Millets are a family of small-seeded grass varieties and are widely cultivated as a cereal crop or grains. These are fit for human and animal consumption and nourishment all over the world. The majority of the species that are commonly referred to as millets are members of the Paniceae tribe, but some millets are also members of other taxa.
History of Millets:
Millets are most notably cultivated in East Asia, South Asia, West Africa, and East Africa. These places are where the many species of millets were first domesticated. The tamed varieties, however, frequently stray far from their original territory. Based on information like the relative frequency of burnt grains discovered in archaeological sites, specialized archaeologists known as palaeoethnobotanists have hypothesized that millets were very widely cultivated in prehistoric era than rice, particularly in northern China and Korea. Additionally, millets played a significant role in the prehistoric diets of Indian, Chinese, and Korean populations.
What we know of Millets:
- Millets are very varied small-seeded grasses that are frequently grown as cereal grains and crops worldwide.
- Millet is a small grain with a rounded shape that can be white, green, yellow, or red.
- The nutritional value of millets is three to five times more than that of rice and wheat in terms of proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
- Millets are free of gluten and high in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
- Millets are perfect for anyone with wheat allergy or intolerance because they have a low GI(glycemic Index). Diabetics might use millets for weight loss.
- There are six types of millets, which are widely used in India which we explore briefly below
- Finger Millets
The common name for finger millet is Ragi. Fitness fanatics frequently eat it as a healthier alternative to rice and/or wheat.
- It is a millet variation that is gluten-free and high in proteins and amino acids. Finger millet is believed to promote brain development in growing youngsters
- Additionally, it has healthy quantities of iron and other minerals, as well as a high calcium content.
- A significant portion of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protiens) that are needed by the human body are present in ragi
- Ragi has abundant antioxidants and will help fight free radicals in our body
2. Foxtail Millets
Kakum/Kangni, another name for foxtail millet in India, is typically found as semolina or rice flour.
- It contains a lot of carbs, which support the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
- These millets contain a lot of iron.
- Overall immunity can be enhanced by foxtail millet.
- Pearl Millets
One of the most popular varieties of millets that you surely must have tried is pearl millet, often known as bajra.
- It has tremendous health advantages and appears in many different forms, such as roti and khichdi.
- Iron, fiber, protein, and minerals including calcium and magnesium are all included in bajra.
- Regular consumption of pearl millet can be ideal for your health, including helping to fight type II diabetes.
- Little Millets
One of the most common millets is known as Little Millet; other names for it are Moraiyo, Kutki, Shavan, and Sama.
- It is rich in vital minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium as well as vitamin B.
- Little millet is commonly used in several traditional cuisines in the southern states of India.
- It is a better choice than rice and won’t make you gain weight.
- Kodo Millets
Kodo millet, also called Kodon millet, is a digestible kind that contains more of the amino acid lecithin.
- Barnyard Millets
Popular among millets, barnyard millet is also referred to as sanwa.
- It has a lot of dietary fibre, which helps with digestion and promotes weight loss.
- Because of its high calcium and phosphorus content, it helps increase bone density.
- Niacin, which is abundant in millets, aids your body in controlling more than 400 enzyme reactions. Niacin is crucial for healthy skin and proper organs functions. In reality, it’s a crucial substance that is frequently added to processed foods as an enrichment.
- The darker kinds of millet are particularly good sources of beta-carotene. This organic pigment supports the health of your eyes and functions as both an antioxidant and a precursor to vitamin A, assisting your body in fending off free radicals.
- Millet has a low glycemic index (GI) because it contains more complex carbs than simple carbohydrates. As a result, millet requires more time to digest than regular wheat flour and so the hunger pangs become less. This helps with weight loss also
- People with diabetes can more easily control their blood sugar levels because of low-GI of millets. This ability prevents blood sugar spikes after meals.
- Both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber are abundant in millets. As a “prebiotic,” the insoluble fiber in millet promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your digestive system. Additionally, this sort of fiber is crucial for giving stools volume, which keeps you regular and lowers your risk of colon cancer.
- Potassium, a mineral that supports healthy kidney and heart function, is abundant in millet. The transmission of nerve signals, which is how your brain and muscles communicate, is another function of potassium. Additionally, it’s a great place to find: Vitamins A and B, Phosphorus, Potassium, Antioxidants, Niacin, Calcium & Iron.
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About the Author
Dhanvandh has many passions, including reading, Long trips, philosophy and fast learning. He values lifelong learning. He is constantly seeking out new experiences.