Millets are cereal grains consumed all around the world. Some of the common millets are Bajra, Ragi, Jowar, and Foxtail Millet. India is one of the largest producers of millets globally. Although millet production is over 50%, many are unaware of the health benefits of millets and their nutritional efficiency. Millets have been a part of the traditional diet around India. However, very few millets are consumed as food, while the rest are treated as animal fodder. Millets are higher in nutritional content and offer a wide range of health benefits as compared to staple cereals like wheat and rice.
Here are some benefits of millets:
- Nutritional quality: Millets have an excellent nutrient profile. They are rich in fiber, minerals, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Finger millet (Ragi) has abundant amounts of calcium, while foxtail millet and little millet are rich in iron. Millets are also rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
- Digestive health: Fiber-rich millets can help relieve constipation. Millets provide both soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber in millets helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome. It helps with regular bowel movements and prevents digestive issues like constipation, flatulence, and bloating.
- Blood sugar regulation: Millets are low-glycemic-index foods; they help regulate blood glucose levels and therefore have anti-diabetic properties. Millets prevent type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin efficiency.
- Weight management: Studies claim that consumption of dietary fiber reduces the risk of obesity. Fiber-rich foods are beneficial for controlling weight. They provide more satiety value and control appetite. It also reduces the chances of overeating.
- Heart health: Millets help regulate blood pressure and lower serum cholesterol and LDL levels. The high magnesium content of millets reduces the risk of heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
- Gluten-free alternative: Millets are gluten-free, and these are good alternatives for people with celiac disease and gluten allergies. These can be incorporated into different food preparations to make healthier or more accessible alternatives for celiac patients.
- Bone health: Millets are a good source of calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. These minerals promote bone health and quality. Millets are a great way to meet your daily mineral needs.
- Antioxidant potential: Millets are rich in phytonutrients like phenols, sterols, carotenoids, and tocopherols. These help in scavenging free radicals and preventing diseases like cancer. Millets help get rid of toxins from the kidneys and liver.
- Versatile recipes: Millets can be used in a wide range of dishes like porridges, salads, and baked items like biscuits, bread, and cakes. Using millets in different recipes can add versatility to meals. These can also be used in the preparation of infant foods.
- Eco-friendly choice: Millets are an eco-friendly crop. They require very little water for growing, and millet cultivation also replenishes the soil. Millets require fewer chemical pesticides and insecticides, making them more economical for farmers.
A balanced diet contains all essential nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Millets have huge potential to be included in the daily diet. They have many nutritional and health benefits, including improved digestion, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer effects. Millets are also environmentally friendly and help in the conservation of natural resources. Talk to Gytree Experts for more benefits of millets. Despite these benefits, millions remain unexplored by the modern world. It is therefore essential to explore their benefits and introduce them to the diet and the food market.