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Diet Diary: Add Makhana to your diet for that healthy edge

 

By: Ishi Khosla   /   INDIAN EXPRESS  31 JAN 2015

Extracts from different parts of this water plant including its leaves, stems, roots and seeds have been reported to show several benefits, such as antioxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, and immuno-modulatory activities. Makhanas have also been used in religious rituals in India.

Interestingly, the lotus seeds are also called fox nut or gorgon nut. However, being low in fat and high in carbohydrates, these are nutritionally distinct from nuts and seeds. Lotus seeds are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Lotus seeds are also low in sodium.

Their low sodium and high magnesium content makes them useful for those suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. These seeds have been used extensively in traditional Oriental and Chinese medicine for their health benefits and are valued for their nutritional and healing properties.

These seeds contain an anti-aging enzyme, which is believed to help repair damaged proteins.

Lotus seeds are also known to contain kaempferol, a natural flavonoid also found in coffee which prevents inflammation and aging.

It is believed that roasted lotus seeds make a coffee substitute. In addition, lotus seeds are high on phyto-nutrients (disease fighting nutrients) including alkaloids, gallic acid, saponins.

Most significantly, the glycemic index of lotus seed is significantly lower than most high carbohydrate foods like rice, bread and others. It appears that lotus seeds may have a beneficial effect on diabetic individuals, and may be one of the more appropriate foods for them.

According to Ayurveda, lotus seeds have astringent properties that have specific benefits to the kidneys, helping to restore vital energy within the body.

The seeds can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground and boiled into a syrup or paste. The most common use of the seed is in the form of lotus seed paste, which is used extensively in Chinese pastries as well as in Japanese desserts. Dried lotus seeds may be soaked in water overnight prior to use. They can then be added directly to soups, salads or used in other dishes. Puffed seeds are used in curries, kheer, puddings and dry roasted snacks.

So far, as there are no detailed reports on the toxic effects of long-term consumption of lotus seeds and their products, further experiments are warranted. Although nutraceutical value of lotus seeds is established, further precise exploration of value-added compounds might be beneficial in health promotion.

Lotus seeds hold a promising future as an alternate gluten-free protein supplement and potential nutra-ceutical and pharmaceutical source. Blending its flour with other nutritionally rich legumes like daals and soybean or millets like bajra and jowar will be of immense value to develop low-cost, gluten-free, protein-rich food supplements to combat malnutrition, particularly relevant to India.

Hence, introduce the ‘makhana’ snack food in your regular diet for that healthy edge

 

World’s only website launched for sale of gorgon nut

 

PATNA: Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Saturday regretted that the cultivation of the country's two signature crops, 'Kesar' and 'Makhana', was declining due to the depletion of water reservoirs. He was launching www.gorgonnut.com, the world's first ever e-commerce website dedicated to sale of 'makhana'.

Promoting the Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh model of irrigation, Singh urged the state government to select more and more farmers to benefit from centrally funded schemes. He said improved irrigation facilities can contribute handsomely to eradication of poverty. The minister congratulated Shakti Sudha Foundation, the organization behind the e-commerce website, for their efforts that have reduced the role of middlemen in payments to those cultivating 'makhana'.

Speaking on the occasion, economist Shaibal Gupta said the crop could act as a booster dose for the ailing economy of the state. Describing the e-commerce website as 'a potential tool for capturing global market', Gupta said it could lead to huge inflow of capital to the state. To buy 'makhana', one can now simply log on to www.gorgonnut.com to choose the quality and quantity of product from the list available on the home page and place the order. The order will be supplied within 72 hours in 500 towns of the country. International orders will be supplied within ten days. The website also contains seven recipes, including 'makhana kheer' and 'makhana curry'.

Gorgon nut reaches Singapore online

JOYSENGUPTA Shakti Sudha Industry, a Patna- based venture that launched online supply of gorgon nut ( makhana ), has now reached the international market.

Six months after the company launched its e- commerce venture for the nut mainly produced in Bihar, international orders have started to flow in and the company started its international operations' six days back.

A gentleman named Samir Hoon, who lives at 37 Mount Sinai Rise, 10- 02, in Singapore, was the first person from abroad to place an order for gorgon nut.

He paid $ 31.36 ( which comes to around Rs 1967.37) for a kg of gorgon nut.

Speaking to The Telegraph on Wednesday, Shakti Sudha Industries CEO Satyajit Kumar Singh called it a proud moment for himself and the state.

" We started this e- commerce venture in August last year. The domestic operation was going on strong and we were trying to begin our international operations," Satyajit Singh said.

Elaborating on that, he said: " There were some logistic issues we were dealing with which led to some delay.

However, we have had many queries from abroad since our launch last year. Finally, our international operations commenced on March 5 and the first order we received was from Singapore. We have dispatched orders to seven places round the world, namely Singapore, South Korea, Muscat, New Jersey ( US), London, Jakarta ( Indonesia) and Nepal. It is a good start and we hope this will continue." Those willing to buy the different gorgun nut products have to log on to www. gorgonnut.

com and choose and place an order for the product online.

" Now, we are able to take orders from at least 220 countries.

Our website has a slot called ' Choose your shipping country' which lists all countries where we can deliver. We have been successful in streamlining the delivery system.

It is done with the help of companies like FedEx and DHL," Satyajit said.

The company has bigger plans ahead to ensure the gorgon nut finds a place for itself on the international market.

The company next plans to launch a major advertising campaign on social networking site Facebook to ensure information about the nut reaches far and wide.

" The company has decided to start an advertising campaign on the social network in a bid to tap as many people as we can. We believe that through Facebook we will be able to connect to many more countries and people, Satyajit said. The product already has a presence on the social media website. Satyajit said: " We already have a Facebook account called Shakti Sudha Gorgon Nut, which is becoming popular, and we are planning some major advertising campaigns there." There are more ambitious plans to carve a niche for the product.

The company plans to participate in the 2015 INC World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress — scheduled from May 22 to 24 at Antalya in Turkey — to make the nut known globally.

" We believe this conference will be good for us and give this product much- needed space and recognition. We have a slot to help present the nut to the world in a proper manner. Also, we will register the nut with the Foundation of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council. We believe both Bihar and the nut will become popular," Satyajit said.

Bihar produces around 15,000 tonnes of gorgon nut annually.

The nut, which grows in ponds and wetlands, has high nutritional value.

These edible, white seeds can be roasted or fried. They are high on anti- oxidants and prevent accumulation of toxins in the body.

It is highly beneficial for people suffering from hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.

As far as domestic operations are concerned, the company's e- commerce venture has already reached over 83 cities in the country.

" We have reached over 2,000 customers across India in the first six months. On an average, we are dispatching around 15 to 20 orders domestically each day. As stated earlier, we plan to expand." At a later stage, products made from gorgon nut, like kheer, flour, corn flakes, health food and drinks etc, will also be available online. But for now, we want to focus on developing our international operations. The idea is to make the nut from Bihar famous throughout the world," Satyajit said.

In fact, at present, around 50 products made from the nut are available online.

The website of the Shakti Sudha Industry  www.gorgonnut.com

 
 

 

MUNCH IT -  GORGON NUT ( MAKHANA ) AT MANHATTAN      

TELEGRAPH NEWS SERVICE   

A indian  in Manhattan longing for his favourite snack made from makhana (gorgon nut) doesn’t have to wait for his holidays to get back home to munch them.

A click on www.gorgonnut.com will soon get him his yummy snack delivered at his doorstep.

Patna-based Shakti Sudha Industries, known for manufacturing makhana-made products as well as snacks from chura or bitten rice, will soon start its online e-commerce initiative in 500 cities across the country and in 100 nations around the world.

Said to be the first e-commerce initiative by any Bihar-based industry, the initiative will be formally launched on August 30, Satyajeet Kumar Singh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Shakti Sudha Industries, told The Telegraph on Tuesday. Singh is also the chairman of the Bihar chapter of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Makhana, which grows in ponds and wetlands, is a crop with high nutritional values. These edible white seeds, which can be roasted or fried, contain high anti-oxidants and prevent the accumulation of toxins in the body. It is highly beneficial for people suffering from hypertension, diabetes and high blood pressure.

“On August 30, we will launch www.gorgonnut.com, kick starting our e-commerce initiative. The website would initially cater to Indian clients. Twelve makhana-made products can be ordered online through the website. Most people are nowadays used to online shopping so selling them would not be a problem. Initially, we will serve people of around 500 cities in India and they will get the products delivered at their doorsteps,” Singh said.

He added that in the next 15 days the firm would go global by connecting around 100 countries. “All the logistics regarding this are at the final stage,” Singh said.

Bihar produces around 15,000 tonnes of makhana.

“It is one of the most popular snacks of Bihar. In other cities and nations, it is sold at a very high price. We have done our homework before deciding to launch the product. The makhana-made products will be of very good quality and at the same time cheap too. In countries like US, makhana products are sold at anything between Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,000 per kg. Through our site, one can order a 250-gm pack of a makhana-made product for just Rs 200. We have entered into deals with prominent courier companies like FedEx to ensure that the ordered products reach fresh and on time because most products would be either baked or fried. We have also tied up with Amazon for online sales,” Singh said.

The CEO added that other makhana-made products like kheer, flour, cornflakes, health food and drinks, will also be available online.

“While in events, meetings and expos in and outside the state, people have asked me why our products are not available in so many other places. The state government has talked about e-commerce initiatives always but has not been able to start them. I hope our initiative will have a positive impact on Bihar’s industrialisation process and take the state on the global map,” Singh said.

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