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Healthy Life with Millets: What Are The Nutritional And Health Benefits of Millets?

Healthy Life with Millets: What Are The Nutritional And Health Benefits of Millets?

Need of the hour is to make Millets a food choice for the future

Last year, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi conveyed his message during the opening ceremony of the International Year of Millets in Rome, Italy. 

 

The United Nations General Assembly, backed by over 70 nations worldwide, has declared the year 2023 as the 'International Year of Millets.' This initiative aims to raise awareness globally about millets by highlighting their status as a smart superfood with numerous benefits.

Why has the world embraced millets with such enthusiasm? Explore the health benefits of these small but nutritional powerhouses that have captivated global attention.

Millets, akin to staple grains, offer a rich nutritional profile. They supply energy (320–370 kcal per 100g) and are fiber-rich, aiding gastrointestinal health and blood sugar control. Low in gluten and with antioxidants, millets are allies against disorders like celiac disease, diabetes, and age-related illnesses. Research highlights their potent phenolic antioxidants, promoting overall health.

 

Shocking Health Statistics


Chronic diseases affect 41.73% of Indian adults and the elderly, with hypertension most prevalent (26.82%) and cancer being the rarest (0.63%).

"Chronic diseases will kill more Indian in coming time" Fact Check PNg Dr Trust



In addition Leading global NCD killers: Cardiovascular diseases claim 17.9 million lives, followed by cancers (9.3M), chronic respiratory diseases (4.1M), and diabetes (2M, including kidney disease).


The biggest health issues worldwide Dr Trust PNG

Shocking data, isn't it? Don't worry; we've explored how science confirms the remarkable advantages of millet and the wisdom passed down by our ancestors, even documented in the Vedas.  The good news is that scientific research validates the incredible advantages of millets, aligning with our ancestor’s wisdom for health and longevity. 


Key Benefits of Millets on Your Health!

Nutrient-Rich

 

Millets are rich in essential nutrients. They typically contain significant amounts of:

Protein: 7-12 grams per 100 grams

Dietary Fiber: 6-8 grams per 100 grams

Vitamins (e.g., B vitamins): Varied amounts

Minerals (e.g., iron, magnesium, phosphorus): Varied amounts

Low Glycemic Index

Millets have a low Glycemic Index (GI). This index measures how quickly carbohydrates in food raise blood sugar levels.

For example, pearl millet has a GI of around 55, while rice can have a GI of 70 or more. Lower GI foods help regulate blood sugar levels.

Gluten-Free 

Millets are naturally gluten-free, making them suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Heart Health

Millet’s high fiber content (approximately 3-12 grams of fiber per 100 grams) can help reduce cholesterol levels. Fiber binds to cholesterol, aiding in its elimination from the body.

Millets are hailed as "smart foods" due to their benefits for health, sustainability, and agriculture. They serve as wholesome, traditional staples, diversify diets, regulate blood lipids, aid in managing diabetes and hyperlipidemia, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Weight Management

The dietary fiber in millets promotes a feeling of fullness and can help control appetite. For example, 100 grams of pearl millet provides around 8 grams of fiber.

Millets aid weight management through their high fiber content, low GI, balanced macronutrients, slow digestion, nutrient density, low-fat content, metabolism regulation, and reduced overeating, making them a valuable addition to a calorie-conscious diet. 

Digestive Health 

Millets are excellent sources of dietary fiber. Fiber supports a healthy digestive system by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.

Antioxidants

Millets contain various antioxidants like phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and tannins. These antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative damage.

Bone Health 

Millets are rich in minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for bone health. For example, 100 grams of finger millet contains around 370 mg of calcium.

Skin and Hair 

Nutrients in millet, such as B vitamins, iron, and protein, contribute to healthy skin and hair. For instance, 100 grams of foxtail millet provides about 2 mg of iron.

Millets benefit skin and hair with B vitamins (like Biotin), essential minerals (iron, zinc), moderate protein, antioxidants, hydration, anti-inflammatory properties, and their whole grain nature.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases 

Millets reduce the risk of chronic diseases through low GI, high fiber, rich nutrient profile, weight control, metabolic support, antioxidants, and gluten-free nature. They enhance blood sugar control, and immune function, and combat inflammation and oxidative stress. 

To dig deep, let's explore some of the best millet options to add to your diet;

Different Types of Millets And Nutrition

Millets, celebrated for their nutritional richness, environmental sustainability, and ethical cultivation practices, stand out as a diverse group of grains that hold immense potential for enhancing our dietary choices. With a plethora of options available, some common types of millet include:

Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum): Rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor): Comes in various colors and is a significant source of antioxidants.

Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana): Also known as ragi, finger millet is renowned for its high calcium content.

Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica): Rich in iron and protein. It is a common choice in Asian cuisines, used in dishes like porridge, rice alternatives, and desserts.

Barnyard Millet (Echinochloa crus-galli): Good source of iron and is often used in traditional dishes such as porridge and upma in parts of Asia.

Little Millet (Panicum sumatrense): Packed with nutrients like B vitamins and minerals.

Kodo Millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum): Rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants.

 

Incorporate millets into your life, and unlock the door to better health and vitality. Embrace the wholesome goodness of these ancient grains and savor the rich flavors and benefits they bring to your plate. Whether you're seeking nourishment, weight management, heart health, or defense against chronic diseases, millets have you covered. So, let the wisdom of science and our ancestors guide you toward a healthier and more sustainable life in our modern era. Your well-being deserves it!

millets health benefits Dr Trust PNG

 

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