and easy to carry anywhere you travel. It is a perfect snack on the go and a mood booster. The Maple Chikki is an enjoyable Fusion recipe and a must-try for everyone.

Infused with deliciously juicy maple syrup, seed pops of Makhana, sesame seeds, grated coconut, and flaked almonds, this dish can be made at home in half an hour. The crunchy bite with the sweet flavor of maple is always a lure for another bite.

Maple Chikki with Makhana


Cook 150-200 ml of the maple syrup on a low flame until it thickens. Dry roast makhana, chopped almonds, coconut flakes, and sesame seeds. Add the thickened maple syrup into it and mix it well. Place parchment paper or butter paper on a tray and spread the whole mixture on it. Let it cool down and set. Once it is set, you can cut small pieces and store them.

3. Coconut Makhana Laddu

Another super delicious recipe that takes no time to make is coconut makhana laddu. You can serve them to guests or even make them for your family anytime you want. The delectable recipe is full of nutrition and health. The recipe is super easy, as the traditional way of laddu making with only a bit of ghee in the ingredients. Adding a bit of fig (anjeer) and saffron will truly make it taste unique.

Coconut Makhana Laddu


Roast makhanas in a tablespoon of ghee until golden.  Grind the roasted Makhana in a mixer grinder and transfer it into a bowl. Add some desiccated coconut, powdered sugar, ghee, chopped dry fruits, and cardamom powder. Mix it all and add a little amount of milk for binding. Make small round laddus out of the mixture. Coconut makhana laddu is ready to serve! 

Word Of Wisdom

Makhanas has the potential to be an ideal food that only has positive health value. People looking for food to back their fasting, or daily hard work, should consider adding Makhanas to their meals.

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