Wonder Millets

8Nov - by Eco Store - 0 - In Organic Facts

Millets are some of the oldest of cultivated crops. These are grass crops, whose seeds are harvested for food or feed. They can be grown under dry and high temperature areas also. They can be adapted to poor and infertile soils and hence a perfect answer for food shortage problems in many countries.

Millets can be used in the same ways as paddy rice or wheat is used. They can also be used to make variety of dishes like Upma, Dosa, Idli, Pongal, Biryani and many more.

Some of the important millet species are

  1. Finger Millet: Finger millet is originally native to the Ethiopian highlands and was introduced into India approximately 4000 years ago. It is highly adaptable to higher elevations and is grown in the Himalayas up to an altitude of 2300 m.
  2. Foxtail Millet: Foxtail millet is regarded as a native of China. It is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. Its taste makes it easy to transition from grains to millets. Very effective in controlling diabetics
  3. Kodo Millet: Kodo millet was domesticated in India almost 3000 years ago. Very high fiber content. It has around 11% protein
  4. Little Millet
  5. Proso Millet: Proso is considered a self-pollinated crop, but natural cross-pollination may exceed 10%. Proso millet requires very little water, possibly the lowest water requirement of any cereal, and converts water most efficiently to dry matter/grain
  6. Pearl Millet

Health benefits of Millets

  1. High fiber content : Millets especially Kodo millet have higher fiber content
  2. High protein foods
  3. Magnesium: Millets are an excellent source of magnesium. This helps in
  • lowering BP
  • reducing risk of health attack
  • reducing severity of Asthma
  • reducing frequency of migraine attack
  1. Healthy body ecology: Millets do not feed pathogenic yeast (candida). They act as probiotic to important microflora in the inner eco system
  2. Helps hydrate the colon
  3. Millets are gluten free
  4. Millets are alkaline and easily digestible
  5. Diabetics control : Millets especially foxtail millet help control diabetics
  6. They have high anti-oxidant properties

Nutrients provided by Millets

Millets provide the following nutrients Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, Tryptophan, Phosphorous, Fiber, B Vitamins, Anti Oxidants

The table below gives nutritional values of Millets when compared with Rice (polished) and wheat which have only just calories.

Millets

100 Gms

Protein

(gm)

Fiber

(gm)

Calcium

(mg)

Iron

(mg)

Minerals

(gm)

Carbohydrates

Foxtail

12.3

8.0

31

2.8

3.3

60.9

Little Millet

7.7

7.6

17

9.3

1.5

67

Finger Millet

7.3

3.6

344

3.9

2.7

72

Bajra

11.6

1.3

42

16.9

2.3

67.5

Sorghum

10.4

1.3

25

4.1

1.6

72

Oats

13.6

3.5

50

3.8

1.8

62.8

Polished Rice

6.4

0.2

10

2.8

0.9

77.4

Wheat

9.8

1.2

37

4.9

1.5

77.2

How to Prepare your Millets

  1. Rinse it off and remove any stones
  2. Soak your millet for 5 to 6 hours prior to preparing it. Add two spoons of butter milk to it so as to remove the phytic acid that might cause digestive issues
  3. Cook millets as you would cook rice but with more water. Try 1 cup of Millet to 2 to 2.5 cups of water. Determine how much water to use depending upon how soft you like your grain
  4. You will know your millet is cooked when the dark color becomes opaque

Source: 

1. Nutritive Value of India Foods. National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR), Hyderabad

2. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT, www.icrisat.org)

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