Read the full article by Kavitha Devgan in The Pioneer
Rich in fibre, protein, B vitamins and other nutrients, Millets are making a big comeback in urban diets as an extremely versatile and sustainable food choice, writes Kavita Devgan, as she makes a case for these forgotten superfoods.
Rich in fibre, protein, B vitamins and other nutrients, these ancient grains are extremely versatile and can be swapped for pasta or rice in dishes, added to salads and power bowls, and cooked like oatmeal for a warm breakfast bowl topped with fruit and nuts. Plus, for the environmentally conscious people, the feel good factor is that millets require little water, grow well in arid and semi-arid regions of the world and thus, consuming them amounts to you leaving a lower carbon print in the world. This could be your contribution to ensuring that we leave behind some food for the future generations as well.
Our grandmothers preferred jowar rotis over regular wheat rotis. There was a reason for that. While the calcium content found in jowar is very close to the content in wheat and rice, it packs in a neat punch of iron, protein, and fiber. Jowar is also rich in policosanols, which help in reducing bad cholesterol in the body.
Bajra is an excellent detoxing agent and contains catechins like quercetin that help the kidney and liver function properly by excreting the toxins from the body. Bajra works on three fronts: It is rich in magnesium (that helps keep the heart healthy); has lots of potassium (which makes it a good vasodilator and helps reduce the overall blood pressure); and fibre rich (helps reduce the LDL or bad cholesterol). Magnesium present in bajra also helps control the glucose receptors in the body and keeps diabetes away.
Finger Millet is a rich source of calcium and iron and its main protein fraction eleusinin, has a high biological value, meaning it is easily absorbed and used in the body. It is an ideal food for diabetics, and overweight people as its digestion is slow and glucose is released from the intestines very slowly into the blood.
Barnyard millets (jhangora) is a rich source of calcium and phosphorous, which helps in bone building, and has more fibre than most other grains and delivers both soluble and insoluble fibre that helps in preventing constipation, excess gas, bloating and cramping. It also has the highest amount of iron compared to other grains.