Types of Millets To Add To A Routine Diet
2023 is the International Year of Millets, a worldwide initiative by the UN & FAO to promote millets' production, consumption, & trade. Millets' high nutrient content, adaptability, and sustainability make them a promising option for improving global food security. The celebration highlights millets' value in meeting sustainable development goals & promotes their use in the diets of individuals, groups, & governments.
The more we learn about millet, the more we can use it to create a brighter & more secure future for ourselves & the globe. So, let's learn more about millet & its many types.
What are Millets?
Millets, a type of small-seeded grain in the Poaceae family, are drought-resistant & low-maintenance grain. They are cultivated extensively in Asia & Africa & have been the backbone of many communities for centuries.
Millets are renowned for their high protein, fiber, & mineral content & are considered highly nutritious. Because of their low glycemic index & high antioxidant content, they are also suitable for people with diabetes. They are a great complement to a healthy diet because of their versatility & the variety of cuisines they can use.
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Types of Millets
There are many types of millet, each with its own nutritional profile & culinary applications. Here are some well-known varieties of millets.
1. Pearl Millet (Bajra):
Pearl millet is among the most consumed & nutritious, easy-to-digest millet. It is a nutrient-dense (good source of protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, & decent source of fiber) & gluten-free cereal grain. Common uses for pearl millet include rotis (bajre ke roti), porridge, desserts, & even RTE snacks like millet or multigrain cookies.
It is beneficial for lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease risk, fat absorption, & fighting cancer, heart disease, & tumors.
2. Finger Millet (Ragi):
Finger millet is a nutrient-dense grain high in calcium, iron, & amino acids. Common uses include oats, dosas, & bread. Ragi is also recognized for the treatment of anxiety, depression, & insomnia, as well as migraines.
Green ragi (finger millet) is suitable for asthma, heart disease, liver issues, & high blood pressure. In cases of low milk supply, green ragi is advised for breastfeeding women.
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3. Foxtail Millet (Kakum/Kangni):
Foxtail millet (magical millets or miracle grains) is a gluten-free, antioxidant- & fiber-rich grain. It is an excellent source of protein & minerals such as iron & magnesium. It can be used to prepare upma, pulao, & even desserts.
It aids in supplying the body with the minerals it needs to prevent & treat bone loss, inflammation, osteoporosis, arthritis, & spondylitis.
4. Sorghum (Jowar):
Sorghum is versatile & nutrient-dense millet that is high in fiber, protein, & antioxidants. It is often used to make gluten-free alternatives for wheat rotis, porridge, & even healthful snacks like popcorn. Sorghum is renowned for its cholesterol-lowering & digestion-enhancing properties.
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5. Little Millet (Kutki):
Little millet is a millet with small grains high in fiber, protein, & minerals such as calcium & iron. It is excellent as a pre-meal snack & commonly used in dishes like upma, pulao, & desserts.
In Ayurveda, kutki decoction with honey or powder with sugar treats jaundice. Kutki is also an ingredient in ayurvedic medicine for liver conditions called "arogyavardinivati." Kutki, with other herbs, treats viral hepatitis & fatty liver in Ayurveda.
6. Barnyard Millet (Sanwa):
Barnyard millet is a gluten-free, protein- & fiber-rich millet. It is commonly referred to as a 'sanwa rice' because it resembles broken rice after cooking.
Sanwa has special significance in India during fasting days, particularly during Navratri. It is a staple ingredient in many cuisines, from upma & khichdi to sweets. Indian barnyard millet is often used for its ability to control blood sugar & assist with weight maintenance.
Barnyard millet is renowned for controlling blood sugar levels & promoting weight loss.
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7. Kodo Millet (Kodra):
Kodo millet is the highest drought resistance & produces a high yield in a short duration. It is rich in fiber, protein (called collagen), & minerals such as calcium & iron. It is a staple in the South Indian cuisine & is used in both savory & sweet dishes.
It is renowned for its ability to enhance digestion & increase immunity. It also contains a high concentration of lecithin & is ideal for improving the health of the nervous system.
8. Job's Tears (Adlay Millet):
Job's tears are tiny grains high in antioxidants, protein, & fiber. They are commonly used for making porridge, stews, & desserts in Asian cuisine. Job's tears are renowned for their digestive & immune-boosting properties.
9. Teff (small grain):
Teff is a tiny poppy seed-sized grain native to Ethiopia, growing in prominence worldwide. It is gluten-free & abundant in fiber, protein, & minerals such as calcium & iron. Teff is a versatile grain that may be used in a variety of dishes, including injera (Ethiopian flatbread), porridge, & baked items.
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10. Browntop Millet (Korale):
Browntop millet is a nutrient-dense millet high in fiber, protein, & minerals such as iron & magnesium. It's a common ingredient in savory & sweet dishes like pulao & porridge. Browntop millet is well-known for its ability to regulate blood sugar & aid digestion.
11. Proso Millet (Chenna/Barri):
Proso millet is a gluten-free & nutrition-packed millet that is high-fiber, high-protein, & antioxidant-rich millet. It has cooling properties & can be consumed during the summer season. Proso millet is renowned for its weight management & cardiovascular health benefits.
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Millets are a versatile & nutrient-rich complement to a regular diet. They provide numerous health benefits & can be used in a variety of dishes. Including a variety of millets in your diet can provide a variety of nutrients & tastes.
For protein-rich, versatile, and sustainable eats, try out Sudo's vegan chicken-flavored popcorn, vegan seekh kebabs, vegan galouti kebabs, vegan keema samosas, vegan chicken miracle momos, & plant-based burger patties, all of which are made with high-quality ingredients.
Q1. Which millet has the highest protein?
Ans. Among millets, finger millet (ragi) has the highest protein. It is often recommended to vegetarians & vegans as an exceptional source of plant-based protein.
Q2. Which millet is best for daily use?
Ans. Each millet has its own unique nutritional benefits, & choosing the best millet for daily consumption depends on personal preferences & dietary needs. However, finger millet (ragi) & pearl millet (bajra) are consumed daily due to their nutritional value & culinary versatility.
Q3. Can we mix all types of millet & eat them?
Ans. Yes, you can combine various varieties of millet in your diet. Millets can provide a multitude of nutrients & flavors when combined. To enjoy the benefits of multiple millets, you can prepare porridge, upma, & pulao with a combination of millets.