Millets are highly nutritious, rich in fibre and gluten-free, making them easy for the body to absorb. They are rich in a huge spectrum of micronutrients, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, etc. They are slow digesting foods which don’t cause the huge spike in blood sugar which is caused by eating polished rice, therefore, millets help with preventing and controlling diabetes. Click here for the nutrient composition of millets as compared to wheat and rice.
Millets should ideally be an integral part of your daily diet. They add variety and balance to your food. They can replace white rice in all your meals. You can start by mixing millets into rice and slowly make one meal a day a Millet meal. Some people have found enormous benefits, especially in controlling weight and diabetes, by switching completely from a rice and wheat diet to a millet based diet.
They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence they are soothing and easy to digest. They are considered to be the least allergenic and most digestible grains available. Compared to rice, especially polished rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time. This lowers the risk of diabetes
Millets are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Finger millet (Ragi) is the richest in calcium content, about 10 times that of rice or wheat. Click here for the nutrient composition of millets as compared to wheat and rice.
Unlike rice and wheat that require many inputs in terms of soil fertility and water, millets grow well in dry regions as rain-fed crops. By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dry-land areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions. This is a step towards sustainable cropping practices where by introducing diversity in our diets, we respect the biodiversity in nature rather than forcefully changing cropping patterns to grow wheat and rice everywhere.
There are many co-operatives of small farmers that are working on providing livelihoods to farmers while at the same time focusing on ecological preservation. In dry-land regions, these groups encourage the farmers to produce crops that are local to those regions, that thrive best there – millets. By incorporating millets into our diets, we will be supporting these groups.