10 Different Types of Millets to Add to a Routine Diet
The year 2023 has been declared as the international year of millet to create awareness and boost the production and consumption of millet. India, one of the biggest producers and consumers of millets also shares this noble initiative to make it a ‘people’s movement’. Millets were first domesticated in India and have shreds of evidence of consumption during the ancient ages of the Indus valley civilization. With the growing popularity of main cereals like wheat and rice, millets lag the deserved fame and thus this move encourages the necessary millet consumption boost. We all know only a few types of millets like finger millet, sorghum millet, and pearl millet, but others are still in unexplored state. Adding them to your daily diet brings affirmative benefits to your health, so just do not rely on the popular names but reveal all of them. Let us discover their glory and indulge in their health benefits.
What are Millets?
Millet crops are cereal crops, that belong to the grass family Poaceae. Appeared in the tiny seeds, millets are native to Asia and Africa, most specifically, India and Nigeria. They have remained an integral part of our diet since the time of our ancestors as well as cultivated as animal fodder. Millet meaning, itself suggests a plant with a lot of small seeds that can be used as food for animals and people. Millets feature characteristics like:
Grown as mixed crop, with small grain and even in poor soil.
Millet crops require little rain to grow.
Highly tolerant of drought and other extreme weather conditions.
Possess an almost similar nutrient profile to major cereals.
What are the Top 10 Millets that everyone should include in the Regular Diet?
After understanding what are millets, let us introduce the top 10 millets along with common varieties. As each of them brings a unique taste and its own set of health benefits, nutritionists recommend them.
Finger millet or ragi is one of the most consumed millets across the world. The gluten-free millet is a healthier substitute for wheat and rice. With lots of iron and other mineral ingredients, ragi is the favourite millet of fitness people. Nutrient composites of ragi are closely associated with the brain and body development of kids. The dense composition of amino acids fulfils a large share of daily antioxidant requirements and keeps you healthy and young. Available in white and brown colour, these millet varieties are leading consumers to consume them more.
The Sorghum millet is mostly known as jowar in India, and states like Maharashtra and Karnataka are the top producer of it. Slightly sweet in taste, sorghum millet is a good source of iron, protein, and fibre. Also used in ethanol production, sorghum millet caters to various health benefits. People who are gluten intolerant can avail of the option of jowar as a healthy substitute. It has higher-intensity antioxidants and is high in calories and macros. One can have improved metabolic activities and boosted overall stamina with regular consumption of jowar.
3. Pearl Millet
Pearl millet, also known as Bajra, is much familiar millet used in preparing various traditional dishes like paratha, khichdi, and others. Pearl millet contains nutrients like fibre, iron, protein, calcium, and magnesium. People who consume pearl millet on a regular basis may experience boosted health to fight against type 2 diabetes. States like Gujrat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are among the major producer and consumers of this wonderful millet.
Foxtail millet or Kangi in India is grown in a semi-arid region, and the season is very short. This millet is high in carbs which can assist in maintaining blood sugar levels in the body. Foxtail millet enhances the body’s immune system with the super nutrient profile.
5. Buckwheat Millet
Buckwheat, mostly known as kuttu in India, which is mostly consumed during Navratri fasting. This diabetic-friendly millet also influences maintaining blood pressure levels. This magical millet crop is a boon for heart health and can lose excess weight with regular consumption. Buckwheat millet also features anti-cancer characteristics.
Barnyard or Sanwa is a popular millet in India, which is loaded with dietary fibres. This high density contributes to improving intestinal flow and weight loss. This millet grows in the marginal field and fastest rising plant. It is packed with calcium, and phosphate, which will boost bone mass.
7. Kodo Millet
Kodo millet is a digestive millet which is enriched in the amino acid lecithin. This millet, also known as Kodon millet is highly effective in strengthening the neurological system. This wonder millet is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. This gluten-free millet is an extremely beneficial alternative for gluten-intolerant people. Adding Kodo millet can help you in improving cardiovascular health and lowering cholesterol levels.
Amaranth millet is mostly consumed during fasting days in India. The high fibre and protein contents make the dishes made up of it a balanced diet. If you want to flaunt black and shiny hair, then you must add this millet crop to your regular diet.
Little millet grows in adverse weather conditions like water logging or drought. In India, eastern ghats fall into the production region of these types of millets. Although named little millet, the crop is packed with minerals such as zinc, calcium, iron, and potassium. You will find several traditional dishes in the southern states of India made up of this.
10. Browntop Millet
This millet is mostly grown in the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This millet can be grown on less fertile soil. High fibre content of the browntop millet can make it an ideal food for weight loss. The gluten-free millet promotes digestion, augments cardiac health, fortifies bones, and several other health benefits.
‘Old is gold!’, the proverb is so true when it comes to millets! Thanks to the latest diet regimes, which are enforcing the young generation to reinvent the food culture that our ancestors used to follow as a routine. One can include 10 types of millets to reap the benefits from all of them. Significantly loaded with nutrients, every millet has exceptional taste and unfolds health advantages. Improve your culinary skills and bring diversity to your plate daily with the millet varieties. Trust organically grown millets from us to secure 100% benefits from them!