Millets have been cultivated and eaten for centuries in many parts of the world. Recently, they have gained greater attention due to their versatility and health benefits. They are highly nutritious, full of health benefits and can be used in various dishes. For those looking to improve their overall health and well-being, incorporating millet into their diet is a great way to do so.
In this article, we'll explore the many health benefits that millets offer and how they can be incorporated into your diet.
Millet Benefits Pregnant Women
Millet is a nutrient-rich grain that can be a good addition to a pregnant woman's diet. Millet is high in iron, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the prevention of anaemia. It also contains protein, which is important for the growth and development of the fetus.
In addition, millet is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. It is also high in dietary fiber, which can help regulate digestion and prevent constipation, a common issue during pregnancy.
Millet is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and folate. Calcium is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth in the fetus, while magnesium and potassium are important for muscle and nerve function. Folate is essential for the development of the neural tube in the fetus, which eventually becomes the brain and spinal cord.
Overall, millet can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet for pregnant women, but it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure that your specific nutritional needs are being met during pregnancy.
Types of Millets and Their Benefits
Since all types of millets are extremely high in nutritional value, they each have their own sets of goodness. Let's explore the different millet types and what each one is good at:
- Pearl Millet: Also known as bajra, pearl millet is rich in fibre, proteins, and minerals for your body's growth and development. It is high in folic acid, making it the ideal choice for pregnant women and infants above six months.
- Little Millet: It a great source of antioxidants and the high magnesium content in little millet helps improve your heart's health. The vitamin B3 found in it lowers cholesterol.
- Kodo Millet: Kodo millet promotes insulin levels and lowers the rapid increase in your blood glucose levels. Its dietary fibre maintains a healthy bowel movement, keeping digestion problems at bay.
- Foxtail Millet: The high presence of calcium in this type of millet is great for your bone health. Further, it can aid in weight loss goals, regulate blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, and may help control diabetes.
- Sorghum Millet: Also known as jowar, this type of millet is the best source of dietary fibre that improves your digestive system. It's also gluten-free and packed with protein and essential minerals. Vegetarians and vegans can rely on sorghum millet for their protein intake.
- Barnyard Millet: It is low in calories but packed in protein. Moreover, it contains fibre, making it ideal for preventing constipation, acidity, and bloating. Furthermore, it also contains a high iron level which helps prevent anaemia.
- Proso Millet: This type of millet contains lecithin required to keep your nervous system in good health and function smoothly. It also helps in balancing your blood sugar levels.
- Finger Millet: Also known as ragi, finger millet contains fibre, iron, amino acids, calcium, vitamin D, and good carbs. And since it contains calcium, regular consumption of finger millet is great for strengthening your bones.
What are the Health Benefits of Millet?
By now, we have established how you can make your diet healthier by adding different types of millet to your plate. Now let's look at how it can help you stay healthy:
- Aids in Body Detoxification
Millets are a high source of antioxidants that can boost your immunity by flushing out harmful radicals. It also helps your body detoxify by supplying antioxidants to eliminate toxins from your body and neutralise your body's enzymes to keep health issues at bay.
- Great for Infants and Babies
Since millets are easy to digest, they can be considered a great healthy food to your baby because a baby or infant who has not yet developed a strong digestive system can digest it without difficulties. You can replace rice or wheat from your baby's diet to let them acquire the taste of millet. And since there are so many types of millets available, you can easily find the right one suited to your little one's taste!
- Manages Weight Loss
Millets have complex carbohydrates that are necessary to have when you are trying to lose weight. Complex carbohydrates do not break down easily and are higher in fibre than simple carbs. They digest slower than simple carbs and hence, can aid in weight loss by keeping you full for longer.
Millet consumption can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those trying to manage their weight during pregnancy. Millet is also rich in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer, and has a relatively low calorie count compared to other grains, making it a great addition to a healthy and balanced diet.
- Helps in Digestion
Millets contain high amounts of fibre, which helps regulate your bowel movement, preventing digestive problems like constipation, acidity, and bloating. Consuming millet regularly can strengthen digestion and protect you from digestive problems like kidney or liver conditions and gastrointestinal troubles.
- May Fight Type-2 Diabetes
According to a July 2021 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, millets may help lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes since they have a low glycaemic index, making them a great alternative for refined wheat and white rice. Higher glycaemic foods are avoided when a person has diabetes since it can rapidly spike up your blood sugar.
- Keeps Your Bones Strong
Calcium helps in keeping your bones healthy. Ragi, or finger millet, contains the highest amount of calcium compared to other types of millet, helping you keep your bones strong and healthy!
- Assists in Keeping Your Heart Healthy
Millets have essential fats that prevent your body from storing excess fat, thus reducing the risk of high cholesterol and other heart problems. Further, the potassium content in millet can also increase blood circulation and may help control blood pressure.
Millet health benefits are endless. Millets are incredibly versatile, nutrient-dense grains that offer many health benefits. Additionally, millets can provide satiety for longer periods due to their high fibre content, helping with weight management. These grains are also gluten-free and easy to digest, making them suitable for those with food allergies or intolerances.