What’s on my plate? Lotus seeds. You also know them as makhana—yes that healthy puffed snack that’s all the rage these days.
Superpower: Lotus seeds are low in fat and sodium and high in potassium and magnesium, making it an excellent choice for people suffering from high blood pressure. In fact, in traditional Chinese medicine, they are used to treat cardiovascular ailments like hypertension and arrhythmia. According to an extensive research conducted on lotus seeds in 2009—and published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology—apart from being heart friendly, these wonder seeds also help curb inflammation in the body and are a good source of calcium.
Where to buy: In one form or other, lotus seeds are available everywhere. Makhanas—also referred to as fox nuts—are now a popular packaged snack, sold at most grocery stores and supermarkets. Raw lotus seeds—fresh or dried—are not as easy to source, but can be found in specialty health and grocery stores.
Eat this: You can eat lotus seeds raw—in curries and soups. Alternatively, you can make a paste of the seeds like the Japanese, and use it in pastries as filling or add it to sauces. The puffed variety of lotus seeds i.e. makhana can be dry roasted with spices for a healthy evening snack; stir-fried with potatoes or peas for a wholesome lunch; topped with milk, fruits, and jaggery for a filling breakfast; and added to yoghurt and chaat-masala for a cooling makhana raita. You can also use makhana to satiate your sweet tooth by making a kheer with it, complete with saffron and dried fruits.
Discover More Superfoods
Rich in nutritional value, superfoods are the easiest way to boost the health quotient of your daily meals. To discover more superfood ingredients, check out the rest of our superfood series:
Amla: This superfood can fix every part of your body! Don’t believe us? Read on to find out the health benefits of amla.
Ashwagandha: Can’t get sleep? Check out the sleep-inducing and other health-promoting properties of the Ayurveda-approved Ashwagandha.
Basil or Tulsi: Apart from simply adding flavor to meals, basil brings with it several medicinal properties. Check out the number of health conditions for which basil can come to your rescue.
Black Carrots: You’ve seen the red ones and you’ve seen the orange ones, but ever witnessed black carrots? Check out how they look and their many health benefits.
Brahmi: Are you afraid of the increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease? Include this superfood in your diet to boost your brain health. Read about the other health benefits of Brahmi.
Camu Camu: One of the richest sources of Vitamin C, this superfood comes all the way from the Amazon rainforest! Read about its health benefits.
Chia Seeds: This Mexican native is now being used in many Indian kitchens. Check out the various health benefits of chia seeds.
Chilli: Do you love to eat spicy food? Well, good news! Check out how those spicy chilies boost your health.
Dandelion: Not only do they brighten up your garden, but dandelions also boost your health. Confused about how you can include this flower in your diet? We have answers for you right here.
Hog Plum: Looking for a remedy to cure ulcers? Tired of getting diarrhea every time you eat out? Hog plum can come to your rescue! Check out the amazing health benefits of this not so popular superfood.
Jamun: Apart from tinting your tongue purple, jamun has several medicinal properties. Here’s why you must include jamun in your diet.
Kale: Coming across a lot of kale in salads, pizza toppings, and even chips? Check out why kale has suddenly topped the charts for being a healthy option.
Karela: Reading this will prevent you from screwing up your face every time someone mentions karela. Kokum: Along with being a refreshing summer drink, kokum also helps you shed extra kilos. Find out more about the sour and fruity kokum.
Moringa or Drumstick: Looking to boost your iron and calcium levels? Don’t restrict yourself to just meat and milk. Know more about moringa and how this superfood can be made a part of your diet.
Mushrooms: These fungi are loaded with nutrients. Click here to know why you should be consuming them more often.
Muskmelon: The juicy and aromatic muskmelon has several health-boosting properties. Find out more about this nutritious fruit.
Ragi: This grain has made its way into the plates of many. From ragi dosa and idli to ragi porridge, it is being promoted in the diets of old and young. Find out why health experts are recommending this superfood.
Sabja: Slurped a tall glass of falooda? If it had sabja seeds, you have no reason to feel guilty. Click here to know why!
Sacha Inchi: These nut-like seeds are rich in omega-3. Check out the other health benefits they have in store for you!
Sweet Potato: A rich source of Vitamin A and fiber, sweet potato is a great alternative to the white potato. Take a look at all the reasons why you need to include it in your diet.
Tofu: Often known as the vegan cousin of paneer, tofu is derived from soybean and comes loaded with protein and minerals. Read more about the health benefits of tofu.
Turmeric: Think twice before you say no to “haldi wala doodh”. Find out why your grandma trusts turmeric for every infection.
Zucchini: Did you know that you can use your favorite zucchini not only in pasta and pizza but also in a cake? Wondering how it’s possible? Click here to know more.