Millets, the grains that are highly nutritious, rich in fiber, gluten-free, rich in vitamins and minerals are a set of highly variable small-seeded grass-like crops, grown world-wide as cereal crops for animal fodder initially and now as popular health-enriching human food.
Of all the popular millets that were once the staple food of the Dravidian (Southern part of India) population, Pearl millet is the most consumed alongside others namely finger millet, proso millet, little millet, kodo millet, Indian barnyard millet and foxtail millet. These all have remained the most commonly cultivated & consumed millet crops in India especially in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, even today.
With the growing popularity and easy access to rice and wheat, millets lost their shine over the past 50 years. In fact, total area under millet cultivation today in India is currently less than 1/6th of what it used to be in the 1950s. This scenario is mostly attributed to Green Revolution in the 1960s which encouraged farmers to grow rice and wheat instead of native grains. Another cause is discrimination among class which promotes polished rice and refined flour as the food best fit for the rich and millets as the food for the poor. Thankfully, this is now changing as people understand the evil effects of polished grains and flour.
How can millets enrich your health?
Millets are nutrition-rich, gluten-free and non-acid forming. They are soothing and easy to digest. Unlike rice, especially polished rice, millets release negligible percentage of glucose which over a longer period of time lowers the risk of diabetes.
Millets are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Finger millet (Ragi) is the very rich in calcium, in fact 10 times to that of rice or wheat.
Millets are ideal as daily diet foods. They can replace white rice in all your meals. You can start by mixing millets into rice and slowly shifting to one Millet meal a day. People who have tried millet meals have seen great results, especially in controlling weight and diabetes.
FoxtailFoxtail Millet is high in Iron content and these millets are totally pest-free. Foxtail not only not need any fumigants, but act as anti pest agents to store delicate pulses such as green gram. They also control blood sugar and cholesterol levels & increase HDL cholesterol.
- Controls blood sugar.
- Decreases risk of cancer.
- Gluten-free food.
- Phosphorous-rich food.
KodoKodo Millets are rich in polyphenols which are great antioxidant compounds. They are also rich in fiber and low on fat. Kodo millets work well in inhibiting glycation and cross-linking of collagen, therefore they are best for controlling and preventing diabetes.
- Good source of amino acids.
- Gives instant energy.
- Releases energy for a longer period.
- Decreases Triglycerides.
LittleLittle Millets are small in size as compared to other millets. Just like the foxtail millet, little millet also is rich in Iron and is high in fiber like the Kodo with high antioxidant activity. It helps in controlling and preventing diabetes and stomach-related issues.
- High in insoluble fiber.
- Beneficial for nervous system.
- Decreases the risk of cancer.
- Rich source of essential minerals.
FingerFinger Millet is very popular millet, especially in Southern India. It is rich in calcium, protein iron and other necessary minerals. Finger Millet is also popularly known as Ragi which stands out in good antioxidant activity in comparison with common Indian foods. Ragi also has a good number of Essential Amino Acids (EAA) which plays a vital role in better functioning of human body.
- Helps is weight loss.
- Increases bone strength.
- Helps in body relaxation.
- Treats and prevents Anemia.
ProsoProso Millet is otherwise called as common millet, hog millet, broom corn, yellow hog, Hershey or white millet (Baltensperger, 1996). Proso millet is a warm-season grass crop capable of producing seed in between 60 to 100 days from plantation. Being a short-time crop, it has a low moisture requirement and is capable of producing food or feed in a better way as compared to other crops.
- Reduces cholesterol.
- Decreases risk of Cancer.
- Rich source of Phosphorus.
- Helps in preventing Gall stones.
|Proso Millet||Chena||Pani Varagu||Variga||Baragu||Cheena||Vari||Cheno||Bachari Bagmu|
PearlPearl Millet is the most widely grown millet type and India is the largest producer of pearl millet. It is a rich source of phosphorus, which plays an important role in structuring of body cells. Consumption of pearl millets helps in minimizing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Being a good source of magnesium, pearl millets act as a cofactor in a number of enzymatic reactions.
- Prevents breast cancer.
- Gluten-free food.
- Reduces risk of type2 diabetes.
- Rich source of Vitamin B complex.
SorghumSorghum Millet is one of the ancient cereal grains, and grown mostly for its good fodder value. Sorghum has high nutritional value, with high levels of unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and iron. It is also high in calories and macronutrients. Sorghum is also popularly known as jowar which has more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranates. It is good at improving metabolism.
- Rich in antioxidants.
- Gluten-free food.
- Reduces cardiac risks.
- Rich source of calcium.
BarnyardBarnyard Millet is rich in fiber, phosphorous and calcium. Barnyard has low glycemic index and thus helps in controlling type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.
- Good for diabetic patients.
- Helps accelerate weight loss.
- Has lowest carbohydrate level.