The many benefits of millets

Millets were once thought to be a poor man's food. The consequence of the Covid-19 could be a shift in our dietary patterns and the foods we consume. Everyone is looking forward to getting a balanced and nutritious food, which could help them fight off the Covid-19 virus, as they try to improve their immunity and stay active during in-home periods. Millet is one such cereal that has gotten a lot of attention in these anxious days.

The time-tested classic

Ancient grains such as jowar, ragi, foxtail, bajra, and other minor millets are promising cereals that are nutritionally superior to main cereals, providing protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and micronutrients. Millets, which are believed to promote immunity, appear to be in high demand once more. The little, humble grains, on the other hand, are finally being recognised as a superfood and immunity powerhouse. Millets are on the verge of becoming nutritional superstars. Millets are a good source of calcium, thiamine, and magnesium, among other micronutrients. The immune system is aided by the presence of certain micronutrients. Millets are a good source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and micronutrients, among other things.

What are millets and their benefits?

Millets are a type of small-grained cereal food crops that are highly tolerant of drought and other adverse weather conditions and are grown with low chemical inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides, according to agricultural scientists. The majority of millet crops are native to India and are commonly referred to as nutri-cereals since they contain the majority of the nutrients essential for regular body function. Millets are divided into two categories based on their grain size: Major Millets and Minor Millets. Millets are both gluten-free and allergy-free. Consumption of millet lowers triglycerides and C-reactive protein, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Millets are all high in dietary fibre. Dietary fibre has the ability to absorb water and bulk up the body. It helps to reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel disease by increasing food transit time in the stomach and acting as a detoxifying agent in the body.

They've become the new  favourite

Millets are gluten-free, highly nutritious, and high in dietary fibre, according to nutritionists. They're high in micronutrients including calcium, iron, and phosphorus, among others. They have a low Glycemic Index (GI) and hence do not produce a significant rise in blood sugar. Millets should, therefore, be a regular part of our diet. Millets are anti-acidic and gluten-free, and they assist to prevent type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disorders like gastric ulcers or colon cancer, and eliminate problems like constipation, excess gas, bloating, and cramping, according to several specialists. Millets also feed the micro flora in our inner environment as a probiotic. Millets moisturise our gut, which helps us avoid constipation. Millets are high in both main and minor nutrients.

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Millets have many advantages

Millets are nutrient-dense and high in dietary fibre. Protein, micronutrients, and phytochemicals are all abundant in them. Millets have a protein content of 7-12 percent, a lipid content of 2-5 percent, a carbohydrate content of 65-75 percent, and a dietary fibre content of 15-20 percent. Millet protein has a superior necessary amino acid profile than other grains like maize. Millets have fewer cross-linked prolamins, which could be another factor contributing to the millet proteins' improved digestibility.

Increase immunity in a cost-effective manner

Everyone nowadays is concerned with improving their immunity and maintaining a healthy and fit diet in order to maintain a healthy physique. Millets may be able to help with this at a lower rate. A public awareness campaign promoting millets for a healthy and immunity-boosting diet should be launched by the government, aimed at the young and health-conscious. Millets can reclaim a prominent role in our normal diet, while also bringing a greater portion of the country under cultivation, as demand drives supply.

-Baskar Sai

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