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5 Reasons to switch to a millet diet!

Millet, a much-underestimated grain has been around for centuries and is packed with a range of important nutrients. All millets are gluten-free and hence can be consumed by everyone. India is one of the biggest producers of millets in the world. While in some Indian households, especially in South and rural India, millets never went out of fashion, they have been recently gaining popularity in urban India for their health benefits.

Millets are loaded with benefits that make it a no-brainer to include them in your diet

  • Rich in Fibre.

Kodo, little and barnyard millet are an excellent sources of dietary fibre and aid digestion. The high fibre content in Ragi (finger millet) prevents constipation.

  • High in calcium.

Apart from being rich in other minerals, millets like Jowar (sorghum), Bajra (pearl millet), and Ragi have high calcium content.

  • Low glycemic index

Millets have low glycemic index compared to rice, making it an ideal food for people with diabetes.

Jhangora (barnyard millet) and little millet cooked and eaten as rice help manage blood sugar levels. Ragi, an ideal food for diabetics has demonstrated its ability in controlling blood glucose levels.

  • Weight loss aid

Millets can be the best mantra for weight loss as they contain amino acids which lower the appetite. Millets also assists in removal of harmful fats from liver.

The presence of essential amino acids in millets like Kodo and Ragi helps in weight management.

  • Anti-inflammatory

Lipoic is an antioxidant present in millets that contains anti-inflammatory properties. Bajra contains lipoic which increases blood circulation, reduces acne and fine lines on the skin.

Millets have a wide range of application in food and culinary industry and are cooked into a variety of traditional and contemporary recipes. It is a myth that millets cannot be delicious. Millets like Barnyard Millet (Jhangora/Madua) are extremely versatile and can be used to make upma and salad. It is a great couscous replacement and can also be consumed daily instead of rice. And who doesn’t enjoy a hot roti made with Bajra or Madua! Ragi muddle, Dosa, Murukku, Thalipeeth etc are some of the traditional applications of millets. Recently, chefs have been creatively using millets to make savory dishes like biryani, salads and pastas and desserts like cakes, puddings and cookies.

So what are you waiting for? It is time to bring millets to the fore in your daily diet!

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Millet is one of those super grains that is celebrated for its benefits all across the world. In the history of food, especially in the Indian context, millets have been mentioned in some of the oldest Yajurveda texts, indicating that millet consumption was very common in the old times.

Millets are categorized as Major Millets and Minor Millets.  The widely cultivated major varieties are Finger Millet, Proso Millet, Pearl Millet, Foxtail Millet & Sorghum. The minor millets are Barnyard Millet, Little Millet, Kodo Millet & Browntop Millet.

Why support the production and consumption of millets?

Apart from being highly nutritious, millets are farm & farmer friendly, good for the environment and resilient to climate change.

  • Consuming minimum amount of water, millets nurture the soil microstructure and prevent soil erosion. It is considered as a contingency crop by farmers even today.
  • Millets are extremely hardy, surviving long dry spells and having very low pest susceptibility. Millets need no external inputs for their growth and are capable of growing in less fertile soil as well.
  • Being better at surviving extreme weather events, millets are the true future foods and can become the primary cereal grain for a warming planet. Millets like pearl millet can grow in temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius. Hence early adoption of a millet-based food system will be crucial to the survival of the human population.

So don’t be late and start supporting the production and consumption of millets for a more secure future for our planet, your family and you.