Lotus seeds, also called fox nuts, come from a plant called Euryale ferox which grows naturally in the ponds and wetlands. They are edible seeds that can be eaten cooked or raw. These seeds are valued for their nutritional and healing properties in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.
In India, lotus seeds are commonly called makhana and they have found a place in religious ceremonies and in dishes. These lotus seeds are prized for their nutritional health benefits, which include helping in weight loss, managing blood sugar levels, and prevent ageing .
Makhana are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 and folate.
This article will focus on how makhana is beneficial for diabetics.
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Being a low glycemic index food, makhana can help manage blood sugar levels well. According to a research study, makhana is high in fibre, protein, carbohydrates and exhibits hypoglycemic activity which is said to play a major role in regulating the secretion of insulin . Thus, consuming the seeds can help improve glucose tolerance and prevent a spike in blood sugar levels.
Moreover, the high magnesium and low sodium content in makhana has a beneficial effect in managing diabetes and obesity. Since, diabetics have higher chances of getting heart disease, the high magnesium content can help improve oxygen and blood flow in the body. This, in turn, decreases the risk of heart disease.
A study published in the World Journal Of Diabetes shows that higher intake of magnesium can help people with type 2 diabetes . In addition, people with this disease who have magnesium deficiency are more likely to have complications. So, incorporating makhana as a part of your diabetes diet plan can help in managing the disease well.
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Makhana can either be eaten raw, roasted or ground. The seeds are soaked in water overnight and then added to soups, salads or other sweet dishes like kheer and puddings.
Dry roasted makhana is the best food option for people with diabetes. Just roast them in a pan until they are slightly brown and eat them as a snack.
Note: If you are diabetic, speak to your doctor before including makhana in your diet.