Lotus is the National Flower of India, symbolising spirituality, knowledge, fruitfulness, illumination and wealth. Aside from its significance as a National Symbol of India, lotus seeds benefits and nutritional value are also crucial factors that make the plant highly regarded.
Lotus seeds, aka Makhana, come from the Euryale Ferox plant or the lotus plant. These are cultivated widely throughout Asia and have long been used to treat a wide variety of health conditions. Lotus seeds nutritional value makes them the perfect evening snack and can be added to desserts, side dishes or curries.
Lotus Seed Nutrition Facts
Here is a quick insight into the nutrition facts of lotus seeds.
Per 100 grams of lotus seeds contain:
- 350 calories
- 63-68 grams of carbohydrates
- 17-18 grams of protein
- 1.9-2.5 grams of fat
In addition to the above, lotus seeds nutritional value also comprises Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and essential minerals such as Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium. They also contain a large amount of water and phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Health Benefits of Lotus Seeds
Let’s understand the nine most incredible benefits of eating lotus seeds.
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Lotus seeds are known to be a powerhouse of various antioxidants. These essential compounds help neutralise the release of harmful free radicals, thereby, preventing oxidative stress. According to research studies, antioxidants play an integral role in helping protect the body against chronic health conditions such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Having makhana in the right amount regularly can also help reduce inflammation, thus, alleviating the symptoms of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or psoriasis.
2. May Support Healthy Weight Loss
Lotus seeds uses are wide-spanning, including the ability to support healthy weight loss. Eating lotus seeds regularly can increase your intake of healthy protein and fibre which are essential nutrients that help promote weight loss.
Research shows that adding protein to your daily diet can help improve your metabolism and cut down food cravings. On the other hand, fibre moves through the digestive tract slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer.
As you feel fuller, you are less inclined to eat more. This way, makhana may help promote healthy weight loss.
3. May Help Manage Diabetes
Another key aspect of lotus seeds is they have a low glycemic index unlike other carbohydrate-rich foods like rice, bread, etc. They are also known to maintain an optimum glucose content in the bloodstream and monitor the body’s insulin response. Hence, eating roasted or dried lotus seeds can help manage diabetes.
Makhana is also good for diabetic patients who have a risk of high blood pressure or hypertension. Studies suggest that lotus seeds may help stabilize the body’s blood pressure levels.
4. Lotus Seeds May Be Good for Kidney Health
Ayurveda suggests that makhana contains a powerful astringent which may help restore optimum kidney function. The astringent helps eliminate harmful wastes, toxins and free radicals from the body. This may prevent the formation of kidney stones and also lower acidity levels. The diuretic properties of lotus seeds may help eliminate fluid wastes and urine, thus, improving the overall functioning and health of your kidney.
5. Skin Benefits of Lotus Seeds
Lotus seeds contain essential nutrients, proteins, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may have potential skin benefits. Makhana contains the enzyme L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase that may help rejuvenate the skin, boost collagen synthesis and prevent the signs of ageing. Rich in water, lotus seeds have essential hydrating properties that moisturise your skin and improve skin elasticity.
The flavonoids present in lotus seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that can naturally repair damaged skin cells and prevent inflammation. Vitamin A and Vitamin C may help reduce dark spots and add radiance to your skin. In addition to lotus seed benefits for skin, it also helps ensure healthy hair.
6. May Help Promote Sleep
Studies suggest that lotus seeds are antispasmodic and have calming effects on the body. This means they may be beneficial in helping relax your nerves and provide better sleep. Lotus seeds may also help the blood vessels to dilate optimally. They contain isoquinoline alkaloids that may help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
7. May Support Healthy Heart Functions
Although research is still in its nascent stage, certain studies indicate that lotus seeds may help promote heart health. They are rich in magnesium which may help improve the flow of oxygen and blood in the body. Additionally, folate present in lotus seeds may also reduce the risks of getting coronary heart disease or other heart-related conditions.
They are rich in antioxidants which can help neutralize free radicals and protect the heart against injuries. Other animal studies suggest that lotus seeds may help reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improving heart health.
8. It may be helpful in Diarrhoea
Lotus seeds are known to contain high levels of astringent properties which may help alleviate the symptoms of diarrhoea. It may also be effective in regulating appetite in patients suffering from diarrhoea. However, people with constipation should avoid it.
9. Promotes Sexual Health
Makhana is rich in plant-based bioactive chemicals that work as an incredible aphrodisiac. This may help increase the sexual drive and libido in men and women. Lotus seeds help promote the flow of blood into the reproductive organs, enriching the tissues in these body parts with energy and essential nutrients.
This is the primary reason why the lotus has long been the symbol of fertility and fruitfulness. Including the right dosage of roasted makhana in the diet may help alleviate the conditions of poor sex drive in women or erectile dysfunction in women.
So, these are the most common lotus seeds uses and benefits you should be aware of.
How to Eat Lotus Seeds
To have the best lotus seeds benefits for your health and overall wellbeing, it is important that you consume them in the right way.
Makhana can be eaten roasted and tossed with some olive oil and rock salt, to make a delicious & nutritious savoury snack. You can also add puffed makhana into curries, kheers, etc. Make a paste of raw lotus seeds and use it to use in desserts.
Eating lotus seeds regularly can help ensure overall health and well-being.