There’s a lot of interest in ancient grains these days & the poster boy of this spike in interest is “Millets”. By now you must have already read or heard someone talking about ‘Millets’. But must have always wondered, what are Millets? Why is everybody talking about it? To answer your question, Millets are a group of small seed grasses grown mainly in semi-dry regions of Asia & Africa. They are the perfect substitute for the grains that we consume at present which are not so good for our Health. India has a long history of producing as well as consuming Millets all through its previous centuries.
First of all, Millets are high in protein. Most of the types of Millets are rich in fiber which makes your stomach feel full. They are gluten-free & also a rich source of Vitamin E, B complex, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin. Therefore they are aptly known as the Super food of India.
What are the types of Millets?
Millets come in various sizes and types, some of which are very popular in the Indian subcontinent namely –
Jowar is one of the most popular type of grain consumed in India. After wheat, the maximum amount of cultivated land in India is used for growing Jowar. It is grown in warm areas and is used in the form of food as well as fodder. Jowar is rich in calcium, iron, protein, and fiber compared to rice and wheat. Jowar is also found to help in reducing the levels of cholesterol. It is also gluten-free, therefore preferable for people who can’t consume wheat-based products.
Bajra (Pearl Millet)
Bajra is commonly used to make the flatbread bhakri. It is also boiled and used to make an Indian porridge called Kambam Choru. Bajra is a staple grain in many parts of India, used in a variety of dishes. It has much more iron content than rice. It is also a powerhouse of protein, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium and calcium. It is also known to ease digestive problems. After consuming Bajra, one feels light as it is super soft on our digestive system, therefore it doesn’t load the gut, all because it’s gluten-free.
Ragi (Finger Millet)
Ragi is the staple diet of the people in the south of India. In the North of the country, it is popularly known as “Nachni”. It is a healthy and a better replacement for rice and wheat. Nutrition wise, it is loaded with calcium, iron, and protein. It is also a healthy grain for diabetic patients because it has a low glycaemic index.
Kodra (Kodo Millet)
It resembles close to Rice, almost replaceable to it. It is a very hardy crop that is drought tolerant and can survive on marginal fertile soils where other crops may not survive and can supply 450–900 kg of grain per hectare. It has many Nutritional benefits, It is easily digestible and is rich in phytochemicals and Antioxidants. Studies show that consuming Kodo Millet reduces knee and joint pains.
Rala (Foxtail Millet)
It is the second-most widely planted species of millet and the most important in East Asia. It has the longest history of cultivation among the millets, having been grown in India since antiquity. According to recent research, it was first domesticated in China around 6,000 B.C. Rala is rich in complex carbohydrates. It is also rich in dietary fiber and minerals like copper and iron.
Voila! Now that you know the types of millets, try to incorporate them into your daily diet & watch the Healthy magic unfold. Mix up the ingredients of your cuisines by adding Millets & take the advantage of the numerous Health benefits of the Super food of India, “Millets” have to offer.
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