“Millets”- this term may be new to some people, as it was to me few years back. Sounds new to us, but millets are the secret foods of our healthy ancestor’s who were strong and healthy even at their old age.
Advancing in technology degrading in food quality. This is the well-known fact that the quality of food we are consuming today is far beyond compared to our ancestor’s. Our ancestors had great amount of knowledge of nature and its secrets. Let’s substitute our junk food with some healthy food.
Let’s talk about one such secret and dive into the nutritional values of miracle grains “Millets”.
What are Millets?
Millets are one such substitute to rice and wheat which are more famous and consumed in huge amounts in India.
Millets are power packed tiny cereal grains with huge nutritional content. Over 58% of global production is millets, but very few people are acquiring the knowledge of its health benefits and their nutritional value.
Millets are consumed by more than 1/3rd of the world’s population.
Do you know how many types of millets are there?
Types of millets:
Millets are Jowar (Sorghum), Sama (Little millet), Ragi (Finger millet), Korra (Foxtail millet) and Variga (Proso millet). Bajra and Sama are high in fat while Ragi has the lowest fat. Millets are used as food and are widely used in rural areas.
In many states of India, they are using different varieties of millets respectively. In India, Karnataka is the leading producer of millets. All the millets are three to five times higher in their nutrition content when compared to nutritional content of widely used rice wheat.
Wheat and rice provide with security of food while millets give many securities like food, health, nutrition, livelihood, animal feed etc., making millets as yield of agricultural security.
These tiny grains are power packed with huge nutrients. Let’s see the secret nutrients..
Millets have 65% carbohydrates, 9% proteins, 3% fat, and 2- 7% crude fiber and vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin B, magnesium, antioxidants, manganese, phosphorus and also iron.
In terms of mineral content, millets have more fiber when compared to rice and wheat. Each one of the millets has more fiber than rice and wheat. Some millets have more than fifty times of fiber than of rice.
As millets are rich in nutrients they have benefits in abundance.
Millets- Health Benefits:
Millets are plenty with essential amino acids, fatty acids and dietary fiber.
For the proper functioning of the body, it requires many healthy nutrients and millets have many healthy nutrients. They contain minerals like iron and copper, which are required for the production of the blood cells and for improving blood oxygenation.
They also contain phosphorus which help in controlling blood pressure. Thereby help in defense activity of the body against diseases.
When millets are consumed in large quantities, they help in reducing the triglyceride in the body thereby preventing the blood platelet clumping and also reduces coronary artery diseases.
Millets contain vitamins like vitamin-B which helps in easy breakdown of carbohydrate and fats.
Now lets see the individual benefits of each type of millet.
Benefits in Detail:
Sorghum is one of the ancient cereal grain and it is a staple crop in India also in Africa.
It is also showed that Sorghum or jowar helps in weight loss.
Compared to major cereals like rice and wheat, jowar has a high proportion of calcium. It is also packed with iron, protein and fiber.
Researchers have found that a typical sorghum wax is rich in policosanols which helps in reducing the levels of cholesterol.
It’s gluten-free, and provides health benefits that make it a good addition to any diet.
It also helps in the hunger satisfaction and helps in satiety and thereby reducing the risk of development of obesity. Its Gluten free properties help in Celiac Disease.
Finger Millet (Ragi):
Finger Millet is one among the most nutritious cereals and is a good source of natural calcium which helps for bone strengthening and helps in reducing the risk of bone fractures.
It is also a good source of natural iron helping in Anemia.
Finger Millet is considered as a good nutritious food which can be replaced in place of rice or wheat. It is considered as store house of nutrients rich in proteins, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. With its rich fiber content, it is a good laxative and helps to prevent constipation.
Finger millet is having thirty times more Calcium than rice while all other millets have at least double amount of Calcium compared to rice.
Finger millet is a good for infants, elderly and pregnant women due to its high calcium content. It is also very good for lactating women as it helps in producing sufficient breast milk.
Finger millet helps in different disease condition like blood pressure, heart problems, asthma and is very good food for diabetes where it helps in slow digestion and slow release of glucose in blood.
Finger millet helps to increase the hemoglobin level and helps to fight malnutrition and degenerative diseases.
Finger millet helps in losing weight, Ragi is having an amino acid called Tryptophan which helps in lowering of appetite and helps in weight control.
Finger millet is digested at a slower rate which helps in keeping away the intake of excessive calories. And, fibers of finger millet give fullness feeling thus controlling the excessive food consumption.
Pearl millet consists of magnesium which helps in reducing the respiratory problems in asthma patients and helps to reduce the effect of migraine.
The fiber content of pearl millet helps the reduction of gall stone occurrence. The insoluble fiber present in pearl millet help in reduction of excessive bile in our system, as excessive bile in our system leads to gall stones.
Pearl millet aids in weight loss by reducing the satiety. Pearl millet with its high fiber content and longer grains helps in slow movement of food from stomach to the intestine. Thus, helps in longer duration of food intervals and helps in weight reduction. T
Thus, millets have great potential in helping to fight Obesity. Consuming millets helps in fighting Obesity and therefore helps in fighting metabolic disorders.
Kodo millet are traditional food which closely resembles the rice and helps to use in weight loss. It is easily digestible and is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants which helps in preventing different lifestyle related diseases.
Kodo millet also helps in reducing the joints and knee pain and helps in regularizing the menstruation in woman.
Proso Millet (Variga):
Proso millet is beneficial in preventing Pellagra condition, which is caused due to the niacin Vitamin B3. Proso millet has high content of Niacin.
Pellagra is a skin disease which causes the skin to become dry, scaly and rough. Proso millet consists of protein and niacin (Vitamin B3).
Traditionally it is used as recuperative food, especially post pregnancy or illness.
Foxtail Millet (Korra):
Foxtail millet helps in steady release of glucose without affecting the metabolism of the body. When people consume foxtail millet, the prevalence of diabetes is reduced and it is also known as healthy heart food due to its good source of magnesium.
Little Millet (Sama):
Little millet is high in nutrition and may be called little but it is not less in its nutritional content.
It has good source of B vitamin, minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium among others. It also provides essential fats to the body, the kind that helps in weight loss.
In this present day, all the millets are extraordinarily superior and are therefore, the solution for the malnutrition and obesity that affects a vast majority of the Indian population.
So, let’s not wait, just replace rice with millets and see the miracle happen specially people who want to loose weight in less time give it a try.
Millets are indeed the miracle grains, which are available at a lower cost but giving higher nutritional benefits. Enjoy the natural grains and stay healthy.