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We are all familiar with Millets. ‘Is millet helpful in reducing diabetes? Do I need to take it for my bones? Does it help me lose weight?’ We have all asked ourselves this question.
Millets are not a new food to us; they have long been a part of Asian cultures. Millets were consumed daily by the majority of the population of Central and Southern India until the advent of the Green Revolution made rice and wheat more readily available.
Typically today, Indians consume cereals in large quantities on their nutritionally unbalanced plates, which feature rice, maize, and refined wheat as readily available carbohydrates. When combined with sedentary lifestyles, “junk food” and other unhealthy foods can lead to obesity and other health problems.
The reason millets are recognized as “smart foods” is that they meet the criteria that they are “good for you,” “good for the planet,” and “good for the farmer.” When introduced, millets can be used as staple foods and as a means of diversifying the diet and controlling blood levels of lipids. Additionally, they can help manage metabolic disorders like diabetes and hyperlipidemia and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Millets indeed have many health benefits. Therefore, it was imperative to provide Indians with information about millets and to encourage them to incorporate them into their diets. In response to an initiative by the Indian government, the year 2023 has been declared the International Year of Millets.
What are the types of millets?
Millets come in a variety of sizes and shapes. A few of the millets are listed below.
- Foxtail Millet
- Ragi/Finger millet
- Pearl Millet/Bajra
- Little Millet
- Barnyard Millet
How does Millet benefit the Body?
A millet is a gluten-free, highly nutritious, and high-fiber food that is rich in nutrients. They contain a variety of micronutrients, including calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Due to their low Glycemic Index (GI), these foods do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels like rice and wheat.
Millets are also rich in dietary fiber, which absorbs water and provides bulk. The increased transit time of food in the gut reduces the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and acts as a cleansing agent.
Studies have shown that millets have a higher nutritional value than many cereals. Aside from providing a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential amino acids, they also provide a source of healthy fats. Most importantly, millets help reduce chronic inflammation, the root cause of all diseases. Chronic inflammation can result in chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, etc.
Did you know? A simple change in your daily routine can significantly impact your body’s level of chronic inflammation.
‘Inflammation’ is a Latin term meaning ‘setting on fire,’ first used in the 16th century when many things were on fire. When your body detects harmful bacteria, pathogens, toxins, and other compounds, it produces an inflammatory response. The presence of inflammation is familiar not only in acute illnesses but also in chronic conditions.
Do Millets Help Reduce Inflammation in the body?
Whole grain or millet will contain bran and germ, which will be removed when refined into white flour. This is unfortunate because bran contains fiber which our gut bacteria can convert into butyrate, an anti-inflammatory substance. It is studied for gut healing technique, millets are classified as resistant starch. Resistant starch is a starch which resists digestion in a normal digestive process and it gets broken down in your large intestine which is your colon, feeding the good bacteria populating your gut microbiota a nd also fixing and healing the damaged walls of your colon where most of the problems starts.
Millet is also an excellent source of protein and complex carbohydrates and contains numerous vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that fight inflammation in several ways.
It is an excellent source of antioxidants. Among the most potent compounds in nature are phenols, which can be found in millet in abundance. Its high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids has been shown to reduce inflammation and, thus, the risk of chronic diseases. Flavonoids and phenolic compounds in millet inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines, promoting the production of beneficial, anti-inflammatory molecules. And this can also help prevent many types of cancer
How to incorporate Millet in your diet?
Millets have a high satiety value, which helps keep you from overeating. In general, people fear carbs, but millets are good carbs. You can add a little bit of millet and pair it with protein in a salad or chat. In any case, it is important to soak all millet before eating since it will reduce anti-nutrients and improve the absorption of important nutrients.One can make khichdi, pulav, soup, salad, chat, porridge, and even snacks like chips and khakhras.
We can commit together this year to replace at least one portion of your meal with millet today, such as millet upma, millet khichdi, millet pancakes, or jowar roti and so on.
It’ll help reduce inflammation in the body. It’ll also help tackle chronic diseases like arthritis, kidney disease, heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, and others. We invite you to celebrate Millet Mahotsav with your honest wellness market, youcarelifestyle.com.