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WHAT ARE MILLETS? THE 5 BENEFITS OF SHIFTING TO MILLETS REGULARLY

shifting to millets

Recently, when I heard a friend repeatedly mention how shifting to millets (instead of rice) made a difference in his overall health, I asked him what they were. He reminded me that we had learnt about them in school. I recalled jawar and bajra from my school days but never really saw those grains in real, let alone knowing how they tasted.

Coincidently, in the same month, another friend made some millet-based rotis (Indian flat bread) while I was staying at her place, and I found them quite tasty. They are quite difficult to make, so, I finally decided to give the millet rice a try.

WHAT ARE MILLETS?

shifting to millets
Photo by Monstera from Pexels

Millets are round whole grains cultivated in various parts of the world since forever. They have been grown in India, Africa and other parts of Southeast Asia for thousands of years. Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that are nutritious, non-glutinous and easily digestible.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MILLETS

There are various types of millets you can include in your diet. Sorghum (jowar), finger millet (ragi) and pearl millet (bajra) are mostly used to make rotis. Foxtail millet (kangni), Barnyard millet, Kodo millet, Little millet and Proso millet are used in rice form. Nevertheless, the above mentioned are amongst the healthiest millet grains you can try.

BENEFITS OF MILLETS

As millets are packed with fibre, antioxidants, protein and nutrients, here are the 5 main benefits of making millets a part of your regular diet.

Helps the digestive system – The insoluble fibre in millets, known as prebiotics, supports the good bacteria in the digestive system. Millets add fibre and bulk to your stools to allow smooth excretion. Therefore, consumption helps improve digestive health and reduces the risk of colon related diseases.

Good for heart health – The soluble fibre in millets help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis as the bad cholesterol is absorbed and flushed out of the system. Millets act as an antioxidant and are said to raise good cholesterol and lower triglycerides thereby keeping the heart healthier.

Aids in weight loss – Millets help in maintaining your weight. They keep you full for a longer time due to the delay in digestion. This helps you prevent snacking, overeating and eating at odd hours.

Boosts the immune system – Protein is an important part of building the body’s immunity. Millets are a great source of protein and help strengthen our immunity.

Controls the blood sugar – Millets have low-glycemic index. This means they are low on simple carbohydrates and rich in complex carbohydrates thereby helping to balance the blood sugar levels in the body.

AVOID OVERCONSUMPTION OF MILLETS

Like anything else, excess intake of millets should be avoided. For instance, too much of only fibre in the system can lead to interference with the functioning of the thyroid gland and stomach. So, while adding millets to your diet, watch the total amount of fibre-rich foods you are consuming.

Millets are not a low-calorie food. Finger millet (ragi) and sorghum (jowar) can be eaten in one meal daily. Other millets can be enjoyed 3 or 4 times a week, depending on your portion size.

shifting to millets
Pin it for your health!

It has been two months since various types of millet grains have replaced the heaps of rice in my meals. I feel very good and can see the changes in my health. Therefore, I wanted to spread awareness about these interesting grains and help you switch to a healthy lifestyle.

Do you eat millets or have you tried any before? What is your view about shifting to millets?

This blog post is part of the blog challenge
‘Blogaberry Dazzle’
hosted by 
Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :) You can like and follow her Facebook page to get all updates on the latest blogs and more: https://www.facebook.com/blogaberry/

52 Comments

  1. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    We don’t make millets at home but we do enjoy millet-based healthy packaged foods like the options from Slurrp Farm. It is indeed a superfood worth trying!

  2. Have included Jowar and Bajra in my diet. Will try to include others too. Loved the article.

  3. I heard a lot of benefits of Millets and always wanted to try. This post is an eye opener for me as it is enriched with information on Millets. Thanks for the post.

  4. I always thought that millet is Ragi. Wasn’t aware that Jowar, Bajra etc. are also types of millets. It’s good to know.

  5. Bhawna Shah says:

    I am using Jowar, bajra, and ragi. These millets are quite healthy for your body. After reading your meaningful post, the seller will sure hike their rates. 🙂

  6. I was introduced to millets when I was posted in Gujarat for a year and half in 2019. And yes the results were amazing. I experimented with almost everything that could like millet Bhel Puri, bajra tartlets, millet Porridge. The results were good and they were tasty too.

  7. Since a few years, millets have found a permanent place in health-conscious urban diet. It is good to know about it in such details.

  8. Bhawna Shah says:

    Thank you for sharing these information about the millets.I will surely add millets in my diet.I think it was fruitful to read this post.

  9. Abha Mondal says:

    Honestly, never tried millet but tried Ragi for my kids. After reading your post I am thinking about trying them.

  10. Abha Mondal says:

    Honestly, never tried millet but tried Ragi for my kids. After reading your post I am thinking about trying them.

  11. An informative piece about Millets and their advantages. It shed a lot of light on questions always on my mind.

  12. Vasumathi says:

    Millets have always been a part of Indian kitchens. It is only recently that ‘modern urban’ Indian has ‘rediscovered’ their fabulous benefits. We have millets in many forms – as health mix drinks, in dosa batter, as upma, as roti, porridge / umbli etc. While eating it as a substitute for rice one needs to be careful of the quantity consumed as it can be quite heavy at times and lead to gas or other tummy issues.

  13. Millets have always been part of a lot of Indian kitchens. It in only now, thanks to helpful posts like these, that the awareness about them has increased. Glad you made the shift and it is helping you, Cindy.

  14. I’ve been using them regularly in place of rice. The kids also have millets in the pancake batter and in cookie dough. sure is a healthy option

  15. I love millet rotis! Especially the ragi and jowar ones. They’re like my pick me up. In fact, I can have them even for my cheat meals.

  16. I’ve always made sure my diet comprises a variety of grains, including millets but this detailed explanation has only in’grained’ the importance of what I’ve been attempting to do with half a heart. Here’s to better eating & healthier living! Thank you, Cindy!

  17. Ritu Bindra says:

    We have included millets in our diet for years. Particularly ragi and bajra. Mom developed an allergy to ragi so we avoid that now. Lately, we have experimented with pancakes and other stuff. Takes a bit of tweaking but some excellent results.

  18. I have recently shifted to eating jowar and bajri roti. It is so much lighter and healthier. Millets are very very healthy and I urge everyone to include atleast one millet in their day to day food.

  19. Sonia dogra says:

    I can swear by millets. Been using them in place of rice for a good time now. But this point about excessive use of millets was new.

  20. Madhu Bindra says:

    It is said that millets are better suited for the Indian body than wheat. I love experimenting with food and have been trying out new recipes with millets. The only one I cannot have is Ragi because I am allergic to it.

  21. Thanks so much for the information. I’ve loved the taste of jowar for some time now but understanding the health benefits really makes me consider trying more millets in my diet.

  22. Varsh says:

    Millets are a part of our diet and we consume different types of them often. They’re filling, nutritious and a good option for weight-watchers.

  23. Jasmine says:

    An insightful and meaningful post on adapting a healthy lifestyle. I have not completely shifted to millets because it’s been a habit to the taste buds but now trying bajra and ragi dosa for a fitter me.

  24. Kaveri Chhetri says:

    I’m also keen as Naveen keeps talking about it Thanks for compiling this girly… helped a lot.

  25. Flavia Cutinho says:

    I have tried Ragi, Jowar, Bajra and Proso. They are a good substitute for rice or chapati atta, the boiling took time but then I managed to find a way by grinding them n cooking which was faster.

  26. Harjeet Kaur says:

    I need to switch to Millets but I am very. finicky about my food.I have used them in dosas and nothing else yet. One of my friends who believes in sustainable living and lives in a farmhouse invited us for lunch on a Sunday. You could call it a millet lunch…starting with pulihora, upma, rice, curd rice, snacks and dessert were all made with millets. You mentioned we should not overeat it, isn’t it?
    My friend would never agree!

  27. Aurora M says:

    I have been trying different millets mixing with normal wheat flour or sometimes with other veggies. these sre really good for health and add immunity too. we make different foods with them at times.

  28. My in law used to have it even I eventually started eating it. Its been more than 2 years I am fixed on it. I would usually take it as a lunch along with any daal.
    thanks for this info

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