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Why should millets be a part of your diet?

Why should millets be a part of your diet?

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the health benefits of incorporating millets into our diets. Millets are small-seeded grasses that are grown as cereal crops and are rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. In this blog, you will explore the reasons why including millets in your diet can be a healthy choice?

What are millets?

Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that are grown as cereal crops. They are gluten-free and are rich in protein, fibre, and several essential vitamins and minerals. In many regions of the world, including Africa, Asia, and India, millets are a common food. Sorghum (Jowar), Pearl millet (Bajra), Finger millet (Ragi/Mandua), Foxtail millet (Kangani/Kakun), Kodo millet (Kodo) and Barnyard millet (Sawa/Sanwa/Jhangora) are just a few of the millets that are grown and eaten in India.

 

Why should you eat millets?

  1. Rich in fibre:- Millets are high in fibre, which is one of the key factors in favour of including them in your diet. Additionally, it supports weight loss and lowers cholesterol levels while regulating blood sugar levels. Millets are a wonderful option for anyone trying to improve their general health because they are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
  2. Gluten free:- Millets are naturally gluten-free, which is another reason you should eat them. A protein called gluten, which is found in grains like wheat, barley, and others, may give some people digestive issues. Millets are a great alternative for people who are sensitive to gluten and can be used in place of wheat, barley, and other gluten containing grains in a variety of recipes.
  3. Rich in protein:- Millets are also a great source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. Millets are a great source of plant-based protein, making them very advantageous for vegetarians and vegans.
  4. Good source of essential vitamins and minerals:- Millets are also a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins. Iron is important for maintaining healthy blood cells, while magnesium and potassium are important for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and organs. B vitamins are important for energy production and brain function. Millets are a great way to add these essential nutrients to your diet.
  5. Low glycemic index:- Millets have a low glycemic index, which means they can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A quick rise in blood sugar levels brought on by foods with a high glycemic index can result in insulin resistance and other health problems. Millets are a great alternative to high glycemic index foods like white rice and white bread.

How to incorporate millets into your diet?

There are many ways to incorporate millets into your diet. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Replace rice with millets:- Millets can be used in place of rice in a variety of recipes, such as pilafs and stir-fries. They can also be used to make biryanis and other rice based dishes.
  2. Use millet flour in baking:- Many baked items, including bread, muffins, and cakes can be made using millet flour instead of refined wheat flour.
  3. Add millets to salads:- Cooked millets can be added to salads for a wholesome and delicious meal.
  4. Make porridge with millets:- Millets can be cooked and used to make porridge for breakfast. Fresh fruit and nuts can be added on top, and they can be sweetened with honey or maple syrup.

In conclusion, millet is an excellent addition to any diet, especially for those who are looking for healthy, nutrient dense foods to support their active lifestyles. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, helps manage diabetes, rich in fibre and is gluten-free. In addition, it is easy to prepare, making it a great choice for busy individuals. So if you haven’t tried millet yet, give it a try – your body will thank you!

 

Dr. Shazia Husain

Assistant Professor

Department of Home Science

Patna Women’s College (Autonomous)

Patna University