Most of us get these hunger pangs at 4pm and we are often flummoxed at what to eat without piling on calories. Makhana is the answer. This is also called the fox nut or popped lotus seeds. Though it is light on the stomach it gives a feeling of satiety for a long period of time with merely a bowl.

It can be lightly roasted with a teaspoon of oil on the pan and spiced for taste, making it a perfect teatime snack. Makhana can also be used in a number of Indian dishes. A replacement of rice in kheer, a weight watchers replacement for potatoes, an option to movie-time popcorn. Roasted or oven baked with spices it is an option to keep in an easy kitchen or at times of travel as it can last long without getting spoilt.

High potassium, high magnesium, low sodium, good iron content and high fiber make it an ideal mid-day meal to give you a boost of energy, without causing any insulin surges, or loading you with carbs. The potassium and magnesium help with the nervous system and reduce muscle fatigue. The fiber helps in keeping the hunger pangs at bay without the carbohydrate lethargy to sink in, in the middle of the day. Low sodium helps in not aggravating dehydration and not affecting people with hyper-tension.

It is a dry snack and therefore storage, spoilage, and being able to tiffin carry it to place or work is not an issue. For someone with a desk job, or children studying on their laptops this is a fuss free snack that they can have without stoppage of work. Though the amount of protein is not that substantial, it is a perfect snack without the calories with low GI and low GL, make it ideal for weight watchers, diabetics and heart patients.

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