In the recent past, millets have got quite popular and everyone has started to show a lot of interest in this ancient superfood. Millets are grown across the across the world, especially the dry regions. 

Do you know one can find the mention of millets back in the Yajur Veda texts. There has been evidence of millets found at sites like Mohenjodaro and Harappa. 

Interestingly, it is only now that millets are getting so much attention. That's because earlier rice and wheat had taken over but over time, people realised the numerous benefits of the humble grain and started to incorporate it in their diet. 

Millets are available in a variety and each one of them has its own health benefits. Majorly, millets are packed with protein, micronutrients and phytochemicals.  We spoke to Uma Prasad, GM at a Sowparnika Retail Private Limited with over 20 years of experience in Organic food and agriculture - The Organic World and asked her to share some millet types and their benefits. 

Barnyard Millet

This one is commonly consumed in areas with lower rainfall. It is popularly called Jhangora in Hindi, Kuthiraivali in Tamil, Oodalu in Kannada. Among all the other cereals, barnyard millet has the least amount of calories. Barnyard millet has numerous health benefits - 

  • Barnyard millet is high in protein and low in calories. 
  • It is rich in micronutrients and also contains zinc and iron. 
  • It is a highly digestible protein. 
  • Barnyard millet helps boost immunity and keeps the body temperature moderate.

Foxtail Millet

One of the oldest type of millets, foxtail millet is popularly known as navanakki. It is known as a superfood because it is loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. Foxtail millets has numerous health benefits like it boosts immunity, improves bone health, is good for the nervous system and also helps one lose weight. 

Quinoa 

quinoa

One of the most popular millets today, quinoa is a fiber packed millet. It has a delicate taste and unique texture and its health benefits have made it one of the most popular millets in the world today. Quinoa salad to upma, there are a lot of recipes where this millet can be used. It is commonly used in weight loss diets because it is low in calories and high in protein which helps increase metabolic rate of the body further making it easier for one to lose weight. 
 
 

Pearl Millet

Also known as bajra, this one is a high on energy millet which contains protein, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates. It is getting quite popular today because it is highly nutritious. It is commonly consumed during the winter season in the northern parts of the country. Because pearl millet is rich in dietary fibers, it is great for your heart. Also, it has cholesterol lowering properties which prevent the risk of heart issues. Pearl millets have carbs which means that they get digested slowly. This makes it great for diabetic patients

Little Millet 

Also known as Kutki in Hindi, little millets are packed with amazing health benefits. They are great for your gut health because they have good amount of dietary fiber. Also, these millets help control blood sugar levels, improve heart health. They are ideal to be consumed by all age groups. 
 

Whole Ragi

whole ragi

Whole ragi is a highly nutritious millet. It looks quite similar to mustard seeds. Whole ragi is gluten free and a staple in South India. This millet is rich in protein, fiber, essential amino acids and minerals like calcium, iron and manganese. 
 
 

If you wish to add millets to your food routine, make sure you purchase the one free from any adulteration. For more such health related stories, stay tuned!