Today millets and millet flour are gaining popularity because they are gluten-free, help weight loss, and provide important health benefits. Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of millets and how you can add it to your diet.
India is one of the biggest producers of millets, making some 8 million tonnes every year. Indians were eating this ancient grain 10,000 years ago. It is still a cheap source of nutrition and energy. But millets are not just another grain or flour. Millets are easier to digest, contain essential amino acids and minerals and they do not have any gluten like regular wheat flour.
Studies have suggested magnesium-rich whole grains help the body digest carbohydrates easily and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. So if you start your day by adding a few millets to your cereal you could avoid diabetes.
Millets are a good gluten-free alternative. Gluten-free carbs are foods that can be tolerated by anyone, unlike normal wheat. Also, millets are rich in protein, fibre, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Bajra, or rather the miracle millet, provides eight times more iron than rice!
Millet helps relieve constipation and digestion problems. Amino acids in pearl millet are easier to digest than those present in wheat.
Reduces Cholesterol and Heart Disease
Heart health is one of the best health benefits of millets. Amino acids reduce plaque in the blood vessels and help reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Millets also prevent fatty deposits in the liver. Lignans, the gut-friendly phytonutrients in millets, protect the body against heart disease.
Prevents premature ageing
Amino acids, Methionine and Lysine help form collagen which is fights sagging and wrinkling of the skin. So, drink a formulated health shake to look younger, or add millets to your smoothies.
One of the best natural sources of calcium and Vitamin D, eating millets will give you stronger bones and teeth. Prevent osteoporosis later in life with millets and give it to growing children.
Helps Weight Loss
Fibre and protein-rich millets do make you feel full for longer, helping you to lose weight. But then the western world discovered millets are useful in a weight loss diet. This is why people started substituting flour meals, like gluten free wheat and gluten free rice flour, for Slim Atta containing five millet gains.
A Word of Caution
It would be wise to remember that despite the health benefits of millets in the diet, too much of it can lead to an underactive thyroid. Millets are goitrogens, so you should incorporate them carefully into your diet. Use them in a batter, mix millet flour with regular flour, and drink it in a health shake. Add it to your meal as a side dish, instead of replacing millets for gluten-free wheat bread, brown rice. Always consult your doctor or dietician before making any major changes to your diet or fitness routine.