People worldwide are now awakening to the novel concept of the use of millet seed in their diet which is free of gluten and loaded with fibers, proteins as well as minerals. Millets also called miracle grain aids to lose weight plus help to boosts physical condition.
Millet Seed are tiny seeded grass cultivated all around the world. These are grown as cereal harvests or grains for feed or food for humans. These grasses with little seeds are harvested for grains and utilized in many ways. These millets are a warehouse of proteins, fibers, and minerals. The millets are chief crops in the tropic regions of Asia and Africa. Millet grains are used in dishes around the world including in the preparation of flatbreads, porridge, drinks plus bread in addition to many more.
Millet seed are obtainable in an assortment of types each of them having its health benefits. These are also cultivated across seasons so the availability of it is easy. Millet seed also helps to lower blood sugar and also the cholesterol levels. They are not acid-forming foods and thus make them easy to digest. Often they are associated with food for the birds but the fact is that it is the most delicious whole grain one has the opportunity to eat with a whole round of health benefits too!! It is most economic feed too.
The various types of millets are:
Jowar is also known as sorghum.
Ragi also called finger millet.
Korra is also called foxtail millet.
Arke is also called kodo millet.
Sama also called known as little millet and
Bajra is also branded as pear millet.
Chena/barr that is identified as proso millet and last but not the least
Sanwa is also known as barnyard millet.
Millet flour is a complete grain that is stone ground. It has loads of minerals and vitamins. It has a fine taste. This is used also for gluten-free baking. Millet flour is loaded in dietary fiber. It supports the good bacteria in the digestive system. This fiber puts in bulk to the stools thereby keeping you regular and prevents colon cancer.
Millets grains were the chief grains in Europe through the mid ages. These are tiny seeded grasses as a cereal crop. The most extensively grown millet is the pearl millet moreover is important in India and a few parts of Africa. Amongst the millet varieties, it is claimed that the Proso millet is the healthiest. Millets have extra proteins than rice. It is also rich in Vitamins A and B, Iron phosphorous as well as manganese making it better than rice. Millets due to their richness in fibers etc are said to be an ideal breakfast that helps one to prevent overeating during the day.
It’s amazing to be familiar with the fact that the staple food in ancient India was millets, not rice!! It is a prehistoric grain and used not only for human eating but to give food to birds in addition to livestock.
Let’s take a quick glance on the health benefits of millets:
- It is high in fiber, rich in amino acids, vitamins as well as minerals.
- It is unsurprisingly gluten-free highly rich in proteins, alkaline plus antioxidant contents. It is non-allergic and hence easily digestible.
- Finger millets are said to be maximum in calcium content. It ensures the bone’s muscular contractions and proper nerve functioning.
- Millets in particular the darker range are rich in antioxidants so have anti-inflammatory properties plus also averts metal poisoning.
- It is Fiber-rich plus has indigestible carbs that help in controlling blood sugar and is perfect for sugar diabetic patients.
- Millets containing soluble fiber which assists to trap fats as well as reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
- For those seeking a gluten free diet, millets could be a changeable choice.
With all the health benefits that millets contain it may be noted that it has anti-nutrient composite which decreases the absorption of other nutrients in the body. However, as every problem has a solution this too has one. The effect of the anti-nutrient component can be reduced by consuming the sprouted millets and also following a balanced diet.
When cooked whole millets are a good substitute for rice. The best way to cook the millets is to soak it overnight to reduce its ant nutrient contents then to boil it with double quantity of water and simmer it till it cooks. Toasting it prior to cooking improves its nutty taste.
Millets are not only obtainable in grains form but also as flour which can be used to make porridge, cookies, bread etc.
Millet bread is calcium rich with dietary fibers. This is an easy gluten free sandwich bread recipe. Millets generally have a nutty flavor which toasting enhances. It could have a taste of corn. It is said to take a sweater end of the whole grain scale. Millets normally readily take the flavor of the ingredients or the sauce used to prepare or eat it.
White millet is also known as proso millet is a favorite with birds. It is a warm-season annual bunch of grass plus attracts doves and quails. It produces plenty of seeds with a yellow shiny coat within a short span of time. These millets are also used to brew alcohol or even as an edible grain for bread porridge and are ideal for people with a gluten-sensitive dietary system.
It may be noted that our grandparents were healthier and had a better immunity system than the current generation. The rationale behind this was that they ate in time and led a more disciplined life. They ate as well as sleeping on time. They inhaled fresh air; the food they ate was way healthier than the food that is eaten today. They ate food cultivated organically which mostly was grown by them themselves. The sowing, cultivation, and harvest of the seasonal foods were all done by themselves. They did all work themselves and were independent and self-dependent. The food they had and the milk they drank was purer as well as better.
Millets as a food item have been passed on to us for generations and this can also be traced as far back as the Stone Age. With its various nutrient facts discussed above this is also one reason due to which our older generations were much healthier. It is interesting to note that the traces of millets have been found in Mohen-jo-dharo and also Harappan sites and also as mentioned above in India and Chinese and Korean sites it is the millets and not rice that was the staple food for ages.
It is said that there are about 6000 varieties of millet seed worldwide. Millets are environmentally friendly and consumption of them encourages farmers in the arid and semi-arid areas to grow crops suited to that region. The millets do not require much water or soil condition as compared to the rice, corn, or wheat that require much more care to cultivate. The millets are often the food cooked during fasting in India. There are various delicacies and dishes which can be made from millets. It is a pity that the diet has shifted now to the current not so nutritious diets which is the cause of many diseases and health conditions.
Some interesting facts on the millets and their uses:
In South India sorghum growing Deccan areas of Telangana, Marathwada, and Karnataka use Sorghum to bless their newlyweds!! In many rights of worship across caste and religions sorghum is revered as the principle ritual grain. Dussera a principal festival in the Deccan region witnesses a unique celebration. This makes testing seeds by women an essential part of the festival ritual. Women observing the gutloose ceremony bring diff grains from the different household mix with soil and put it in front of the deity and then keep observing it till it germinates. This is the traditional germination test for seeds most of which are millets. In one of the festivals of the Deccan freshly cut crop particles are offered to the goddess principle and hung in decoration in the door. Sorghum takes over a place of boast in this array of crops. Any food that is so deeply integrated into the culture of communities can’t be taken away from them. Denying such foods to those communities is a form of political oppression. In the vast Indian millet landscape, we find a rich range of culinary delights. Each region has its own variation on the millet food theme. Sorghum bread or jowar roti is the most desired staple diet of the Deccan region in South India. In the western region of Rajasthan, Bhati, and roti made of bajri pearl millet rule over the rest. Sattu’s mainstay of the Himalayan diet is made from finger millet. Kitchidi from foxtail and millet snacks, millet soups, etc all are a virtual showcase of the range of millet cuisine. The capacity of millets is not restricted to restaurants. It plays a large role in the food security of a large nation such as India. Millets are really miracle grains.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that millet seed is a fantastic substitute for rice, wheat, and other grains used today by modern man. It may be noted that anything in excess is poison. So eating in moderation is the key to good health. Too many millets also can cause stomach pain, bloating, or constipation. So a combination of the foods along with a millet diet will be a key and solution to good health. It may however be noted that while purchasing the millets one must preferably go in for the unpolished version and have it in moderation.