Millets- as super foods
About the author
Dr Geetanjali Bhide is an eminent nutritionist, researcher, academician, writer, speaker who believes in bringing back millets on the platter for their many health benefits.
‘Super foods’ are the foods proposed to have health benefits. Millets- cereal like grains have been the ‘super foods’ since ages. But these ‘super foods’ had disappeared from our plate for long. Now, they are back with a bang with ‘Granoss’.
Millets are those wonder grains that have many health benefits. The tiny little grains that can grow in arid areas with minimal water are packed with nutrients, rich in fiber, good fats and phytochemicals. The different millets available to you are pearl millet (jowar), little millet, foxtail millets (kang or ral), proso millet, and finger millet (ragi) and kodu millet. The purported health benefits of super millets are as follows-
- Nutrient rich: Millets contain 60-70% carbohydrates, 7-11% proteins, 1.5-5% fat, and 2-7%. Millet proteins are a good source of essential amino acids, are an excellent source of vitamin B, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
- Heart disease: The high magnesium content helps to reduce blood pressure and risk of heart strokes especially in atherosclerosis. The potassium acts as a vasodilator and helps to keep low blood pressure. The high fiber has a cholesterol lowering effect, removes LDL from the system and increases the HDL levels.
- Diabetes: Millet consuming individuals are found to have a lower incidence of diabetes. Millets are a good substitute for rice and wheat in diabetics. Millet protein and magnesium increase insulin sensitivity, and improve glycemic control. The high fiber, resistant starch and anti-nutritional components help to keep blood glucose in check. The antioxidants help wound healing and prevent cataract in diabetics.
- Cancer: The antinutrients- phenolic acids, tannins and phytates reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer. The high fiber content in millets lowers the chances of breast cancer in women.
- Gut health: Fibre in millets alleviates disorders like constipation, excess gas, bloating and cramping. Celiac disease is triggered by ingestion of gluten in susceptible individuals. Millets are gluten free and a good substitute for gluten sensitive individuals.
- Antioxidants: The antioxidants in millets scavenge free radicals and prevent tissue damage. The antioxidant activity lowers oxidative stress, helps to heal wounds and reduces inflammation.
- Pre and pro-biotics: Pre-biotics that is the dietary fiber in millets trigger the growth of bacteria in the intestines. Fermented or malted millets are pro-biotics and help to increase the levels of friendly bacteria that are reduced by antibiotics, chemotherapy or disease.
The anti-nutrients in cereals and grains
All grains, legumes and cereals contain in minute quantities of certain components such as phyates, phenols and fibres were called anti nutrients since they reduce the bio-availability of certain minerals. However, these too have now been found to be beneficial, as these components anti-cancer activity. Additionally , these grains and legumes are consumed along with other pulses, vegetables, meat and other foods hence the nutritional value of the meal is further enhanced. Preparation methods such as soaking, germinating, malting, fermentation and cooking are very effective in increasing the bio availabilty of minerals . Soaking legumes and grains overnight or allowing them to sprout, is additionally beneficial as they then cook faster.
The benefits of millets as 'Super Foods’ have been re-established . Millets are alkalizing and can improve the nutrient content and quality of a balanced diet and provide nourishment that leads one to good health with its amazing health benefits. Undoubtedly A Healthy Choice for A Health Family.
It is commendable that DIFODIN with their socio economic venture have taken the initiative to bring back these golden grains to society with their high grade, unpolished and zero chemical millet products under the brand "Granoss Millets'. A welcome addition to our platter.
- Saleh, A. S., Zhang, Q., Chen, J., and Shen, Q. (2013). Millet grains: nutritional quality, processing, and potential health benefits. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 12(3), 281-295.
- B Dayakar Rao, Bhaskarachary K, et al(2007) Nutritional and health benefits of Millets, ICAR- Indian Institute of Millets Research
- Swaminaidu N, Ghosh SK. Mallikarjuna K(2015) Millets- the Miracle grains, International Journal of Pharma and Biosciences, 6(4)(B) 440-446.
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Granoss Millets - As Super FoodsBy : Pavan Kumar On September 28th 2017
Wonderful article. Very nicely written. Thanks for writing such an informative article.