Makhana needs no introduction, especially for someone who follows a healthy diet. People who are health-conscious usually nudge on these desi nuts or have them stacked on the “healthy specials shelf” in their kitchen. Also known as lotus seeds or nut seeds, these are a go-to choice of snack for people who are trying to lose weight. It has been touted as the superfood that helps with ailments like diabetes, heart disease and more. While it is considered healthy in the fitness realm, over-consumption of makhana can lead to several side effects.
Health Shots got in touch with Priscilla Marian, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Kalyani Nagar, Pune, to understand the side effects of eating too much makhana. But first, let us know the benefits of eating it.
Benefits of eating makhana
Makhana is a superfood that has been in the limelight for all the right reasons. It offers multiple benefits and can be used in your everyday life. “Makhana is rich in many nutrients and plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They are low in calories and cholesterol, rich in protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as good amount of fibre,” says Marian.
She adds that all these qualities of makhana make it easy to consume for someone trying to lose weight, maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, ad manage digestive issues. It also helps one deal with hunger pangs when they opt for junk.
Complications of eating makhana
It is a universal fact that anything consumed in excess can lead to several complications. Here are some of the common side effects of over-consuming makhana:
While makhana is a light food, over-consuming it can lead to constipation. “If you continue munching on makhana in your free time, it may lead to fullness by providing fewer calories and high fibre, leading to constipation. Excessive intake of fibre draws away water from the intestine, which causes bloating,” explains Dr Marian.
Calcium is good for your body, but a buildup of this nutrient in your body is not. The nutritionist points out that makhana is a rich source of calcium, and excessive consumption can lead to calcification in the bones and other parts of the body.
High blood pressure
“Makhana is also rich in potassium, restricting the person with any renal ailments to maintain the parameters. This food is low in sodium but packed makhana comes with added salt which can raise blood pressure levels,” she explains. High blood pressure or hypertension can up your risk of developing heart disease, which is why you should eat makhana in moderation.
Eating too much of anything can lead to problems, one of them being makhana. As per the nutritionist, eating too much makhana can cause an allergic reaction in some people. It can lead to complications like flu, cough or diarrhoea.
Who should avoid eating makhana?
Marian warns pregnant and lactating mothers to avoid eating makhana as it can lead to complications. “They should consult a specialized doctor before consuming makhana because the requirements of such vulnerable groups vary from person to person. Also, makhanas can obstruct the absorption of medicines into the body leading to other complications,” she adds.
How much makhana is enough?
It is suggested to maintain a balance in every food you consume. Only a fist full of makhana along with tea or milk is good. It is around 30-60 grams at one time which would help it work wonders for you and not lead to complications, recommends the expert.