Unpolished Millets: Types, Benefits And Nutritional Value



Published on: 09-Sep-2022


10 min read


Updated on : 02-Nov-2023




Kajal Tharwani


Unpolished Millets: Types, Benefits And Nutritional Value

Unpolished Millets: Types, Benefits And Nutritional Value

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If you are into healthy eating, your menu must include vegetables, fruits, millet and salad. Does it have unpolished millets? If not, then start considering them in your diet! 

Millets are widespread in Africa and Asia and are mostly consumed as staples. These are primarily used to make cereals and bread. 

Millets are one of the ancient grains produced and were first grown in Asia 4000 years ago. They were known as a member of the grass family. Loaded with fibre, protein and antioxidants, these millet grains have an excellent nutritional value. 

Table Of Contents 

1. What Are Unpolished  Millets? 

2. Unpolished Millets And Their Nutritional Value 

3.  What Are The Benefits Of Unpolished Millets? 

4. The Final Say 

5. FAQs 

What Are Unpolished Millets? 

Millets are ancient crops grown and used as domestic crops. These are produced in dry zone primarily where the production of wheat is relatively negligible. 

Unpolished millets are tiny seeds, and most contain husk on it, which is not edible. However, bajra, ragi and jowar can be used with husk. 

Unpolished Millets And Their Nutritional Value 

Here are the main types of unpolished millets and their nutritional value. 

1. Little Millet (Samai)

Little millets are loaded with zinc, calcium, vitamin B, potassium and other minerals. They are also a good source of fibre that helps control blood sugar levels.

Nutritional Value 

As per the National Institute of Nutrition, 100g of samai contains: 

  • Protein - 7.7g 
  • Fat - 4.7g 
  • Fibre - 7.6g 
  • Carbohydrates - 67g 
  • Energy - 341kcal 
  • Calcium - 17mg 
  • Iron - 9.3mg 

2. Pearl Millet (Bajra) 

Pearl millet helps to protect cell development as well as boost energy. Moreover, it is excellent for improving immunity. Pearl helps relax the body, fight insomnia, and improve bowel movements. 

Nutritional Value 

As per the National Institute of Nutrition, 100g of bajra contains: 

  • Protein - 11.6g 
  • Fat - 5g 
  • Fibre - 1.2g 
  • Carbohydrates - 67.5g 
  • Energy - 361kcal 
  • Calcium - 42mg 
  • Iron - 8mg 

3. Finger Millet (Ragi) 

Finger millet is rich in calcium which keeps the bones healthy and can be consumed by both children and adults. Other than that, finger millet contains iron and prevents anaemia.

As per the National Institute of Nutrition, 100g of ragi contains: 

  • Protein - 7.3g 
  • Fat - 1.3g 
  • Fibre - 3.6g 
  • Carbohydrates - 72g 
  • Energy - 328kcal 
  • Calcium - 344mg 
  • Iron - 3.9mg 

4. Sorghum (Jowar)

Sorghum millet is rich in fibre which aids constipation, reduces LDL cholesterol in the body, and helps build healthy bones and prevent stroke and heart attack.

As per the National Institute of Nutrition, 100g of jowar contains: 

  • Protein - 10.4g 
  • Fat - 1.9g 
  • Fibre - 1.6g 
  • Carbohydrates - 72.6g 
  • Energy - 349kcal 
  • Calcium - 25mg 
  • Iron - 4.1mg 

5. Barnyard Millet (Sanwa) 

Barnyard contains six times more fibre than wheat and is considered the best replacement for grain for weight loss. Moreover, fibre helps keep the stomach full for a long time.

As per the National Institute of Nutrition, 100g of Sanwa contains: 

  • Protein - 6.2g 
  • Fat - 2.2g 
  • Fibre - 9.8g 
  • Carbohydrates - 65.5g 
  • Energy - 307kcal 
  • Calcium - 20mg 
  • Iron - 0.5mg 

You Can Also Read - Arka Millet: Nutritional Value, Benefits And Recipes 

What Are The Benefits Of Unpolished Millets? 

There are many benefits of unpolished millets. A few of them are below: 

1. Assist Digestion 

Millets are rich in fibre which aids digestion and helps to keep satiated and fuller for a longer time. They are also an excellent source of prebiotics which boost the production of probiotics in gut microflora.

Millets are generally gluten-free, which is the best choice for people having gluten intolerance and celiac diseases.

2. Manages Cardivascular System 

Millet consumption increases the level of adiponectin protein which protects the heart tissues. Also, millets are rich in potassium which helps to manage the heart's rhythm and prevents high blood pressure.

It also contains niacin which prevents excess levels of LDL and triglycerides and reduces oxidative stress in the body.

3. Lower The Risk Of Diabetes 

A 2021 study shows that millet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also helps manage blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.

Due to the presence of the protein adiponectin, insulin sensitivity also increases, which helps to control the blood sugar level in the body, especially in diabetic patients.

4. Controls Obesity 

Another study from 2021 investigated the effectiveness of millet consumption in managing obesity and high cholesterol. The results demonstrated that this diet reduced BMI. Therefore, it can help reduce the degree of obesity. 

5. Lowers Oxidative Stress 

Millets are also loaded with antioxidants which help fight free radicals in the body and help to reduce oxidative stress, ultimately lowering the chances of fatal diseases.

Research also concluded that millet intake could alleviate oxidative stress in the hippocampus and downregulate the expression of Alzheimer’s disease. 

The Final Say 

Any age group can consume millet. Millets are antioxidant-rich foods loaded with fibre which helps in digestion and aids weight loss. Moreover, they are a great source of iron, calcium and potassium, which can lower the chances of hypertension, reduces anaemia by producing more RBCs and keep bones strong. Millets can be consumed in multiple ways like porridge, cereals, flours etc.


1. Are millets good for health? 

Yes! They contain fibre, antioxidants and minerals, which are suitable for health. 

2. Is there any side effects of consuming millet regularly?

In some people, millets may cause ill effects due to excess fibre, which delays digestion and can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland.

3. In what forms are millets available in the market?

Millets are available in original seed form, cereal form, flour form and many other forms depending on the demand in the market.

4. Which millet is best for diabetes? 

Kodo millet is considered best for diabetic patients. 

5. Is millet great for digestion and gut microflora?

Yes, millet contains prebiotic properties, which help to boost the production of probiotic microflora in the gut and aid digestion and its consequences.

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