If foods like Sorghum, Pearl millet and Finger millet sound new to you, let’s simplify it and call it our basic jowar, bajra, and Craig. If you’re into healthy eating, chances are your menu includes millets. Millets are coarse grains and a repository of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming millets is not a new thing to Indians; it has been a major staple food in India for ages.
Here is a list of some of the healthy Indian millets available –
1. Sorghum (Jowar)
Jowar is a very popular millet and very beneficial for weight loss. It is also packed with iron, protein, and fibre. Research has found that it is rich in policosanols which helps in reducing the levels of cholesterol.
2. Perl millet (Bajra)
Bajra has been found to have iron content 8 times more than rice. It is also rich in protein, fibre, and other minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Since it has good fibre content, pearl millet helps ease constipation issues digestion problems. It induces lactation and helps in efficient milk secretion.
Note to avoid bajra if you have a thyroid imbalance. Some studies have found that pearl millet might interfere with thyroid function, even if you do not have an iodine deficiency.
3. Finger millet (Ragi)
Ragi is one of the most popular and commonly used millets. Due to its nutritional value, it can be considered a good substitute for rice and wheat. It is also a rich source of calcium and other essential minerals. Ragi is a storehouse of protein and amino acids that make it a good inclusion in porridge. It has a positive effect on blood glucose levels and is therefore a great option for diabetics.
4. Foxtail millet (Rava)
Foxtail millet is available in the form of rice, semolina (Rava), or fine-textured flour. It is rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and low in fat. It helps to regulate blood pressure, thus reducing the chances of blockage in heart that results in cardiac arrest or stroke. It also helps in the reduction of LDL levels in the body.
Buckwheat is a pseudocereal, which is a type of grain that makes for a healthy food option for diabetics, helps lower blood pressure, and improves cardiovascular health. Buckwheat also fights against diseases such as gallstones, childhood asthma, and breast cancer. It serves as nutrition for the cells lining your colon, improving gut health, and decreasing your risk of colon cancer.
6. Kodo millet
If you are looking for millet that closely resembles rice, then it is the Kodo millet. It is easy to digest and is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. It assists in healthy weight loss. Kodo millet has shown to reduce knee and joint pain and helps regularise menstrual cycle in women among others. This is attributed to high mineral content like calcium, magnesium, and iron.
7.Little millet (kutki)
The little millet may be called little but in no means its nutritional content is little. It is a rich source of B-vitamins, minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium among others. It has fibre that helps maintain sound digestion and satiates hunger quickly.
Reasons to eat millets
Millets are a whole grain and are highly nutritious
They are gluten-free
Provide plenty of phosphorus and magnesium
Rich in antioxidants
- High fibre content
Lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels
Support healthy and regular digestion
Slow down muscle degradation
Eliminate problems like bloating, constipation, and cramping
Help protect against heart disease
Prevent the onset of breast and colon cancers
Weight gain is a major symptom of PCOS which many people struggle with. In this journey of living a healthy life does not mean that you have to starve yourself to lose weight. Instead, replace certain foods that don’t aid in weight loss to better foods that induce good health. Millet is one such superfood that you can replace with rice or wheat. So, start including millet in your diet consciously.