Millet is a cereal grain that belongs to the grass family, which can survive in harsh environments and less fertile soil. Though they belong to the same family , they vary in colour and appearance.
Like most cereals, millets are starchy grains – which means that they are rich in carbohydrates. And it is also packed with numerous vitamins and minerals.
Millet provides more essential amino acids than most other cereals. These compounds are the building blocks of protein.
Pearl millet is well adapted to growing areas characterized by drought, low soil fertility, and high temperature. It performs well in soils with high salinity or low pH. Because of its tolerance to difficult growing conditions, it can be grown in areas where other cereal crops, such as maize or wheat, would not survive. Pearl millet is a summer annual crop well-suited for double cropping and rotations.
Foxtail millet is the second most widely plant species of millet. It has the longest history of cultivation of millets in India and is being grown in India since antiquity. It is rich in dietary fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, and low in fat. Studies show that people who consume foxtail millet in their diet have a lower probability of suffering from diabetes.
Proso millet is an important minor millet grown in India. The crop can avoid drought by its quick maturity. Being a short duration crop (60-90 days) with relatively low water requirement, this escapes drought period and offers better prospects for intensive cultivation in dryland areas.
Finger Millet (Ragi)
Finger millet is a significant small millet grown in India. It is a staple food in many hilly regions of the country. It is grown both in grain and forage. Grains are rich in minerals and are the richest source of calcium used in many preparations like cakes, puddings, sweet etc. The green straw is suitable for making silage. It is also good for diabetic people. It can be cultivated up to an altitude of 2100 m and can be grown on wide adaptability to different soil from very poor to very fertile and can tolerate a certain degree of alkalinity.
Millet is rich in ferulic acid and catechins, which act as antioxidants to shield your body from harmful oxidative stress.
The highly soluble and insoluble fibre content helps the food move through the digestive system in a more controlled manner. The soluble produces a sticky substance in your gut. This traps fat and helps reduce high cholesterol levels and prevents acidity while insoluble fibre can help improve bowel-related health problems, like constipation.
Millet is also rich in non-starchy polysaccharides, two types of indigestible carbs that help to control blood sugar levels. Because of its low glycemic index, it is very unlikely to spike your sugar levels. It is also a gluten-free grain, which helps in improving digestion, increases energy level and helps in maintaining cholesterol levels. This also helps in eliminating viruses and germs in the body.
Many people, now a days, prefer millets because of health benefits. They have started to use millets in many ways by introducing a variety of dishes in the family, especially for the kids. Even restaurants and bakeries have started to bring in new products based on millets.
Now, we shouldn’t confuse rice and millets. Rice is the most consumed staple food of large parts of the human population, while millets are grown for both human consumption and for fodder. Compared to rice, millets are very healthy.
Top 5 Tasty Millet Dishes
- Smoky Millet Pinto Bean Patties
- Millet Fritters
- Vegan Millet Sushi
- Mixed Millet bhel puri
- Baked Ragi Chalki
Stay well-nourished with millets from Mynaa World.