Over the past few years, there has been a healthy food revolution. Especially, with the increasing health consciousness among people, there has been a rise in the demand for nutrient-rich cereals and exotic berries. No wonder why millets have grown as a fad among millennials for its umpteen health benefits.
What are millets?
Millets are small seed grasses and cereal crops, which are widely used in African and Asian countries. Majorly cultivated in the semiarid tropical regions of Africa and Asia, around 97% of the world’s overall millet production happens in these regions.
Health benefits of millets
In fact, India is known as the second largest diabetes capital of the world, and this has lead to the surge in the demand of millets. Moreover, these gluten-free millets can play a vital role in preventing and curing several serious health problems. Enriched with the goodness of nature, Millets are a rich source of fibre, minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, iron, calcium, zinc and potassium.
According to the health and nutrition experts ‘Millets are extremely nutritious and good for health, and they also need less water and can be stored for years, as they have a long shelf life. Millets make for a perfectly healthy meal. In fact, it is often advised to prepare millets in the form of porridge for growing kids and ageing adults. What’s more, millets are loaded with a high amount of starch and proteins, which can be beneficial, if added to the daily diet.’
Millets are good for coronary diseases
These tiny grains are a powerhouse of nutrition, which helps in improving heart health and can effectively work to reduce coronary blockage. It is enriched with the goodness of magnesium, which can effectively reduce blood pressure and heart attacks and risk of stroke.
Especially, millets can help in reducing the risk of diseases like atherosclerosis. Rich in potassium, millets can effectively work as a vasodilator. Moreover, the plant lignans in millets can be transformed into animal ligands, which can combat chronic diseases like cancer and other coronary diseases.
Millets can manage sugar level
Millets are a rich source of magnesium, which helps in stimulating the level of insulin, thereby increasing the efficiency of glucose receptors in the body, which further helps in maintaining a healthy balance of sugar level in the body. This helps in reducing the chance of diabetes type 2.
Millets promote digestion
Rich in fibre, millets make for a healthy cereal, which can help in digestion and can relieve bowel issues. It helps in gastrointestinal problems and can help to ease the other diseases related to the liver and kidney. It can also help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Helps in detoxification
Millets have highly rich components such as curcumin, ellagic acid, Quercetin and catechins, which further help in removing foreign agents and free radicals and balance the enzymatic reactions in the body. These can naturally detoxify the blood.
Types of millets
Sorghum is commonly known as Jowar in India. Traditionally, jowar was used as a grain to make flat-breads/ roti’s. Enriched with the goodness of iron, protein and fibre, jowar can help in reducing cholesterol level as it has a component called policosanols (a part of sorghum wax). It is good for people who have a wheat intolerance.
Ragi (Finger Millet)
Ragi is used as a healthy substitute for rice and wheat. Ragi is undoubtedly a powerhouse of nutrition. Loaded with protein and amino acids, this gluten-free millet is good for brain development in growing kids.
Foxtail millet has healthy blood sugar balancing carbohydrates, and it is popularly available in the form of semolina and rice flour. The presence of iron and calcium in this millet helps in strengthening immunity.
Bajra (Pearl millet)
This millet is known for its umpteen health benefits. Packed with the goodness of iron, protein, fibre, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium; the daily consumption or inclusion of this millet can work wonders.
This millet has high fibre content, which can effectively help in losing weight. It is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus, which helps in bone building and its daily consumption helps in fighting bone diseases.
This millet can effectively help in balancing blood sugar level. Its low glycemic index has made it a fad among weight watchers. In India, it has been a common bird feed.
Little Millets contains the goodness of B-vitamins, minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and potassium, little millets can provide essential nutrients, which further help in weight loss. It is a part of many traditional dishes in south India. What’s more, more than anything its high fibre content makes it a healthy replacement for rice.