Millets can provide nutritional security against deficiencies, especially in children and women. Learn about 10 millets to include in your diet.
Millets are small cereal grains that are high in fibre, protein, calcium, and antioxidants and are naturally gluten-free. Owing to their small size and hardness, they are resistant to extreme conditions like drought and pesticides. Their structure enables them to be organically cultivated with less usage of water. Both these factors make them exceptionally good for us humans as well as the planet.
Millets have a low glycaemic index, and thus they can help with health conditions like obesity, and diabetes. Millets are nutritionally better than wheat and rice due to the increased levels of protein, crude fibre, and minerals such as iron, and phosphorus which can provide nutritional security against deficiencies, especially in children and women.
Regular intake of cereal grains like millets can effectively combat anaemia (iron deficiency), B-complex vitamin deficiency, and pellagra (niacin deficiency).
Here are 10 healthy millets you can add to your diet:
1. Foxtail Millet / Kangni
Foxtail Millet commonly known as Kangni can help lower blood sugar levels thus aiding in diabetes management. Foxtail millets are rich in calcium and iron, which help strengthen bones and muscles.
2. Finger Millet / Ragi
Finger Millet or Ragi is rich in Vitamin E which keeps the skin healthy. Being rich in protein, it also facilitates better health of hair.
3. Pearl Millet / Bajra
Popularly known as Bajra, pearl millets are consumed in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Being rich in iron, pearl millets are ideal for kids and women who suffer from anaemia or iron deficiency. It is also known for maintaining nail health.
4. Sorghum / Jowar
Jowar is blessed with copper, magnesium, and calcium which keeps the bones and tissues strong adding to better immunity. It keeps the heart healthy by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and reducing the chances of a stroke.
5. Little Millet / Samai
Little Millet is called Samai in Hindi and its potent antioxidants are useful in protecting you against diabetes, cancer, cataract and gastrointestinal problems.
6. Kodo Millet / Kodra
Also known as kodra in Hindi, Kodo does wonders for post-menopausal women who suffer from high cholesterol or blood pressure levels. Being rich in fibre, it is also good for the gut.
7. Proso Millet / Chena
Known as chena in Hindi, proso millet is more popular in southern India. It helps stimulate the nervous system and maintain its smooth functioning. It also has anti-ageing properties, hence regular consumption can also help delay ageing.
8. Amaranth / Rajgira
Amaranth, known as rajgira in Hindi, aids in digestion, helps lower cholesterol (LDL) and is a good source of calcium.
9. Barnyard Millet / Sanwa
Known as sanwa in Hindi, barnyard millets are ideal for those on a weight loss diet since it is low in calories, while also being high in iron and aiding those with anaemia.
10. Browntop Millet / hari kangni
Identified as hari kangni in Hindi, browntop millets are rare and selectively found in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It is low in calories which makes it a healthy addition to your daily diet but most importantly, it is known to detoxify the body.
A point to remember when cooking/consuming millets is that Some millets may heat the body while some others may cool the body. Please be aware of the weather before consuming your millets. Also, millets take a little longer to cook. Different millets might have different cooking methods. You can learn the cooking method of various millets from the internet. A sudden switch from common food to millet-based food may be difficult but not impossible. So try to include more millets in your diet and improve your health.
If you would like to buy some millet foods, visit our e-commerce platform-Pracol’s millet food page.
Disclaimer: All the content here is written for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice.