Nowadays we are very much talking about millets and its benefits to replace white rice, why we should eat Millets? Millets are packed with nutrition, high in fiber, and are gluten-free. Their high-fiber content helps in bowel movement and manages diabetes and obesity. Their high magnesium level is good for lowering blood pressure, while the potassium content keeps hypertension at bay. They are rich in micronutrients, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, etc. They are low in the Glycemic Index (GI) as such don’t cause a huge spike in blood sugar. Millets should ideally be an integral part of our daily diet.

Dietary fiber in millets has water-absorbing and bulking properties. It increases the transit time of food in the gut which helps in reducing the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and acts as a detoxifying agent in the body.

Millets are highly nutritious, non-glutinous, and non-acid forming foods. Millets have many nutraceutical and health-promoting properties, especially with their high fiber content. Millets act as a probiotic feed for microflora in our inner ecosystem. Millets hydrate our colon to keep us from being constipated. Niacin in millets can help lower cholesterol. Millets contain major and minor nutrients in good amounts along with dietary fiber. They are also gluten-free and can be a substitute for wheat or gluten-containing grains for celiac patients. 

Sorghum (Cholam)

  • The major portion of sorghum protein is prolamin (kaffir) which has a unique feature of lowering digestibility upon cooking which might be a health benefit for certain dietary groups.
  • Sorghum proteins in cooking are significantly less digestible than other cereal proteins, which might be a health benefit for certain dietary groups.
  • It is rich in protein, fibre, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, and carotene.
  • It is rich in potassium, phosphorus, and calcium with sufficient amounts of iron, zinc, and sodium. Pearl Millet (Bajra).
  • Pearl millet contains a considerably high proportion of proteins (12-16%) as well as lipids (4-6%).
  • It contains 11.5% of dietary fiber. It increases the transit time of food in the gut. Hence, it reduces the risk of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • The niacin content in pearl millet is higher than all other cereals.
  • It also contains folate, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, vitamins E, and B- complex. It has high energy content compared to other millets.
  • It is also rich in calcium and unsaturated fats which are good for health.

Finger Millet (Ragi)

  • Finger millet is the richest source of calcium (300-350 mg/100g)
  • Ragi has the highest mineral content.
  • It contains lower levels of protein (6-8%) and fat (1.5-2%)
  • Finger millet proteins are unique because of the sulfur-rich amino acid contents.
  • The grains have excellent malting properties and are widely known for their use as weaning foods.
  • It has high antioxidant activity.

Foxtail millet (Thinai)

  • It is high in carbohydrates.
  • It has double the quantity of protein content compared to rice.
  • It contains minerals such as copper & iron.
  • It provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavor and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non – allergic grains.

Kodo millets (Varagu)

  • It has high protein content (11%), low fat (4.2%), and very high fiber content (14.3%).
  • Kodo millet is rich in vitamin B especially niacin, pyridoxine, and folic acid as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
  • It contains a high amount of lecithin and is excellent for strengthening the nervous system.

Barnyard millet (Kuthiraivolly)

  • It is the richest source of crude fiber and iron.
  • Its grains possess other functional constituents i.e., Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and Beta-glucan, used as antioxidants and in reducing blood lipid levels.

Little millet (Samai)

  • It is smaller than other millets.
  • It is high in iron content.
  • It has high antioxidant activities.
  • It contains about 38% of dietary fiber.

Proso millet (Panivaragu)

  • It contains the highest amount of proteins (12.5%).
  • The Health benefits of proso millet come from its unique properties. It has significant amounts of carbohydrates and fatty acids.
  • It is a cheaper source of manganese when compared to other conventional sources like spices and nuts.
  • It contains high amounts of calcium which is essential for bone growth and maintenance.
  • It reduces cholesterol levels and also reduces the risk of heart diseases