Millets and their Benefits

Carbohydrates are the basis of every kitchen . Rice and wheat are two commonly used grains today. They are gluten-based grains, and because of their sensitivity to gluten, millets is a healthier alternative to rice and wheat.

Different types of Millets and their benefits


The millet grains are

1.    Ragi also known as Finger Millets

2.    Jowar or Sorghum or Quinoa

3.    Bajra also known as Pearl Millets

4.    Rajgira or Amaranth Millets

5.    Barri also known as White Millets or Porso

6.    Kodo Millets

7.    Kangani or Foxtail Millets

Easy Foods Prepared Using Millets

  • A wide variety of tasty foods, including both sweet and regular dishes can be made from millets. They add a distinct flavour and fragrance to the dishes while adding greater nutritional benefits.
  • The fine flour of Millets like Ragi, Rajgira can be used make rotis, mixed with vegetables. Kodo millet and Bajra can be cooked as upma, or can be prepared as curd rice. 
  • Oil less, soft and simple Jowar roti and ragi mudda are staple foods in parts of India.
  • Tasty kheer varieties can be prepared from Foxtail and Amaranth millets
  • Rice can be replaced with Kodo millet, Ragi for making idlis, dosas.
  • Ragi porridge mixed with buttermilk is a super healthy summer drink for everyone.
  • Upma, Pongal, Pulao can be made from Bajra, Jowar and Kangani.

Tips –

  • Mix a few tablespoons of ragi flour to your regular idli/dosa batter and make idli, dosa, uthappam etc.
  • Replace rice with quinoa or kodo millet while making curd rice, upma etc.

Benefits of Millets –

·   Gluten Free – Millets are gluten-free and can be taken by those with gluten intolerance. Gluten can cause digestive issues like bloating, cramps etc. 

·   Controls blood sugar –  Millets have complex carbohydrates, which take longer time to digest.  This helps to maintain a stable blood sugar level. It contains vitamin B which keeps the energy level consistent throughout the day. 

·  Heart Health – Rich Dietary Fiber lowers risk of heart issues, obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, digestive issues, lowers cholesterol levels.

·  Bone Health – Millets like Ragi, Foxtail millet are rich in calcium helping in stronger bones.

·  Growth – Millets are an easy source of protein which provides energy, aid in regenerating cells and prevents malnutrition.

·  Low-Carb Diet – Millets are a viable and wise choice for low-card diets as they provide enough energy to stay up through the days and boost stamina. For those who are looking to lose weight, can switch to millets than consuming rice and wheat.

·  Protective Foods –

Each type of millet is rich in various minerals and vitamins helping the body stay protected from various diseases.

o   Porso millet contains Vitamin B3 that can prevent pellagra. Pellagra is a skin disorder that makes skin dry, scaly and rough. 

o   Bajra Contains folic acid and iron and so is good for pregnant women

o   Contain Minerals helping in iron and calcium absorption

o   Porso millet contains phytic acid which helps to lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. 

Millets are a healthy substitute for rice and wheat. Millets help the body to get the required vitamins and minerals. It’s best to include millets for one meal a day. It’s rich in fibre and takes time for digestion so reduces hunger pangs in between meals. 

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Maria Joseph

An experienced Montessori trained teacher who loves to play with children, eat chocolates, watch the rain, watch movies and to read.

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