23 Jan 2023

Health: Why Demand Of Millets Has Increased Suddenly? What Is Best Way To Consume These Coarse Grains?

The United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Millet Year. After all, what are millets and why their demand has suddenly increased. These are becoming the first choice for health conscious people.

According to experts, millets or coarse grains not only reduce bad cholesterol but also increase good cholesterol. Thwy balance insulin levels and decreases blood pressure. This reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The risk of colon cancer is also reduced.

Millets have been an integral part of our diet for centuries

Millets have been an integral part of our diet for centuries. In addition to a plethora of health benefits, millets are also good for the environment with low water & input requirement. 

With the aim to create awareness and increase production & consumption of millets, United Nations, at the behest of the Government of India, declared 2023 the International Year of Millets.

Rich in dietary fiber

Millet is rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. The insoluble fiber in millet is known as a "prebiotic," which means it supports good bacteria in your digestive system. 

This type of fiber is also important for adding bulk to stools, which helps keep you regular and reduces risk of colon cancer.

For those who are health conscious and are cautious about what they eat, doctors advise that millets should be a part of their daily regular diet. Millets are nutritious and very easy to digest.

Due to the presence of sufficient fiber in coarse grains, they  improve digestion and provide relief from bloating, constipation, abdominal pain and gas.

Pre-diabetes can be cured to a great extent 

Pre-diabetes can be cured to a great extent by consuming bajra and maize roti. Millets like Ragi and Jowar can be consumed once daily in a meal or snacks.

Great source of vitamins and minerals

Apart from these obvious benefits, millets are a great source of several vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, important for energy production and storage, magnesium which enhances nutrient delivery and increases insulin sensitivity. 

Though every type has a different nutrient profile, most are high in protein, contain minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc and are rich in vitamin B6, niacin and folic acid. Lignans in millet is thought to protect us against breast cancer and cardio-vascular diseases.

Best way to consume Bajra

The best and easiest way to eat bajra is to roast 2 cups of the grain in a pan with two teaspoons of oil. Once the grains turn golden brown, lower the flame. Add 3 cups of veg stock and some fresh coriander. Now let it boil until its liquid dries up. 

How to use millets in your daily diet

There’s no need to give up the food you love. Just replace one or two of the ingredients with millets and you’ll end up eating a tasty, balanced diet that’s nutritious too.

Millets are advised in moderate amounts

Although millets are very nutritious, they are advised in moderate amounts because excessive consumption can lead to adverse effects as the millets contain substances that interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. 

Millets can cause delayed digestion due to their slow digestibility as they are high in fibre. Studies have proved that eating millets everyday can lead to thyroid issues, hence limit their consumption to thrice or four times a week. Include both millet and rice and wheat in your meals.

Coarse grains can be mixed with wheat flour

Coarse grains can be mixed with wheat flour. Take Wheat flour 60%, Ragi 10%, Jowar 10%, Kalachana 10%, Bajra 5%, Barley flour 5% can be added.

Heart patients should consume whole wheat, brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa.


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