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You should consider millet if you’re looking to eat healthy


Millet_Miss ShariRich in nutrients including protein, fibre, phosphorus and niacin, millet or bajra must form a part of a balanced diet. Source: Miss Shari/Flickr

Bajra or millet is most commonly consumed as a bhakri which, not many of us are fans of. For many, the slightly coarse, chewy texture of the flatbread is a deterrent. But you really should include millets in your diet. Why? Because these tiny grains are bursting with goodness and offer several health benefits, plus are extremely easy to cook. In fact, it isn’t even a grain, but is actually a seed, and lacks gluten, making it a hot favourite with vegans or the gluten-intolerant all over the world. Their USP is hinged on the fact that it’s extremely heart-healthy thanks to all that magnesium. Several studies show that magnesium is effective in lowering blood pressure, which thereby reduces the risk of heart attacks especially for those already suffering from atherosclerosis. Moreover, it is also rich in vitamin B3 (niacin) which helps lower blood cholesterol. The seeds are also good sources of several essential nutrients like copper, manganese and phosphorus that are vital for a host of body functions. Phosphorus, for example, is an important component of the mineral matrix in bones and is also crucial to the structural integrity of body cells. A diet rich in millets will provide ample phosphorus to metabolise fats and thus help with weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. One recent study linked the consumption of whole grains like millet with a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes – one of the most common lifestyle diseases across the world. The high fibre, low glycemic index and negligent fat content, of course, makes it a wonderful food for those already suffering from diabetes, as it helps keep blood sugar levels in check whilst providing a feeling of fullness. It is also extremely easy to digest and acts as a prebiotic feed for the microflora residing in the intestines. Besides all these benefits, the tiny seeds also have a lot of protein, making it a perfect snack to refuel after a tedious workout or as a plant-based protein source for vegans or vegetarians. There are several easy ways to consume millets, but if you’re looking for some tasty and healthy options, these three recipes are a nice place to start:

Millet khichdi

Millet upma

Millet idli and dosa