The Healthy Millet

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2023 was the international year of Millets.   In these times of global challenges of growing and supplying food that is high in nutrition and health this was an opportunity to raise awareness of the incredible benefits of millets.

Millets are not as well known as rice, wheat or quinoa.  These grains may be a super food because they are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  The usage of millets can help avoid health problems caused by the lack of these.

Millets has been rich source of health for people in Asia and Africa for thousands of years. Compared to rice, the millet has a low glycemic index which means that it releases less glucose, over a longer period of time.  This lowers the risk of diabetes.  Millets have higher concentration of minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.  Finger Millets (one of the varieties of the millet family) is very rich in calcium, about 10 times that found in rice or wheat.

This crop is eco-friendly and easy to grow and can be cultivated without the usage of harsh chemicals and pesticides.  It can grow in the poorest of soils.  It also does not require much water unlike rice and wheat.  For farmers this crop is like a boon because the care and maintenance of a millet field is cheaper and less time consuming.  Millets bring biodiversity to the farmlands and are also used as animal fodder.

Millets are versatile and can be cooked in different ways.  Click on this link for millet recipes http://www.fao.org/3/cc8019en/cc8019en.pdf.

Below are some health benefits of consuming millets according to the Indian Institute of Millet research.

  • Millet are anti acidic
  • Millets are gluten free
  • Millets detoxify the body
  • B3 in millets can help lower cholesterol
  • Prevents breast cancer
  • Prevent Type 2 diabetes
  • Effective in reducing blood pressure
  • Help to protect against heart diseases
  • Help support respiratory conditions like Asthma
  • Helps optimize kidney, liver, and immune system health
  • Eliminates problems like constipation, gas, bloating and cramping
  • Acts as a prebiotic

Incorporating more millets in our diet is not only good for our health but also for the planet.

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