Since time immemorial, millets have been quite famous for their wide array of health benefits. The recent advancements for the popularity of these cereal grains are due to their gluten free nature and richness of protein, fiber and minerals. Millets offer various health benefits such as -
Gut Friendly - The millets are rich in fiber content and the high fiber content helps to regulate the bowel movements and keep the gut healthy. They give bulk to the stool and help to deal with constipation. They act as a great prebiotic source and stimulate the growth of probiotics within the gut and this helps to maintain a healthy gut microbiota. Those who are intolerant to gluten or have celiac disease, millets are a boon for them as they are gluten-free.
Boon for Diabetics - The high fiber content and increased concentration of the protein adiponectin makes the millets diabetes friendly as fiber levels helps to keep the blood sugar levels under control and adiponectin improves the insulin sensitivity in the body. Also they have a low glycemic index (GI) and thus body takes longer to digest them, thereby preventing blood sugar spikes. Thus millets are a great addition to the diet for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Weight Management - Those with a higher BMI (body mass index) that falls under the category of overweight and obesity should try to include millets in their daily diet. This is because their regular consumption has been linked with BMI reduction and lowering the levels of cholesterol. Additionally, their fiber content provides satiety and prevents overeating.
Supports Heart Health - For the heart to function rhythmically, magnesium is very essential, and millets are a rich source of this mineral. Also, regular consumption of millets improves the levels of an important protein that protects the cardiovascular tissues known as adiponectin. High levels of cholesterol need vitamin B3 or niacin, millets being a storehouse of this vitamin. The soluble fiber levels in millets reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
Reduces Oxidative Stress - The main reason behind body’s illness and ageing is oxidative stress. This leads to various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes etc. To reduce the damage caused by oxidation, body needs antioxidants and millets are a powerhouse of it especially the phenolic compounds ferulic acid and catechins. A diet rich in millets containing antioxidants prevent the occurrence of chronic diseases.
Alleviates The Mood - Its research proven that a diet rich in the amino acid tryptophan is very crucial to deal with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Millets are rich in this amino acid and thus improves the person’s mood.
Gluten Free - Those individuals who suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can safely consume millets as these super cereal grains are gluten free. Gluten is a protein commonly found in cereal grains such as wheat, rye and barley, the consumption of which triggers an immune response in some individuals which leads to diarrhea and nutrient malabsorption. So, these tiny grains are a boon for all such individuals who are sensitive to gluten.
Millets are one of the main superfoods to the mankind as they contain protein, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients which make them crucial for cardiovascular health, prevention of type 2 diabetes, maintaining healthy weight and dealing with gut inflammation.