Makhanas: Benefits, Nutritional Value & Side Effects of the Super Food

Last monsoon when I was constantly craving for the unhealthiest version of street food available out there, one of my colleagues gratified me with the best gastronomic delight ever. She didn’t order me the delicious (read caloric) Pakoda platter from the Nukkad, but introduced me to fox nuts, or makhanas as they are fondly called.

So, when makhanas came into my life, I learned the biggest truth nobody ever tells you- not everything that is insanely tasty has to be unhealthy. This crunchy and salty treat, that can be easily called the new-age popcorn, is light, healthy, and tasty at the same time.


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Makhanas might be the modern-day popcorn but it definitely is older than that. It has been used since ages as a snack for fasting and in several culinary preparations like kheer, raita, and creamy curry. But nothing compares (both in health and in taste) to the roasted version of these seeds. Since it is low in sodium and cholesterol, it is considered a better alternative to many fruits and nuts.

There are a host of benefits of this gluten-free snack but before we dig deeper into that, let’s have a look at makhana nutritional value.

Makhana Nutrition Value

Makhana’s nutritional value comes from its high fiber content, low glycemic index, and low calories. It has almost negligible fat, making it a top choice among those who are enthusiastic about weight loss. Below are some key makhana nutrition facts that deserve your attention.


Makhana Benefits


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The key facts about makhana’s nutrition prove that there are way too many benefits of this wholesome and understated superfood. With more and more people turning back to their roots and their grandmother’s kitchen secrets for health and beauty remedies, this forgotten food is gaining back its popularity. Thankfully, you can now spot packs of this wonder food while walking down the supermarket aisles.

Here are some makhana benefits that are a must know:

  • Makhanas for Weight Loss


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Since they are low in calories, makhanas are considered a healthy weight-loss snack. One cup of makhana contains only 83 calories which are nothing as compared to a plate of Pakodas (315 calories) and one packet of chips (536 calories). Additionally, makhanas are a rich source of protein that makes you feel full for longer and keeps those hunger pangs away.

  • Makhana Benefits for Skin & Hair

Makhanas are a powerhouse of antioxidants. Kaempferol in them fights inflammation and harmful free radicals. This helps in wrinkle reduction and slowing down the aging process. It also reduces hair loss and premature greying.

  • Great for A Healthy Heart


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Magnesium and potassium in makhanas regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Makhanas are also rich in folate- the vitamin that plays a crucial role in maintaining heart health.

  • Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

One of the many makhana health benefits is for people suffering from diabetes. It has a low glycemic index (lower than rice and bread) and is rich in carbohydrates, protein, and fiber that help in regulating blood sugar levels and fighting against obesity.

  • Improves Digestion

Makhanas-improves Digestion

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Makhanas’ high fiber content promotes good bowel movement. So if you are struggling with that morning dump, include a bowl full of makhanas in your diet and you will be good to go.

  • Cures Insomnia

If you find it difficult to hit the sack even long after midnight, makhanas may come to your rescue. A handful of this puffed snack every day can improve your sleeping patterns by reducing stress.

  • Helps Build Muscle Mass

Makhana health benefits are also ample for vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarians can include these in their diet to get their daily dose of protein. One bowl of makhanas provides 4 gm. of protein that is equal to 7% of the daily recommended amount. Since makhanas come from a plant, they are also vegan-friendly.

  • Improves Bone Strength


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Makhanas are rich in calcium, the mineral that plays a crucial role in bone development. The high calcium content in them makes them suitable for bone and teeth health.

Luckily for you, makhanas are available in multiple flavours at your local departmental store. To name a few, you have the plain salted, peri-peri, herb and cheese, mint, and even wasabi flavour!

Makhana Side Effects


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All good things come with a price and makhanas are no exception. Though they are loaded with benefits, makhana side effects on the body can also not be ignored. Hence, moderation is the key. Some of the side effects are allergies, gastrointestinal problems, and increase in insulin level. Other side effects of excessive consumption are constipation and bloating.

If you feel uncomfortable, or show signs of allergy, immediately stop the consumption and consult your doctor. Pregnant women and diabetic people must consult their doctor before adding makhanas to their diet. Also if you are on some medication, consult your physician first. However, makhana side effects are negligible as compared to the host of health benefits they offer, making them the perfect snack to munch on at any time of the day.

Long story short- the next time you crave for some potato chips to fulfill your evening snacking ritual, just head to your kitchen cabinet and get yourself a bowl full of this healthy, crunchy snack. Trust us, you will be doing a favour to your heart and tummy, and your taste buds will thank you forever!

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