What are millets

Millets, which looks like tiny grains, are actually seeds belonging to the grass family POACEAE.

  • They are referred to as grains because of their similarity in looks to the grains.
    Unlike other cereals, millets require little water and ground fertility.
  • They have long enjoyed the tag of “poor man’s food grain” due to its sheer affordability.
  • They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid-forming foods.
  • 97% of millet production is in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially developing countries like India, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger).
  • It is a yearly plant extensively grown as a cereal in the dry areas of India, especially in the southern part.
  • Millets are high in Goitrogens, Oxalates, Inhibitors & Phytates, GI disturbances due to high fibre.
  • Its benefits of millets are known for ages but still, somehow the millets got lost in the advent of urban lifestyle and green revolution which give importance to rice and wheat as a major crop.
  • Now gluten-free and veganism being in trend and learning session on therapeutic aspects of millets, wellness enthusiasts are slowly realizing the importance of millet as a healthy cereal.
  • Millets might have been devoured by people for more than  6,000 years and played a vital role in the ascent of multi-crop agriculture.

Benefits of Millets

Millets are for anyone and everyone, for health as well as for unhealthy people, for curing as well as for staying away from an ailment. The benefits of millets are enormous, surpassing those of all other crops.

  •  Gluten-free: Unlike wheat and rice, millets are gluten-free and are thus fit for people suffering from celiac disease.
  •  Nutrient-Rich: A gold mine of nutrients like copper, magnesium, calcium, and manganese.
  • Rich in anti-oxidants: Detox our body by flushing out harmful radicals. This, in turn, raises our immunity levels.
  • Easily digestible: Being rich in fibre these are good for digestion. This is the reason, in many regions, especially, South India, mothers start feeding their babies with Ragi at the tender age of 8 months.
  • Low GI: Because of low GI, millets are good not only for diabetic people but also for non-diabetic by keeping sugar levels in control.
  • Less calorie-count: Being low in calories, they are good for calorie conscious people.
  •  Aids in weight loss: Along with being low in calories, millet contains tryptophan, an amino acid that lowers appetite and thus helps in managing weight.
  • Treats Insomnia: Tryptophan in millets maintains the serotonin levels which reduces stress and helps in aiding sound sleep.
  • Non-acid forming: No fear of bloating or indigestion with these seeds.

Different types of millet.

  1. Barnyard Millet
  2. Browntop Millet
  3. Finger Millet
  4. Foxtail Millet
  5.  Great Millet
  6. Kodo Millet
  7. Little Millet
  8. Pearl Millet
  9. Proso Millet

Source from Google