Millet – one of the many foods people discard as being “food for birds”. However, a closer look beyond the appearance of this ancient whole grain will reveal quite some potential. Over the past recent years, millet has been gaining popularity among researchers and health-conscious people due to the many nutritional benefits it comes with.
One can mainly find 4 varieties of this grain: grey, yellow, white and red. When compared to other typical healthy grains like oats, quinoa or bulgur wheat, millet has a very mild flavour and is versatile in that it can be used both as a savoury side dish or a sweet breakfast.
Facts about Millet and Its Health Benefits:
1) It is a whole ancient grain which grows wild in Africa, Europe and Asia.
2) It is a good source of magnesium with the total recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium being 400mg. In fact, 100g of raw millet contains 114mg of magnesium1 (29% of said RDA). Magnesium is known to help with migranes and muscle cramps.
3) It contains a lot of fibre and is low in simple sugars. As a result millet has a relatively low glycemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice2 .There is approximately 8.5g of fibre per 100g raw millet.
4) It is gluten-free and non-allergenic. It is a great whole grain option for people who are allergic to wheat or gluten intolerant.
5) It also contains the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid creates serotonin, the hormone which elevates mood. Hence, millet can help with mood swings3
6) It contains certain antioxidants which have an impact on neutralizing free radicals, which can cause cancer. They can also help to clean up other toxins from your body, such as those in your kidneys and liver.4
To this effect, we consider millet to be a good addition to our list of healthy whole grains. However, note that consuming too much of this grain (“too much” being on a daily basis for several consecutive weeks) may lead to hypothyroidism due to goitrogens, the latter being substances that can suppress thyroid activity.
One does not need to worry if he uses millet alongside other healthy grains as part of his/her diet. As we always say for every ingredient or food, moderation is key.
If you are a fan of millet or even if you found this article interesting, stay tuned as we will soon feature a new millet-based recipe 😉
To fitness with love,