Know Your Millet Types

Millets have a huge significance in the rural areas of India but sadly the urban areas have forgotten the true treasures of the Indian soil. Where rice and wheat are termed unhealthy for excess consumption, millets have proved to be the real heroes.

To make millets more fun to eat, Kiru has introduced millet snacks that are rich in fiber which can be easily substituted in place of snacks that are high in fats. There are various types of millets available in the market, each with unique health benefits.

1.    Finger Millet

finger millet

Where is it cultivated?

Finger millets are mostly cultivated in Karnataka, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They are considered the healthiest substitute for rice and wheat.

Key health benefits: Finger millets help in controlling blood sugar levels. They are one of the best sources of calcium, which helps in strengthening bones. If you are too bored to cook finger millets, you can always opt for healthy finger millet snacks

2.    Pearl Millet

Where is it cultivated?

Pearl millets are termed as nutri-cereal and are cultivated in the drier regions such as Rajasthan and Southern states of India. It is the second most important food item in the menu of the Tamil community.

Key health benefits: Pearl millets (Bajra) are packed with the goodness of iron, calcium, manganese and insoluble fiber. They have numerous health benefits such as controlling diabetes and reducing cholesterol. The high-fiber content in Pearl millets helps in easy digestion resulting in healthy bowel movements.

3.    Kodo Millet

Where is it cultivated?

Kodo millets require more water compared to other millet plants thus it is cultivated in regions such as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka which has moderate rainfall of 50-60cm.

Key health benefits: Kodo millets have low-fat content while high levels of fiber content. It is known to slow down the movement of food from the stomach to the intestines and prevents you from feeling hungry often. These millets keep your digestive system hydrated and prevents constipation. Additionally, consuming Kodo millets reduce knee and joint pain and is extremely beneficial in regularising menstruation.

4.    Little Millet

Where is it cultivated?

Little millets are cultivated throughout India and are one of the common traditional crops in the country. It is mostly consumed in rural areas due to it’s easy to cook nature and non-sticky texture.

Key health benefits: Little millets are best suited for diabetic people as they slow down glucose absorption leading to slow sugar release in the blood. They also help to prevent cataract. Furthermore, the magnesium content in little millets is good for the heart. Lastly, little millets are gluten-free thus consumption of the same promotes weight loss.

5.    Barnyard Millet

Where is it cultivated?

Barnyard millets are cultivated in many states of India but it is majorly found in the hilly areas of Uttarakhand. Just like little millets, barnyard millets are extensively consumed in rural areas.

Key health benefits: Barnyard millets are very low in calories compared to other cereals. They have high amounts of dietary fiber which promotes weight loss. Barnyard millet strengthens the bones and can help you prevent any bone diseases.

The list of millets definitely doesn’t end here. There are different varieties of millets available with various health benefits. It’s time you realised the importance of this under-valued crop and incorporate it into your diet for a healthy change.

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