Different types of millets to add to your routine diet -
India has been a producer and consumer of ‘Millets’ since time immemorial. But to raise the awareness about these grains and their nutritional value, 2023 has been officially declared as the International year of Millets. People are aware about the whole grains such as ragi, oats or wheat, but millets have decreased fame and for this reason India has joined this initiative to make it a ‘people’s movement’ and boost the production as well as consumption of millets. Millets are tiny cereal grains belonging to the grass family, Poaceae. These tiny grains are available in enormous types, but we know only a few. So let’s have a quick look at the millets available in India.
1. Finger Millet or Ragi - This is one of the most famous millets consumed worldwide. When compared with wheat or rice, its a definitely healthier alternative as it is gluten free. What makes it standout than the rest cereal grains is its richness of two minerals - iron and calcium. It has an excellent amino acid profile and great antioxidant richness to make it a healthy source for brain development especially for kids.
2. Sorghum - Locally named as Jowar/Jawar, this millet is sightly sweet in taste and a great source of iron, protein and fibre. Those who are gluten sensitive can definitely try sorghum as it is free from gluten, a protein found in cereals to which many individuals are allergic these days. Regular consumption of this millet boosts the stamina too.
3. Pearl Millet - This tiny grain, also known as Bajra, is a storehouse of nutrients and has a great blend of macronutrients and micronutrients too. This is also a great superfood for diabetics. Many states of India consume it on a regular basis to prepare Paranthas, Khichdi, Idli etc.
4. Foxtail Millet - This super millet also known as Kangani has various health benefits especially to maintain the blood sugar levels due to its richness in fibre content. Also it gives a boost to the body’s immunity as it has all the essential Immuno nutrients too.
5. Buckwheat - This millet is very commonly available in the supermarket during Navratra fasts as ‘Kuttu ka atta’. This millet has so many antioxidants that make it cancer preventive, diabetes friendly and heart healthy.
6. Barnyard Millet - This millet called Sanwa is loaded with fibres, making it great food for the gut and to deal with constipation. Also regular consumption of this millet makes the bone stronger as it has high content of calcium and phosphorus.
7. Kodo Millet - This millet is also known by the name Kodon/Kodra millet and is enriched with amino acid lecithin. This super millet is full of vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. This makes it heart friendly and gluten friendly millet too.
8. Amaranth - Also known as Rajgira. This protein and fibre dense millet is very easily available during the Navratra fasts and has a wide array of health benefits due to its nutritional profile.
9. Little Millet - also known as Kutki .Its not little in its health benefits, only little by its name. Its a power package of healthy minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
10. Browntop Millet - If thinking about weight loss, definitely add this millet to your diet as its fibre content will give you satiety. Its nutritional profile makes it heart friendly too. It is also known as Hari Kangani.
Rightly said is that ‘old is gold’. Our ancestors definitely knew this and now its time for the youth to know that these grains are full of nutrients and offer many health benefits. Exceptional is their taste too.