While it may not be one of the more popular grains, millet is actually one of the healthiest. Wheat and gluten free and with the most alkaline pH of all the grains, it provides wholegrain nutrition in a versatile package. Millet can be enjoyed both as a sweet porridge or as a savory grain at main meals. The health benefits of millet include heart disease prevention, cancer prevention, digestive health and detoxification.
Millet is a rich source of niacin, thiamin, magnesium and manganese. It is also a good source of carbohydrate. The carbohydrate in millet has a higher GI; making it a good post exercise meal for replacing lost blood sugar faster.
Millet and Heart Disease prevention
Millet is a good source of dietary fibre, which helps mop up unwanted cholesterol in the digestive system. It is also a good source of the cholesterol lowering B vitamin niacin and the blood pressure lowering mineral magnesium. A meta-analysis of 7 studies showed that people with the highest dietary fibre intake had the lowest cardiovascular risk.
Millet for Diabetes Prevention
The mineral magnesium forms part of the glucose-regulating compound (known as glucose tolerance factor), along with chromium and vanadium, which are also found in wholegrains. Studies have shown that regular consumption of wholegrains lowers Type 2 diabetes risk. In one 8-year trial of over 40,000 subjects, risk of Type 2 diabetes was found to be 30% lower in women who frequently consumed wholegrains compared to those who ate the least of these foods.
Millet and Cancer Prevention
Wholegrain compounds in millet may help with cancer prevention. A study of over 35,000 participants showed that those consuming the most wholegrains had a significant reduction in breast cancer risk compared to those with low wholegrain intakes. The main reasons for wholegrains offering protection have to do with their high fibre content as well as their high nutrient and antioxidant content. In addition, wholegrains contain special compound called lignans, which are converted by good bacteria in the gut into useful substance that can help prevent cancer.
Millet for digestive health
Another of the health benefits of millet is its ability to aid digestive health. Wholegrains are a rich source of insoluble fibre, which increases stool bulk and decreases the transit time of waste through the intestines.
Millet Aids Detoxification
Millet is a good grain to include in detoxification programmes because of its ability to make the blood more alkaline. It has the lowest pH of all the grains, making it a popular grain for detox.
Nutrition and Calories for Millet
100 g cooked – 119 Cal
Fiber- 1.3 g
Sugars- .1 g
Protein- 3.5 g
100 g- 354 cal
fiber- 2.7 g
Sugars- .6 g
Protein- 13 g