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Can Makhanas (Fox Nuts) Help Prevent And Manage Diabetes?

Makhanas or fox nuts or lotus seeds, are widely known for their anti-diabetic effects. They help improve glucose levels and control cholesterol levels in the body. Fox nuts also have radical scavenging activity that prevents the risk of diabetes complications.

This aquatic cash crop seeds are mainly found in the Northern part of India. Though it has high nutritional value, its importance is often ignored. In the treatment and management of diabetes, the benefits of fox nuts are, however, reported in many studies.

In this article, we will discuss the association between fox nuts and diabetes. Take a look.

Antioxidants In Makhanas (Fox Nuts)

The primary reason for the anti-diabetic effect of makhanas is the presence of antioxidants. Diabetes is mainly caused when the free radicals increase in number and cause beta-cell dysfunction of the pancreas.

As insulin is synthesized and secreted by the beta-cells located in the pancreatic islets, damage to those cells cause an obstruction in the secretion of insulin and lead to hyperglycemia or diabetes. [1]

The presence of antioxidants such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in makhanas assist in scavenging free radicals in the body and prevent any damage to the pancreas.

Also, in diabetics, complications such as high cholesterol and heart diseases are common. The antioxidant properties of fox nuts help prevent these complications and assure the proper management of the condition.

Anti-Fatigue Effect Of Makhanas

Fatigue is defined as a feeling of tiredness, lethargic and lack of energy. Though there are multiple causes of fatigue such as stress, workout, lack of sleep, boredom, overweight and medications, an increase in free radicals is also considered a main cause of fatigue.

Fatigue is one of the primary symptoms of diabetes. As in diabetes, insulin production is reduced or the body cells are unable to utilise insulin for the conversion of glucose into energy, diabetics get tired easily after a mild physical activity which may affect their day-to-day life. [2]

In a study, it was found that phenolic compounds such as gallic acid in makhanas, may help alleviate fatigue by reducing the free radicals and by controlling the blood glucose levels. Therefore, including makhanas as a part of the daily diet can help in the management of diabetes.

Makhana Recipes For Diabetics

1. Low-calorie makhana kheer

Ingredients

  • One cup of makhanas
  • Four and a half cups of low-fat milk
  • 10-12 seedless dates
  • Handful of raisins
  • One-fourth cup of almonds
  • One-fourth cup of walnuts
  • A few saffron strands

Method

  • Soak walnuts, dates and almonds in around half cup of warm milk and leave it for 15 minutes.
  • Grind them to a fine and thick paste and keep aside.
  • Saute makhanas for around 4-5 minutes in a medium flame until they turn crisp.
  • Allow them to cool.
  • Blend them to a coarse powder and keep aside.
  • In a pan, boil milk and add the saffron.
  • Reduce the flame to medium and then add crushed makhanas.
  • Stir them for around 20 minutes or until the makhanas get soft.
  • Add dates, walnuts and almonds paste for the sweet taste.
  • Add raisins
  • Allow it to cool. Serve after half an hour.

2. Makhana Raita

Ingredients

  • One cup of yoghurt or curd
  • Half cup of makhanas
  • Half teaspoon of cumin or jeera powder
  • One-fourth cup of coriander leaves
  • One sliced onion (optional)
  • Two chopped green chillis (optional)
  • Two teaspoons of ghee
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Roast makhanas in ghee until they turn crispy or golden brown.
  • Mix cumin powder, green chillis, onions and salt in curd.
  • Add makhanas to the mixture and coat them properly.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.