Read full article By Times of India @ TOI Photo Credit:istock
01/9 Health benefits of millets
Millets are suddenly back in the limelight. Almost all major nutritionists and doctors seem to be suddenly promoting them.. What is the reason for the comeback of millets? Should we celebrate it? Millets have been around for centuries as a food group but somewhere down the line, particularly in India, we seem to have replaced them with polished rice and maida-mixed wheat. Consuming millets was considered to be meant for the poor.A positive fallout of the Covid-19 could be described as a change in our eating habits and foods, which we consume. As everyone is trying to boost their immunity and stay active during in-home stretches, everyone is looking forward to getting a balanced and nutritious diet, which could help them fight off the Covid-19 virus. One such cereal, which has assumed greater attention in these anxieties filled days, is millet.
02/9 The ancient staple
Ancient grains like jowar, ragi, foxtail, bajra and other minor millets are promising cereals that are nutritionally superior to major cereals and serve as a good source of protein, high dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and micronutrients. Millets seem to be in demand again as it is known to be an immunity booster. Do you know what was the staple grain of India a few decades back? You would be surprised to know it was the humble millets; also currently one-third of the world’s population consumes millets regularly. But the small, humble grains are finally getting their due as super food and powerhouse of immunity. Millets are now on the verge of becoming superstars of nutrition. Millets are a rich source of a wide variety of micronutrients such as calcium, thiamine and magnesium. It is the presence of these micronutrients that support the immune system. Millets are a good source of protein, high dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and micronutrients.
03/9 What are millets and their advantages?
As per agricultural scientists, Millets are a group of small-grained cereal food crops, which are highly tolerant to drought and other extreme weather conditions and are grown with low chemical inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides. Most of the millet crops are native to India and are popularly known as nutri-cereals as they provide most of the nutrients required for normal functioning of the human body. Millets are classified into Major Millets and Minor Millets based on their grain size. Millets are gluten free and non-allergenic. Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein, thereby preventing cardiovascular diseases. All millets are rich in dietary fibre. Dietary fibre has water absorbing and bulking properties. It increases transit time of food in the gut, which helps in reducing risk of inflammatory bowel disease, and acts as a detoxifying agent in the body