Superfood in news: 7 millets that were all the rage in 2023 | Health

Nutritious and climate-friendly millets have made a grand comeback as they are becoming preferred choice for fitness enthusiasts who are looking for sustainable ways to lose weight. Packed with good quality protein, vitamins, minerals and a wide range of micronutrients, millets are also environment-friendly which adds to their appeal. The year 2023 has indeed been special for millets as The United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021 declared it the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023). Millets can grow on arid lands with minimal inputs and are resilient to changes in climate. They are drought-resistant and also gluten-free, which makes them suitable for those suffering from disorders like celiac disease. (Also read | Winter-friendly millets: 5 delectable ways to enjoy Ragi in cold weather)

The year 2023 has indeed been special for millets as The United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021 declared it the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023). (Pinterest)

Millets are a group of small-grained cereal and are sustainable food crops. They are being increasingly favoured by the farmers as these grains are climate-friendly and highly tolerant to drought and other extreme weather conditions and can be grown in infertile soil conditions. They have characteristics like photo-insensitivity, resilience to climate change, etc. These cereal grains belong to the Poaceae family, commonly known as the grass family.

Stay tuned with breaking news on HT Channel on Facebook. Join Now

“Millets are classified into major millets and minor millets based on their grain size. Pseudo millets are so called because they are not part of the Poaceae botanical family, to which ‘true’ grains belong, however they are nutritionally similar and used in similar ways to ‘true’ grains,” says Sini KS, Dietitian, Department of Clinical Nutrition, Amrita Hospital, Kochi.

Nutrition powerhouse

“Millets are a rich source of protein, fibre, minerals, iron, calcium and have a low glycaemic index. These grains are known for being rich in nutrient content and are found to be gluten-free and are considered good for people with diabetes. These grains are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals and are helpful in tackling various diseases. Millets are anti-carcinogenic and anti-hypertensive thus aid people in keeping obesity and heart diseases at bay,” says Sini.

There are many types of millets like pearl millet, kodo millet, finger millet, sorghum millet, proso millet, little millet, barnyard millet, and foxtail millet. Millets can be turned into fluffy breads, porridges, idli, dosa, and even delicious desserts. Millets are also easy to digest.

Most popular millets of 2023

Here are 7 millets that became extremely popular in 2023

1. Kodo millets

It is high in antioxidant content and is highly beneficial for diabetes patients. Kodo contains protein and dietary fibre. This millet is tasty, simple and healthy preparation made from the Kodo. Both of these are known to fight and control diabetes.

2. Foxtail millet

Foxtail millet helps to reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that when foxtail millet is eaten instead of rice and wheat, it decreases blood sugar levels.

3. Pearl millet

Pearl millet is known to increase insulin sensitivity and lower the level of triglycerides. It is also very effective in preventing diabetes as it is rich in dietary fibre. It is digested more slowly than other foods, releasing glucose into the blood slower. This effectively contributes to keeping blood sugar levels constant over a long period of time in diabetics.

4. Finger millet

Finger millet is popularly known as ragi. It is commonly consumed as a healthier alternative to rice and/or wheat. It is a gluten-free variant of millet, rich in proteins and amino acids. It is also high in calcium and has healthy concentrations of iron and other minerals as well.

5. Sorghum millet

It is locally known as Jowar. Organic jowar is a rich source of iron, protein, and fibre and, because of the presence of policosanols, can help lower cholesterol levels. People with wheat allergies can have jowar as a healthier alternative.

6. Little millet

It is also called moraiyo, kutki, shavan, and sama. It is loaded with vitamin B and essential minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium.

7. Barnyard millet

Barnyard Millet is also known as Sanwa. It is stacked with high amounts of dietary fibres that help improve bowel movement and aiding weight loss. It is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which can strengthen bone density.

Leave a Comment