12 Benefits Of Millet

by: Vicky Reihana on

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Millet is a very small, round grain with a history that traces back thousands of years. It was the chief grain in China before rice became popular and continues to sustain people in Africa, China, Russia, and India, among other places. Millet is an extremely nutritious and hardy crop that grows well under harsh or dry conditions, both of which contribute to its widespread use and popularity around the world.

 

Characteristics

  • Gluten-free
  • High in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and potassium
  • Contains silica, which helps keep bones flexible in aging process
  • Soothing, especially for indigestion or morning sickness
  • Anti-fungal; helps ease Candida symptoms
  • Improves breath
  • Warming; good to eat in cool or rainy weather
  • Supports kidneys and stomach

 

Uses

Millet can be used in porridges, cereal, soups, and dense breads. It is a delicious wheat-free substitution for couscous, as it has a similar consistency. In parts of Africa, millet is fermented to make beer.

 

Buying & Storing

Look for yellow colored, raw millet in health food stores. Millet is often found in the bulk section of the health food store and is generally not sold in regular supermarkets. Store in an airtight jar or glass container for six to nine months.

 

Preparation

Rinse millet before cooking, and use one part millet to two parts liquid.

Millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavor, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body.

Read about millet’s 12 health benefits, some interesting trivia and history, 10 tips how to use it, and 3 delicious millet recipes.

12 Health Benefits:

1. Millet is alkaline and it digests easily.

2. The Hunzas – who live in a remote area of the Himalayan foothills and are known for their excellent health and longevity – enjoy millet as a staple in their diet.

3. Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated.

4. Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding microflora in your inner ecosystem.

5. The serotonin in millet is calming to your moods.

6. Millet is a smart carb with lots of fiber and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice. (Kamari and Sumathi, 2002)

7. Magnesium in millet can help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks.

8. Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol.

9. Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein. Scientists in Seoul, South Korea concluded that millet may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease. Nutrition Research. April 2010; 30(4):290-6.

10. All millet varieties show high antioxidant activity. A team of biochemists analyzed the antioxidant activity; all varieties showed high antioxidant activity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 9 June 2010; 58(11):6706-14.

11. Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic. A great grain for sensitive individuals.

12. Millet’s high protein content (15 percent) makes is a substantial addition to a vegetarian diet.