Millets – heard of them, haven’t you? While millets aren’t a very common kitchen or meal staple globally, they ought to be, considering the numerous health benefits they carry and the fact that in this country it is one of the primary producers of this grain crop! Cultivated mainly in developing countries, its quick growing season and ability to survive in harsh arid environments and high nutritional content makes it one of the perfect crops.
The versatile grain can be used in cereals, porridge, breads and snacks. A rich source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds that are beneficial for health, millets are receiving their due credit lately due to their inherent gluten-free nature, making them perfect foods for those with Celiac disease. Besides this, millets possess the ability keep other health issues and diseases at bay. It is no wonder that millets are popular health grains in the country!
1. Improves heart health:
Millets is one of the best possible grains to include into your diet, if you seek heart health protection and maintenance. Rich in magnesium, millets help in reducing blood pressure and therefore reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Moreover, millets are a great source of potassium that works as a vasodilator to keep your blood pressure in check.
2. Keeps cholesterol levels in check:
Their high-fibre content makes millets the ideal food for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. Furthermore, the dietary fibre in millets work to eliminate bad cholesterol or LDL from the system, while simultaneously promoting the influence of good cholesterol or HDL.
3. Boosts digestive health:
Incorporation of millets into your daily diet can improve your digestive health by keeping gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, constipation and cramps at bay, due to their high fibre content. Improvement of digestive health assists your body’s nutrient retention and absorption ability, thereby reducing the risk of serious problems such as gastric ulcers and even colon cancer. Moreover, proper digestion optimizes the health of kidneys, liver, the immune system and other organs that have a close relationship with metabolic activities of the body.
4. Provides protection against diabetes:
The magnesium-rich millet is beneficial in reducing the risk of Type II diabetes. Magnesium is considered one of the most vital minerals for increasing the efficacy of insulin and glucose receptors in the body, thereby preventing diabetes.
5. Keeps the risk of cancers at bay:
According to a recent research, dietary fibre is one of the best ways to prevent breast cancer, so much so that by consuming at least 30 grams of fibre a day, women can reduce their chances of breast cancer by at least 50%! Millets are loaded with dietary fibre goodness, so including them into your diet in various forms can greatly assist in preventing cancers.
6. Detoxifies the body:
Millets are rich in antioxidants – they work to neutralise free radicals which could be cancer-causing and further flush out other toxins from the body. Beneficial catechins found in millet such as quercetin, ellagic acid and curcumin help in ridding the body of toxins and foreign agents, thereby promoting healthy digestion, elimination and neutralisation of enzymatic activity in the liver and kidneys.
7. Benefits the respiratory system:
Modern research explains the benefits that millets can have on the respiratory system, particularly in improving the quality of life of those suffering from childhood asthma. An early incorporation of millets can also help prevent childhood asthma from developing further. Moreover, millets are a safer bet as they do not contain the allergens as wheat does, which can aggravate wheezing and asthma; millets do not have this negative effect.
Uniquely high in nutrients, impressive starch content, remarkable dietary fibre concentrations, superb vitamin B levels and a great source of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium, millets are indeed power grains for the entire family. Consume in moderation in the form of dosas, cereals, casseroles, pancakes, smoothies and porridge, to nourish yourself and your family.