What are Millets?

Millets are a type of small-seeded grass grown for its grains. They are extremely nutritious and are grown in many parts of the world, particularly arid and semi-arid areas. Millets are drought-tolerant and can be grown with little water, making them ideal for areas with limited or fewer water resources.

There are different types of millet, including pearl millet, finger millet, and foxtail millet.

Pearl millet, also known as Bajra, is the most widely grown millet. It is the main food in many parts of Africa and India, where it is used to make, porridge, flatbread, and fermented beverages. Pearl millet is a superfood that is high in B vitamins, iron, and calcium.

Finger millet, also known as Ragi. The vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in finger millet can be beneficial to one’s health. The potassium in finger millet can help keep your kidneys and heart in good working order. Potassium also assists your nerves in transmitting signals, allowing your brain and muscles to work together smoothly.

Foxtail millet, also known as Italian millet. It is a drought-tolerant crop that is well-suited to dryland farming. Foxtail millet, like other millets, is a nutritional powerhouse. These tiny seeds, which are high in Vitamin B12, can provide you with a daily dose of protein, good fat, carbs, and amazing dietary fiber. It contains a lot of calcium in addition to a lot of lysine, thiamine, iron, and niacin.

Millets are high in nutrients and have several health benefits. They are high in B vitamins, which are necessary for energy metabolism, and iron, which is necessary for transporting oxygen to the body’s cells. Millets are high in dietary fibre, which can aid in cholesterol reduction and bowel function. Furthermore, millets are low in fat and have a low glycemic index, making them an excellent choice for diabetics.

What are Millets

How can Millets benefit in terms of Health?

The nutrients and plant compounds in millets are abundant. They might therefore provide a variety of health advantages.

Aids the digestive system:

The fiber in millet supports digestive health and aids in controlling bowel movements.

Additionally, millet contains prebiotics, which promotes the development of probiotics in the microbiome. This is critical for the immune system as a whole and gut health.

Beneficial for the Heart:

Millet consumption may increase adiponectin levels, which can defend cardiovascular tissues. Magnesium, which is present in millet, helps to control heart rhythm. 

Lowering the Danger of Diabetes:

Diabetes risk can be dropped by millet. Additionally, it aids in the control of blood glucose levels in diabetics.

Enhances mood:

Due to its high concentration of the amino acid tryptophan, millet can elevate one’s mood. Tryptophan-rich diets can lessen anxiety and depressive symptoms.

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Nutritional Value

In addition to providing 1,582 kilojoules (378 kilocalories) of food energy, raw millet (Panicum miliaceum or proso millet) is also a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins, and a variety of dietary minerals, especially manganese at 76% DV (USDA nutrient table). 9% water, 73% carbohydrates, 4% fat, and 11% protein make up the raw millet.

Proteins, dietary fiber, B vitamins, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, copper, and selenium are just a few of the nutrients that millets contain in abundance. They also contain an abundance of antioxidants, flavonoids, anthocyanins, saponins, and lignans, all of which have remarkable health advantages.

Sorghum and millets are high in micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins.

Millets contain fewer cross-linked prolamins, which contributes to the higher digestibility of millet proteins.



Can Millets replace Rice?

One needs to be familiar with rice before being able to distinguish between the two. Rice is typically regarded as a staple food and is a key component in many dishes like idli, dosa, and others.

Rice has a low (3%)  protein content and a high (28%) carbohydrate content. Additionally, it is a rich source of several crucial micronutrients like iron, manganese, and vitamin B. On the other hand, millets are a cereal grain that are primarily used for local consumption. It is high in dietary fiber, abundant in protein, and contains vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium—essential minerals our bodies need. They therefore improve digestion and have nutritional value that is comparable to that of fruits and vegetables.

Can millet be a replacement to rice, we must ask? Because rice was the most common staple food in the past, millet’s popularity fell. Millets come in a number of varieties, and the majority of them are used in place of rice because they don’t contain gluten and are thought to be the best substitute.

Millet’s Muscle

Millets are your friend if you want to eat a nice, balanced diet that is high in protein in India, particularly in the tropics.

Millets rich in protein include foxtail, jowar, bajra, proso, and bajra. They have a good balance of fats, vitamins, carbohydrates, and other trace elements and are easy on the stomach. Local millets are grown, and the Indian stomach has evolved over 5000 years to get the most nutrition possible from every grain.

In India, millets have been consumed since the Vedic era (c. 1500 – c. 500 B.C.E.). Prior to Norman Borlaug and the green revolution upsetting the balance, they were a mainstay in Indian kitchens and are even mentioned in the annals of Ayurveda for their health benefi

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