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Imagine a food with the ability to protect you against diabetes, heart disease, decrease your risk of cancer, repair your digestive system, strengthen muscle and nerve health, boost your immune system, prevent respiratory difficulties and detoxify your system. Seems too good to be true, right? Well, with its remarkably long list of nutrients, Millet is your answer! Enjoying its place as the 6th most important grain crop, the varieties of millets include Finger Millet, Foxtail Millet, Proso Millet, Teff, and Pearl Millet.
The consumption of millet as a source of nourishment likely originated in Africa and has since then spread throughout Asia and the Middle East. Despite the fact that millet is a grain that most people associate with birdseed, you would be surprised to know of its numerous nutritional values. When it comes to size, millet is a tiny grain and can variously be white, grey, yellow or red. While we tend to consume the more common grains like rice and wheat, millet definitely makes for a healthier option. It provides a more holistic approach to our health and lifestyle. Let’s break down the nutritional benefits of millet:
A Powerhouse of amino acids: The presence of the two most essential amino acids, cysteine, and methionine in millets generates growth and cellular repair.
Fiber source: Thanks to its rich fiber content, millet works not only as a good laxative but also helps tremendously with weight-loss.
Iron source: Those suffering from anemia can consume millet for its abundant source of iron.
Store of calcium: Considering the fact that millet is rich in calcium, it is specially endorsed for young children in order to boost their growth and development.
Millet Vs Rice and Wheat
A strong argument can be made while pitting millet’s nutritional edge over the traditional, familiar grains like rice and wheat. Millet has a substantially higher quantity of fiber and essential minerals than other cereals. It has important nutrients like potassium, iron, calcium, chromium, high zinc and magnesium content as well.
How exactly can millet boost your health?
Keeps Heart Healthy: High content of the mineral magnesium in millet, plays a significant part in reducing blood pressure and thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Controls cholesterol levels: Due to its high fiber levels, millet acts as a cholesterol-lowering food. In fact, dietary fiber also serves to get rid of ‘bad cholesterol’ from the system at the same time promoting ‘good cholesterol’.
Shield against diabetes: Millions of people across the world suffer from diabetes. Owing to substantial amounts of magnesium found in millet, the chances of Type 2 diabetes can be significantly reduced.
Digestive Health: Foods rich in fiber like millet aid your gastrointestinal system along, getting rid of problems like constipation, bloating, cramping. When your digestive system is regulated, the risk of serious gastrointestinal problems like gastric ulcers or colon cancer is reduced considerably.
Get detoxified: Millet is rich in anti-oxidants, which aids in neutralizing free radicals that cause cancer. It also gives your liver and kidney a much-needed detox.
Keeps cancer at bay: Owing to the fact that millet is abundant in important phytonutrients called lignans, it plays a part in the prevention of breast cancer, particularly in post-menopausal women. Research has also indicated that the humble millet can also decrease the threat of prostate cancer in men.
Delay the aging process: After all, we all want to feel great and look great too! Millet grains are full of amino acids called L-lysine and L-proline and both aid in the production of collagen in the body. Collagen is a component which regenerates the structure of the skin’s tissue. Enhancing the elasticity of the skin and fending off unwanted wrinkles.
Weight Loss the healthy way
Shedding that excess weight doesn’t just mean that you will become a size or two smaller. It’s about improving your overall health in a significant manner. Studies have shown that whole grains like millet, create favorable metabolic conditions that go a long way toward sustaining weight loss. As millet is a rich source of dietary fiber you can be assured of maintaining a good cholesterol level. It also boosts bile secretion which aids in burning down those extra calories.
A healthy mind in a healthy body
Millet grains contain an essential amino acid called tryptophan which is responsible for triggering the production of serotonin in your body. This chemical, that occurs naturally in the brain acts as a natural mood regulator which enables the body to create and balance certain hormones naturally. Supplementing your diet with tryptophan-rich foods alleviates insomnia and also fights anxiety.
You are what you eat
In a remote settlement at the foot of the Himalayas, called Hunza, live a people known for their exceptional health and longevity. The people of this region use millet in a variety of ways, as a cereal, in a soup as well as to make whole grain chappati. The vigor and the stamina of the Hunzakuts can be credited to their organic diet of unprocessed food. Being a staple food of the people of Hunza, millet plays a vital role in their health.
Only unpolished millet
Bear in mind that when it comes to cereal grains, almost all the fatty acids, minerals and a substantial quantity of the fiber content is found in the bran layer. When you are buying millet, make sure that the grains are unpolished, namely, whole grain millet.