Lotus is an aquatic plant, belonging to the family Nelumbonaceae. While the flower is used for decorative purposes, the lotus seeds, have been used as a functional food since ancient times, all over Asia. The largest producer of lotus seeds amongst the world is China, but these seeds are widely utilized in food and medicine in many south-east Asian countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. The seeds can be consumed in a form of raw, roasted, or ground and boiled into a syrup or paste after being peeled. It plays a vital role in nutrition, health, and cosmetics and is added to several foods like honey, tea, jam, juice, and cakes.
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The lotus seed plays a vital role in traditional medicine practices; it is also used as a dry powder in bread dough to add on the functional properties of bread. As a traditional medicinal component, this lotus seed is used in the treatment of inflammation, cancer, diuretics, and skin diseases and for treating many ailments, including insomnia, palpitations, poor digestion, chronic diarrhoea, enteritis, and cancer. Nutritionally it has a solid content of carbohydrate, protein, vitamins including vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin A and E, and other essential minerals like magnesium, potassium and sodium. They also contain abundant amounts of phytochemicals, with valuable anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant traits.
Effect On Doshas:
Lotus seeds are imbued with natural astringent traits, that makes it very effective in resolving pitta imbalance and maintaining the tridoshic harmony of vata, pitta and kapha doshas. They have a satikta rasa i.e. mildly bitter taste and a sweet or madhura aftertaste. They possess beneficial qualities or gunas of sheeta i.e. cooling the body, tarpana meaning nourishing the organs and varnya implying enriching skin complexion, conferring a smooth, flawless and radiant appearance.
The recommended dosage of lotus seed, in the form of the powdered extract, is 3 to 6 grams per day, in small and even doses after meals. It can be ingested with a glass of warm water or milk, with some honey.
However, in case of any underlying disorders, always consult with a professional Ayurvedic practitioner and consume only the prescribed dosage as per the health anomaly to be treated.
Lotus seeds and the powder residues are usually well-tolerated by most people in minute doses. In some cases, it triggers gut problems like indigestion, constipation and stomach cramps and hence must be consumed only after consulting with a medical expert.
5 Superb Health Benefits Of Lotus Seeds:
Being rich in fiber content, lotus seeds help keep the digestive tract in order. It regulates appetite, controls untimely cravings thus accelerating weight loss. Lotus seeds also detoxify the kidneys and liver, eliminating food wastes and preventing their accumulation in the body, thus maintaining gut wellness. Also Check Out: 5 Effective Tips To Follow For Optimal Gut Health-Infographic
Augments Heart Health
Lotus seeds contain abundant magnesium in it. Magnesium being the greatest channel blocker improves the blood, oxygen and the flow of other nutrients. Low levels of magnesium can leave your body more prone to heart attacks. Such great is the content of Lotus seed that it leads to a dramatic difference in the heart condition. Its nutrition content of magnesium and folate brings down the risks associated with coronary heart diseases and other heart-related conditions.
Confers Anti-Aging Effects
The enzymes, which exist in Lotus seeds are supposed to inhibit ageing. L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase is the enzyme that assists the repairing and maintenance of the damaged proteins and boosting collagen synthesis within the body. Lotus seeds in powdered form are now being added to various cosmetics to reverse the process of ageing skin as well as diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Lotus seeds are supposed to have calming effects and are antispasmodic, which means, your nerves relax better and you get better sleep. It also helps the dilatation process of the blood vessels and helps immensely in alleviating depression and anxiety. This is thanks to the presence of isoquinoline alkaloids in Lotus seeds. Also Read: Foods that help to get a good night’s sleep
Helps Manage Diabetes
Lotus seeds inherently have a low glycemic index. Hence, they restrict a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Lotus seeds also monitor insulin response in the body, maintaining glucose content in the bloodstream within the normal range. Consuming lotus seeds dried or roasted as an evening snack is ideal for a diabetic diet. As diabetes patients have a high risk of hypertension or high blood pressure, lotus seeds also contribute to stabilizing blood pressure levels in the body.
Uplifts Kidney Functions
Lotus seeds are bestowed with potent phytonutrients that possess astringent properties. This helps in eradicating toxins and wastes from the system, reducing acidity and preventing the formation of kidney stones. Moreover, the strong diuretic qualities of these tiny pits aid in smoothly eliminating urine and other fluid wastes from the kidneys, bladder, thereby enhancing renal health and averting infection, damage to the kidneys.
Promotes Sexual Wellness
Imbued with plant-based bioactive compounds, lotus seeds are an excellent aphrodisiac that vastly improves sexual drive, libido in both men and women. They stimulate blood circulation to the reproductive organs, thereby delivering vital nutrients and energy to those tissues and augmenting sexual health and fertility. Consuming a few roasted lotus seeds as part of the regular diet significantly promotes desire and sexual performance and effectively treats conditions like erectile dysfunction in men and low sex drive in women.
Induces Weight Loss
The wealth of alkaloids and flavonoids in lotus seeds enables the body shed excess weight faster. Owing to its detoxifying trait, lotus seeds effectively remove unwanted toxins from the body. Having a low glycemic index, they help satiate sudden hunger pangs and keep you full for a long time. Hence, snacking on lotus seeds play a crucial role in one’s weight loss regimen. The powder from the seeds also curtails the accumulation of LDL (i.e. Low-Density Lipoproteins or bad cholesterol) in the body, thereby improving metabolism and helping the body to maintain a balanced weight.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Being high in magnesium and potassium and low in sodium, lotus seeds are a great combination for patients diagnosed with hypertension. While potassium in the seed brings down the blood pressure, sodium tries to bring it up, to maintain a balanced blood pressure reading. Thanks to their powerful cardio-tonic quality, lotus seeds are quite beneficial in treating mild to moderate hypertension conditions and also avert pre-hypertensive activity. So people suffering from high blood pressure can ideally snack on fox nuts or lotus seeds without worrying about sudden spikes in their blood pressure.
Improves Neural Functioning
Lotus seeds are an excellent source of thiamine that extensively help in promoting cognitive functions. The intake of lotus seeds assists the body to generate acetylcholine and thus aids in the process of neurotransmission. This process of neurotransmission holds high significance in retaining the good functioning of the nerves.
Lotus seeds are indeed highly nutritious food, packed with essential components including proteins, fibers, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They offer numerous advantages for human health such as improving sleep patterns, promoting weight loss, managing diabetes symptoms, enhancing nervous system activity and slowing down ageing. Lotus seeds are an ideal addition to the diet to boost physical and mental wellness.