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MILLETS: TYPES AND HEALTH BENEFITS

Millets are a nutritious powerhouse. They’ve taken back their place in the healthier people’s kitchen. Millets are gluten-free and help with weight loss in addition to improving health. Any fitness enthusiast will attest to the incredible advantages of eating millets.

There are several types of millets that each have their own health advantages. At any time of the year, you can walk into a supermarket and discover millets on the shelves. That is as a result of their year-round cultivation.

It’s been practised for ages to include millets in your diet on a regular basis. Up to the Green Revolution, when rice and wheat became more widely available, the majority of people in central and southern India ingested millets every day. Government initiatives did not, however, offer incentives for millet farming. On the contrary, it made farmers less inclined to grow millets. As a result, as the quantity of produce decreased, millets were consumed less.

What are Millets?

For more than 5000 years, the Indian subcontinent has grown and eaten millets, which are coarse grains. They are highly nutritious and abundant in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibres. Millets need less water and soil fertility than other grains. Millets are known as “the poor man’s food grain” due to their extreme affordability. Millets great potential is finally being recognised by the world.

We can divide Millets into two broad categories:

1. Naked grains:

Ragi, Jowar, and Bajra are examples of naked grains because they lack the abrasive, inedible husk that usually surrounds millets. After being harvested, these millets don’t require processing. They can be eaten immediately upon cleaning. As a result, these millets are widely grown today.

2. Husked grain

This second category includes Kodo millets, Foxtail millets, and Little millets. These kinds have an inedible seed coat that must be removed prior to ingestion. Millets are less common since the processing, which used to be done by hand, is now mechanical and is primarily used for rice.

Numerous micronutrients

including calcium, phosphorus, and iron, are found in millets. Additionally, because they take longer to digest than rapidly digestible foods, there is no blood sugar surge as a result. For the same reason, including millets in your diet can aid in the management of diabetes.

Millets are therefore beneficial to health. Environmental benefits come from millet production. It’s because they are mostly crops that are fed by rain. As a result, they do not place a strain on our water supplies, which are already in decline. These grain crops can also thrive without pesticides because they don’t attract pests.

Types of Millets

Millets come in a variety of sizes and forms. There are several types of millets that fall into the two major categories mentioned above. Below, we’ll look at a few of these various types:

1. Foxtail Millet

Foxtail millet, also known as Kakum/Kangni in its native land. It contains nutritious carbs that regulate blood sugar. Its iron and calcium concentration also aids in boosting defence mechanisms. Foxtail millets also aid in controlling blood cholesterol levels and raising HDL cholesterol levels in the body.

2. Finger Millet/Ragi

The most popular name for finger millet is ragi. It is used as a more wholesome cereal alternative to wheat and rice. Ragi is high in protein and free of gluten. Ragi is said to support young children’s brain development.

3. Pearl Millet/Bajra

Bajra contains a huge amount of nutrients. Iron, protein, fibre, and minerals like calcium and magnesium are all present. Consume pearl millet on a regular basis to combat type II diabetes.

4. Buckwheat

If losing weight is your top priority, use buckwheat. It is a good diabetic diet option that also benefits cardiovascular health and blood pressure control. Additionally, buckwheat protects against conditions including breast cancer, asthma in children, and gallstones.

5. Little Millet

Little millet is a fantastic choice for people trying to lose weight. It can be used in place of rice. It has a lot of fibre and is rich in calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and other minerals. It also acts as an antioxidant for your body and is loaded with the health advantages of vitamin B.

Millets’ Health Benefits

Millets are a great source of phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and manganese, among other healthy nutrients. Add them to your diet to get the following advantages.

1. Millets Aids Weight Loss

Millets are a great dietary item for weight loss because they are low in calories. It helps people who are concerned about their fitness as well, not only those who are trying to lose weight. Without always needing to eat to recharge themselves, it helps individuals maintain their energy level throughout the day.

Additionally, millets keep you fuller longer than other types of carbohydrates. They take time to be digested and absorbed by your body, so when you eat them, you feel fuller for longer. This stops people from overeating and snacking.

2. Millets Keeps Your Blood Sugar Levels Low

The glycemic index index of millets is low. Consequently, eat millets frequently to reduce your risk of getting diabetes.

3. Millets Boost Your Immunity

The body’s immunity is developed as a result of protein consumption.

Millets are a fantastic source of protein and can support and boost our immune systems. You have a lower risk of contracting infections if your immunity is stronger.

4. Millets Reduces Cardiovascular Risks

Essential fats found in millets give our systems the healthy fats they need to prevent the storage of extra body fat and successfully reduce the risk of high cholesterol, strokes, and other heart conditions.

Your blood pressure is regulated and your circulatory system is optimised by millets’ potassium content.

5. Millets Prevents Asthma

You may suffer less migraines as a result of millets’ magnesium content. Additionally, it may lessen the severity of your asthmatic symptoms.

The reason is that they don’t contain the allergens that cause asthma and wheeze as wheat does.

6. Millets Helps Your Digestion

Millets are a great source of dietary fibre that aid in digestion by reducing gas, bloating, cramping, and constipation. Additionally, healthy digestion prevents conditions like colon and stomach cancer as well as kidney and liver disorders.

7. Millets Acts as an Antioxidant

Millets’ antioxidant characteristics aid in your body’s detoxification process. Quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, and other beneficial catechins remove pollutants from your body and inhibit the enzymatic activity of your organs.

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