Millets are small-seeded grasses that belong to the Poaceae or Gramineae family. All types of millets have lately gained popularity because they are gluten-free and they make excellent foods for weight loss. They can play a significant role in the prevention of many health conditions, including cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Millets must be added to one’s diet because they have the perfect combination of Omega 3 fats, proteins, fiber, minerals and vitamins needed for the human body.
Different Types of Millets:
There are different types of millets available in the market that you can choose to add in your daily diet based on the benefits you intend to derive. Some millets that you may be familiar with are –
- Foxtail millet
- Barnyard millet
- Kodo millet
- Little millet
- Brown top millet.
- Pearl millet
- Finger millet
- Proso millet
Nutritional Content of Millets:
All types of millets are loaded with healthy minerals and vitamins. Let’s find the nutritional content of millest as per the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IMMR).
5 Popular Millets and Their Health Benefits:
It may be difficult for you to include all the above-listed varieties of millets in your diet at one go. Hence, you can start by including 5 types of millets and later on include others. The 5 popular millets that are finding their way into diet plans are;
1. Foxtail Millet:
Foxtail millet is the oldest grown millet in the world. This millet goes by the scientific name Setaria italica. Although China was first to make Foxtail millet staple, it later cultivated and consumed in the European and Asian region. Of the millets used in India, foxtail millets are still a staple today. It is said to be major source of many nutrients. It is used in many countries, including China, for making pasta and noodles. Nowadays, they are mostly cooked like rice, idli, pongal, upma, dosha and etc.
The benefits of foxtail millet include –
- Prevents cardiac problems
- Improves muscle health
- Delays Alzheimer’s disease
- Enhances memory
- Helpful in Arthritis
- Prevents Parkinson’s disease
- It boosts immunity power.
- Helpful in Weight loss.
- Control sugar levels in blood.
2. Kodo Millet:
Kodo millet finds its origin in tropical Africa and goes by the scientific name Paspalum scrobiculatum. India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam also grow this crop widely. They have been in India for many years, but nowadays they are being used to address several health issues. Researchers also found that Kodo millets have anti-diabetic and anti-rheumatic medical properties.
The benefits of Kodo millet include –
- Brings down blood sugar levels
- Strengthens the nervous system
- Helps to detox naturally
- Helps in keep cholesterol and hypertension in control
- Aids in weight loss
- Boosts immunity
- Rids you off constipation.
3. Barnyard Millet:
Barnyard millet is grown in Japan, India, Korea and China. The origin of this millet goes back to 2000 BC in Japan. It goes by the scientific name Echinochloa esculenta. As the rice is associated with sever health issues, people are replacing the rice with barnyard millet. It contains high fibre, proteins, minerals and low Glycemic Index. Moreover, it is very easy to digest.
The benefits of Barnyard millet include –
- Helps in control cholesterol
- Manages blood sugar levels
- Helps in manage cardiac issues
- Prevents anemia
- Helps in manage kidney and liver issues.
4. Little Millet:
Little millet finds its origin in the Indian subcontinent. It goes by the scientific name Panicum sumatrense. India is the top in the production of little millet. In eastern and southern Indian region, people are still using these kinds of millets widely as part of their recipes. Mostly, little millets are cooked like rice. This millet’s nutritional breakup includes protein (7.7 g), fiber (7.6 g), minerals (1.5 g), Iron (9.3 mg), and calcium (17 mg).
The benefits of little millet include –
- Helps in improve heart health
- Brings down cholesterol
- Boosts your immunity
- Prevents and controls PCOD
- Enhances fertility in both men and women.
- Prevents type-2 Diabetes and Asthma.
5. Browntop Millet:
This millet originates from the Southeast Asian region. Various continents now have taken to growing this type of millet which goes by the scientific name Brachiaria ramose. Even though it is one of the costliest millet, uses of these millets are diverse. It is good source of minerals including iron, calcium and phosphorus. You can cook this millet like rice, pongal, idli and upma.
The benefits of Brown top millet include –
- Helps in Weight Control.
- Prevents heart disease
- Lessens the risk of duodenal ulcers
- Controls blood sugar variations.
- Helps in enhance digestion
- Helps in manage arthritis
- Prevents and controls thyroid
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What Are The Side-effects Of Millets?
Millets do not pose any side-effects if eaten in the right proportion. Moderation in intake of any food is advisable and millets are no different. Otherwise, millets are absolutely safe and pose no harmful side-effects. The benefits of millets outweigh any side-effects it may entail (if there are any).
2. Are Millets Good for Pregnant Women?
The nutritional value of millets is great for pregnant women in their second and third trimester. The nourishment that several foods together provide, you can get by just consuming millets. Moreover, millets can help manage various issues that pregnant women struggle with such as constipation, anemia, and hypertension (some cases).
3. How Many Times Should I Eat Millets Each Day?
You can consume millets up to 2 to 3 times a day regularly in order to see the promised results. For the sake of nourishment, it is advisable to plan and consume different types of millets on different days. There are several millet diet plans that are available and you can consider using one of them.
Millets can help you hit the reboot button by wiping away the ill effects of your unhealthy lifestyle. To experience the joy of living and feeling healthy, we recommend that you switch all other grains you consume with millets. In addition to reversing the issues resulting from a sedentary lifestyle, millets are also known to extend numerous other health benefits. Resolve for yourself and make the necessary dietary changes now!