Bloom Your Health with the Lotus Seeds

Set in the midst of the beautiful blossoms of the lotus flower are the lotus seeds which are not only edible but are also powerful storehouses of nutrients. These tiny seeds which can give us unimaginable health benefits, much to the joy of health lovers, are both endearing and special to one and all irrespective of age. These seeds were introduced to me by my little nephew who is a picky eater. His joy of consuming them aroused my curiosity in knowing more about this gift of nature. Read on, health lovers to make them your favorite healthy snack. 
                                                Being green colored when fresh, they are otherwise called lotus nuts.Known as ‘Makkhane’ in Hindi, ‘Thamarai vidhaigal’ in Tamil, and ‘Lotas bijalu ‘in Telugu these tasty nuts are extensively used by the Chinese to make medicines.
Types of lotus seeds:
The dried lotus seeds come in two varieties and can be differentiated by the color of their peel, either brown or white. Usually harvested in the months of August and September, they can be eaten raw or cooked. While the white lotus seeds are harvested when they are fully ripened, the brown ones are harvested when they are immature. 
In order to avoid spoilage, the dried lotus seeds should be stored in a cool dry place in air-tight plastic containers. The fresh ones can be kept under refrigeration for over a week in dry zip-lock bags.
Health benefits:
Lotus seeds can make you look younger and trimmer
A boon in disguise, these seeds contains an anti-aging enzyme called L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase which helps to repair damaged proteins. Many cosmetic companies are trying to exploit this feature of the lotus seeds by including them in their cosmetic products. Since they are low in their glycemic index they can easily make your tummy full and thus can lead to weight loss.
Lotus seeds help in maintaining a healthy pregnancy
The rich nutritional value of these seeds helps in the development of a healthy fetus by stimulating the development of the nervous system and the brain. One of the most common problems during pregnancy is miscarriage and lotus seeds can come in handy to stop bleeding which is associated with this problem. They also help to effectively deal with post natal weakness.
Lotus seeds can treat sleeping disorders
Thanks to the calming and sedative properties of these seeds. They can help to treat sleeping disorders like insomnia or restlessness.
Your Heart will love the Lotus seeds
The centre of the lotus seed contains a bitter substance composed of isoquinoline alkaloids whose calming effects can dilate the blood vessels and thus reduce blood pressure.
Other benefits
From nourishing the spleen, teeth and bones to alleviating diarrhea and treating mouth ulcers these seeds can go a long way in improving your general health condition.
A Simple Recipe with the Lotus seeds:  
Roasted Lotus seeds
Just heat oil or ghee in a pan and then add the puffed lotus seeds to it. Roast the seeds in a low flame say for about 10 to 12 minutes till they become crisp.
Now add the salt and other spice powders. Reserve the chat masala for later after you switch off the flame lest the powder might get burnt. Mix all the ingredients well and serve it as a hot snack.
 Try making sauces, soups or kheer with these seeds and I am sure you would love them. 
Side Effects
·        Though these seeds are extremely good for your health and also very nutritious they might cause allergy in certain people. If this is the case please consult your physician immediately. 
          Diabetic patients who are on insulin should consult their doctor regarding the dosage as it might tend to lower the blood sugar levels.
·        Other side effects may include flatulence and bloating.
What is stopping you form including these seeds in your grocery list? Come on health lovers, bloom your health with the lotus seeds.