How many types of millets you know? Need Help? Here is a small guide to help you understand kinds of millets, their health benefits, etc.
But, before you know millet types, let’s see what millets are.
What are millets and their forms?
Belonging to the Poaceae family, millets are gluten-free, high protein, and fiber cereal grain with antioxidant properties.
It is widely eaten across India and around the world because of its numerous health benefits. People on weight loss prefer adding millet recipes into their diets. It is regarded as one of the best food to be added to weight loss diet plans. Millets are also called ancient grains as they existed for a long time.
It is highly grown in countries like India and African Countries without requiring much attention to land fertility.
Millets are broadly categorized into two kinds:
- Major millets: This is the most popular and it includes millets like a pearl, proso, foxtail, and ragi. Pearl millet is the most popular and widely grown. These millets, also called Naked Millets, as they do not have husk on them. So, they are ready for human consumption after cleaning and need not require further processing after harvesting.
- Minor millets: Minor millets or husked millets includes millets like a barnyard, guinea, kodo, fonio, browntop, etc. The husk on the seeds is needed to be removed before they are made ready for human consumption.
Below is the types of millets in general you must know.
Types of millets:
- Finger Millet: It is popularly known as Ragi in India. Rich in protein, iron, fiber, and amino acid, finger millets are a good replacement for wheat or rice. It is also helpful in brain development for children in their growing age.
- Pearl Millet: Another popular millet variant known as Bajra in India loaded with health benefits. Packed with the goodness of calcium, magnesium, protein, fiber, iron, etc, they are helpful in fighting Type 2 diabetes. Pearl millet is the most popular millet and grown widely.
- Foxtail millet: Foxtail millet is called kakum or kangni, a good replacement of rice. Iron and calcium contents also make it a good food for immunity boosting. Foxtail millet, scientific name Setaria italica is the second-most widely planted millet, grown highly in Asian countries.
- Little Millet: Little Millet, also known as Kutki in Hindi, is a type of millet from the Poaceae family. High in fiber content, this is one of the best food for those on a weight loss diet. It is a good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium. It is also a good source of vegan protein. They are widely cultivated in central India and other Asian countries.
- Buckwheat Millet: A gluten-free seeds good for those who have a gluten-related disorder. A good source of protein, dietary fiber, and other dietary minerals. Buckwheat, not to be confused with wheat, is also a good diet food for those on their weight loss journey. It may also lower blood pressure. Buckwheat pancakes and porridge is the most widely-eaten across different countries.
- Kodu Millet: Kodu millet not to be confused with finger millet (Kodo Millet) is a good source of protein and a great replacement for rice. It is also an excellent source of fiber as compared to wheat and rice. Kodu millet grown widely in Nepal contains high amounts of an antioxidant compound called polyphenols. Again, good food for gluten intolerants.
- Jowar Millet: Jowar millet, also called Sorghum millet, is a good alternative for wheat and widely popular in many households in India. Highly nutritious food, Jowar Millets are helpful in reducing cholesterol levels. Jowar is also a great choice for people who are gluten intolerants. They are rich in fiber and good diet food for your diet plan.
There are numerous health benefits of these many varieties of millets. Let’s have a look into what all health benefits are there eating millets.
Health benefits of these many millets types we have
Health benefits of millets:
- Antioxidant benefit: Millets are rich in antioxidants which is helpful in the detoxifying human body. Rich in ferulic acid and catechins which are antioxidants helpful in protecting your body from oxidative stress.
- Digestive Benefits: Due to high fiber content in millets, they are helpful in human digestion by reducing constipation, gas, etc. Millets are easy to digest and are one of the most favorite healthy food that is easy to digest.
- Diabetic benefits: Millets rich in fiber helps in controlling sugar level in the body making it a good diet for diabetic people.
- Immunity benefits: Millets are known for their high content of protein that makes it a good food helpful in boosting immunity. Boosting immunity helps you fight with many unknown and known diseases.
- Weight loss benefit: Millets being low in calories makes it a perfect food that promotes weight loss. Millets are among the most favorite diet for people on a diet for weight loss. Millets are included in a wide range of recipes like millet pancake, porridge, etc.
- Brain Growth Benefits: Millets are a good source of iron which helps in the development of the brain and prevents Alzheimer’s disease
Types of millets and weight loss
There are varieties of millets across the two broad categories, namely major and minor millets. This means, with varieties in millets comes the variety of diet recipes you can prepare for weight loss.
Millets are low in calories which means they can be consumed to help you lose weight. They promote weight loss and if consumed in the right amount they could be your best weight loss diet food.
Ragi is the most popular millet variant and there are numerous good ragi recipes available on the internet you can try with. Bajra is also among the most favorite diet food and people eat them as a replacement for wheat and rice. Jowar and bajra are like best friends that help you lose weight when eaten in the right amount and timely manner.
Ragi is also famous in south India and is consumed in the form of a most popular recipe called Ragi Mudde. These are traditional south Indian recipes which are eaten till today since ancient times.
As millets are high in fiber which makes food to digest at a slower pace and thus helpful in controlling hunger for a longer duration. This helps you prevent unnecessary eating and helps in weight management.
Below is the nutrition profile of millets.
Nutrition values of cooked millets per 174 grams
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Takeaway: Millet types and benefit
Millets are small grains widely cultivated in countries like India and other African countries. They are rich in fiber, proteins, and minerals like phosphorus and magnesium. There are two types of millets namely major and minor millets.
Pearl, proso, foxtail, and ragi are from “major” variant of millet types. Whereas, barnyard, guinea, kodo, fonio, browntop, etc are from minor millet form.
Millets have many health benefits including immunity booster, digestive benefits, weight loss benefits, etc.
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