Green Millet: Nutritional Value And Health Benefits

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Published on: 14-Nov-2022

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Green Millet: Nutritional Value And Health Benefits

Green Millet: Nutritional Value And Health Benefits

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Green millet, also known as Pearl Millets (Pennisetumglaucum) or Bajra in Hindi, is an anciently cultivated crop and the world's sixth most important grain. It is a major millet that is widely used for its nutritional and health benefits all over the world. It has been cultivated since prehistoric times in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. 

Bajra/green millets have surprising health benefits. It is primarily grown in India in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Pearl millet in English, Bajra in Hindi, Sajjalu in Telugu, Sajje in Kannada, Kambu in Tamil, and Bajri in Gujarati and Marathi are all names for green millet. 

Green millet is ground into flour and used to produce bread, cookies, muffins, chapatis, and biscuits. It has a similar texture to brown rice, can be cooked similarly, and is also used in making flatbreads. This long-forgotten plant has recently gained popularity due to its numerous health benefits and simple cultivation methods. 

The dried green millet grains are ground into a flour that ranges from light brown to grey and has a nutty flavour. Green millet flour is commonly used in winter because it is known to warm the body.

Table Of Contents

1. Nutritional Value Of Green Millet

2. Health Benefits Of Green Millet

3. How To Include Green Millet In A Daily Diet?

4. Dietitian’s Recommendation

5. The Final Say

6. FAQs

Nutritional Value Of Green Millet (per 100g)

Underwritten are the nutritional value of green millet and how it becomes a superfood.

  • Calories- 378 kcal 
  • Proteins- 11 g
  • Carbohydrate- 73 g
  • Dietary fibre- 8.5 g
  • Fat- 4.2 g
  • Vitamin E- 50mcg
  • Thiamine- 421 mcg
  • Riboflavin- 290 mcg
  • Vitamin B6- 384 mcg
  • Calcium- 8 mg
  • Iron- 3 mg
  • Magnesium- 114 mg
  • Phosphorus- 285 mg
  • Potassium- 195 mg
  • Sodium- 5 mg
  • Selenium- 2.7 mcg

Health Benefits Of Green Millet

There are innumerable benefits of millets. Consuming millet regularly can be a boon to your body. Some benefits are as follows: 

Health Benefits Of Green Millet

1. Diabetic Diet Friendly

Green millets contain slowly digested carbohydrates and maintain a stable glucose level for an extended period. As a result, they are a healthy food option for diabetics. 

A sudden spike in blood glucose levels is a cause for concern, and dietary habits play a critical role in blood glucose control. With its amazing combination of good carbs and ample amounts of dietary fibre, green millet is an ideal diet for diabetics. 

If you are pre-diabetic or if this chronic condition runs in your family, incorporate green millet in your diet. As it can be considered among the foods that help to manage diabetes. 

Consume them at least three times per week to give your body the benefit of slowly digestible starch that can regulate glucose and lower your risk of this lifestyle disorder.

2. Beneficial For Cardiovascular Health

These grains are good for heart patients because they are high in dietary fibre and have cholesterol-lowering properties. The heart is a vital organ, and a healthy diet allows it to function at its best. 

It is high in magnesium and potassium, which help to dilate blood vessels, allowing for better blood circulation. As a rich source of omega - 3 fatty acids and plant lignans, regular consumption of green millet aid in lowering bad or LDL cholesterol and preventing artery blockages.

3. For Patients With Celiac Disease And Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerants can benefit from a green millet-based diet because it is gluten-free and easily tolerated by all. This millet is also suitable for celiac disease sufferers. The celiac disease develops in gluten-intolerant people's small intestines, interfering with the body's ability to absorb nutrients from food.

It is gluten-free and retains its alkaline properties after cooking, making it ideal for people allergic to wheat, barley, or rye.

4. For People Who Have Frequent Acid Reflux And Stomach Ulcers

Green millets are one of the few foods that reduce stomach acidity, limiting ulcer formation and discomfort caused by frequent bouts of acidity. A healthy gut indicates overall health, and green millet aids digestion and prevents constipation. 

Thus, it is ideal for celiac disease sufferer. If you have constipation, eat green millet regularly because its insoluble fibre reduces water in the stool and regulates bowel movements.

5. Prevents Constipation

The benefits of green millet include promoting good gut health. In layman's terms, eating green millet will keep constipation at bay. This is due to the presence of insoluble fibre in green millet. A high fibre intake aids in the bulk formation and provides constipation relief.

6. Provides Protein To Vegetarians

Vegetarians cannot obtain the necessary protein from meat and fish products. This is where green millets come into play here. Its health benefits include its ability to provide vegetarians with the protein they require, and a green millet dish can be a quick high-protein recipe for you.

7. Lowers Blood Pressure

Green millet is high in potassium, essential for people with high blood pressure. It contains a high amount of magnesium and potassium, making it an excellent food for people with high blood pressure. Consuming more potassium-rich foods will help flush sodium from your body, lowering blood pressure.

In 100g, it contains approximately 34% and 8% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium and potassium, respectively. Studies have shown magnesium to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Potassium, on the other hand, lessens the effect of sodium in the body, resulting in lower blood pressure.

8. Strengthening Bones

If you are over 30 and have joint pains, add green millet to your diet. The high phosphorus content of green millet aids in strengthening your bones. When combined with calcium, this phosphorous-rich millet strengthens bones, reduces joint pain, and lowers the risk of chronic conditions such as osteoporosis.

9. Lowers Cholesterol

Green millets contain a sufficient amount of good fat, the desired food quality for people with high cholesterol. It also contains high amounts of dietary fibre, which greatly affects high blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. 

10. Nutritious Baby Food

Green millet is easily digested and well tolerated by little ones, making them a mandatory ingredient for baby food preparations during the weaning period and even later. 

Green millet is an excellent weaning food for infants as young as six months. However, it should be combined with vegetables, legumes, and fruits to provide a balanced diet for your baby.

It also benefits lactating mothers as it contains vitamins and minerals. Millet is also a powerful galactagogue, as it has been shown to increase lactation in nursing mothers.

11. Antioxidant-Rich

Reduces free radical damage in the body and helps to prevent early ageing, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cardiovascular disease, and wound healing.

12. Ideal For Weight Management And Obesity

Being overweight causes various health issues, so if you want to lose weight, green millet should be at the top of your food list for a quick way to lose weight naturally. Green millet which is high in protein, aids in muscle building, strengthening, and tissue repair. It is an excellent food choice for vegetarians who want to reduce their carbohydrate intake.

13. Reduces The Risk Of Colon Cancer

Green millet is high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as antioxidants. Its antioxidant component consists primarily of phenolic compounds, particularly flavonoids. It raises the pH of the stomach, lowering the risk of colon cancer.

Antioxidants are important components of the body's defence system against harmful by-products. According to studies conducted by NIN (National Institute of Nutrition) and ICMR (Indian council of medical research), the phenol content of green millet grains is 608.1mg/100g, and pearl millet flour is 761mg/100g. Whole grain millets have more phenols concentrated in the seed's outer pericarp and testa.

The iron and folic acid content present in green millet, is a good food choice for pregnant women and nursing mothers. 

How To Include Green Millet In Daily Diet?

Green millet is available in various forms for daily consumption. It can also be used to make flour for flatbreads or dosas, grains for porridge, processed grains such as poha or upma for breakfast, and ready-to-eat snacks such as millet or multigrain cookies. Moreover, the numerous health benefits of green millet make it an ideal superfood for everyone to consume regularly.

To make a perfect platter of the recommended balanced diet, combine your favourite millet recipe with protein-rich dishes containing lentils, cottage cheese, soya chunks, and some fresh fruits, as well as a vegetable smoothie or salsa.

Side Effects Of Green Millets 

Though bajra, or green millet, is one of our country's most popular foods, it has its drawbacks. You should remember before incorporating this millet into your daily diet. 

Green millet is not recommended for people with thyroid gland dysfunction because it can impair the functioning of this butterfly-shaped gland and lead to various metabolic disorders. Moreover, if not cooked properly, the oxalates in green millet can cause kidney stones, and the phytic acid can interfere with food absorption. 

ToneOp Tip- If you have health concerns, consult your doctor or a nutritionist before eating green millet.
 

Dietitian’s Recommendation

Millets are a type of whole grain high in protein, antioxidants, and nutrients. They may have various health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They are gluten-free, making them an excellent choice for celiac disease. They are worth a try because of their nutty flavour. You can make delicious recipes with this flour.

-Dietitian Lavina Chauhan

The Final Say

Green millet is high in nutrients and a good energy source for people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. To reap the full range of health benefits, the whole grain, complete with pericarp and testa, should be consumed. It is suggested that more millet-based food products be developed. 

Diabetics, infants, children, lactating mothers, convalescents, and the elderly should be encouraged to consume traditional recipes such as fermented ogi (Akamu).

FAQs

1. Can we eat green millet daily?

Yes, you can have green millet daily. They can be found in various forms for daily consumption.

For example, you can use it as flour to make flatbreads or dosa, grains to make porridge, processed grains such as poha or upma for breakfast, and ready-to-eat snacks like millet or multigrain cookies.

2. What is green millet rich in?

Mineral-wise, it is a rich source of iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium and phosphorous. Mature kernels are rich in vitamin A but deficient in vitamins B and C.

3. Who should avoid millet?

People suffering from intestinal disorders should avoid consuming millet. Millets are a good source of amino acids, but a very high content of amino acids for the body is not suggested.

4. Is green millet better than wheat?

Millets are induced with six times more fibre than wheat, making them suitable for weight loss as they keep you satiated for longer. Heaped with essential nutrients and antioxidants, millets provide benefits for the heart and managing blood sugar spikes.

5. Can we eat pearl millet at night?

Tryptophan in millet increases the serotonin level in the body, which helps in levelling stress. So a cup of millet porridge every night can encourage sound and peaceful sleep.

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