What Are Millets? Types, Benefits And Interesting Recipes
According to the health and nutrition experts, Millets are extremely nutritious and good for health and they also need less water and can stored for years, as they have a long shelf life. Brown Top Millet makes for a perfect healthy meal. In fact, it is often advised to prepare millets in the form of porridge for growing kids and aging adults. What’s more, millets are loaded with high amount of starch and proteins, which can be beneficial, if added to the daily diet.
Millets are known to be one of the oldest cultivated grains. These drought-resistant grains are believed to be grown and eaten for thousands of years in South East Asia and Africa. Even today, millets are a staple in many parts of the world. This traditional grain is gaining huge popularity of late because of its nutritional values and health benefits associated with them. They are very versatile and are being adapted to modern-day cooking and dishes. You can purchase high-quality kodo millet flour Canada from online grocery stores.
What Are The Different Types Of Millets?
There are various types of millets. Here mentioned are some of the most popular variants.
Pearl millet is the most widely grown type of millet and India is largest producer of pearl millet. Pearl millet is a rich source of phosphorus, which plays an important part in the structure of body cells. Consumption of pearl millets helps in minimizing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Being a good source of magnesium, millets act as a cofactor in a number of enzymatic reactions.
2. Finger Millet
Also known as African finger millet, red millet, ragi and very popular millet specially in Southern India. It is rich in calcium and protein and also have good amount of iron and other minerals. Ragi tops in antioxidant activity among common Indian foods, Ragi also has some good number of Essential Amino Acids (EAA) which is essential for human body.
3. Foxtail Millet
Foxtail millets are high in Iron content and these millets are totally pest-free. Foxtail not only not need any fumigants, but act as anti pest agents to store delicate pulses such as green gram. They also control blood sugar and cholesterol levels & increase HDL cholesterol.
4. Kodo Millet
Kodo millets contain high amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant compound, they also has high on fibre, low on fat. Kodo millet inhibited glycation and cross-linking of collagen. Kodo millets are good for diabetes.
5. Little Millet
Little Millets seeds are smaller than other millets, like foxtail millet, little millet also high in Iron content, high in fibre like Kodo and has high antioxidant activity. It helps in diabetes and diseases related stomach.
6. Barnyard Millet
Barnyard millets are high in fibre content, phosporous and calcium. Bardyard has low glycemic index and thus helps in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease with regular intake of this millet.
What Are The Possible Health Benefits Of Millet?
Research indicates millet can be useful in the following ways:
Helping The Digestive System
Millet contains fiber, which contributes to digestive health and helps to regulate bowel movements.
Millet also has prebiotics, which stimulate the growth of probiotics within the microbiome. This is important for gut health and the immune system in general.
Millet is very helpful for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance because it is gluten-free. People with celiac disease can eat this grain, which is nutrient-rich and high in protein and fiber, without risk of discomfort.
Supporting The Cardiovascular System
Millet contains magnesium, which helps to regulate heart rhythm. Consuming millet may also elevate levels of the protein adiponectin, which can protect cardiovascular tissues.
Millet also contains vitamin B3 or niacin. This vitamin helps reduce certain factors of heart disease, such as high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, and is effective in lowering oxidative stress.
Millet can improve a person’s mood due to the high concentration of the amino acid, tryptophan. Research from 2014 suggests that a diet rich in tryptophan can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Reducing The Risk Of Diabetes
A 2021 study suggests that millet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also helps manage blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. An increase in adiponectin concentration may improve insulin sensitivity.
Another study from 2021 investigated the effectiveness of millet consumption in managing obesity and high cholesterol. The results demonstrated that this type of diet reduced BMI and, therefore, can help reduce the degree of overweight and obesity. However, longer-term studies with larger sample sizes are required.
Reducing Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress may cause various chronic conditions, including neurodegenerative disorders, arthritis, and diabetes.
A high-fat diet is also a risk factor for the development of dementia because it increases oxidative stress in the brain. Doctors consider antioxidants important in reducing oxidative damage. Diets rich in antioxidants may protect against oxidative damage.
Millet is a good source of antioxidants, which may help support the body’s ability to resist oxidative stress, a factor in illness and aging. Consuming antioxidants could decrease the risk of chronic diseases.
Research also concluded that the intake of millet could alleviate oxidative stress in the hippocampus and downregulate the expression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Other potential health benefits of millets include:-
· Suppressing cancer cell growth
· Promoting wound healing
· Maintaining bone health
· Supporting antifungal and antimicrobial activity
How To Use Millet In Cooking?
To get more flavor out of the millet, toast the seeds lightly for 4–5 minutes until golden brown. A 2-to-1 water to millet ratio will get you a quinoa-like consistency. For porridge, use a 3-to-1 ratio and stir often. For a creamier texture, use more liquid.
People can prepare millet in many different ways. It can be soft and smooth, like porridge, or light, fluffy, and slightly chewy, like rice. There are various recipes and ways a person can cook with millet.
The following are summaries of popular sweet and savory recipes for millet:
Toasted Millet Tabouli:
Toast grains in a sauté pan until light golden brown. Cook with water or stock. Fluff with a fork. Add diced tomato, cucumber, onion, chopped fresh mint, oregano, and parsley. Mix with olive oil and season.
Super Simple Millet Pilaf:
Add millet and toast it until it is golden and gives off a nutty aroma. Cook grains with chopped carrots, and onion. Add sea salt and water to the pan. Bring the millet to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the pilaf for 30 minutes and let it stand.
Mix millet and broth. The millet is done when the water has fully absorbed. Preparing millet with more water gives it a consistency like porridge for breakfast as a substitute for oatmeal. People can then cool, slice, and sautée the millet like polenta.
A person can also combine millet with flour, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, butter, and brown sugar to make muffins.
Millets are nutritious grains that are gluten-free. If you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, they can be consumed as a source of plant-based protein. They are also suitable for gluten-free diets. This versatile grain can be used as a replacement for rice and wheat. From breakfast to dinner, there are so many ways you can include them in your diet.