What are Millets?
Millets are also called as "miracle grains, good grains, bird food, poor mans rice". This is the story of the lost world. Millets are coming back to our kitchen in a slow and steady pace.
Millets (siruthaniyam)are also a big business oppurtunity. Organic millets are the new health mantra. Millet are alternative food for gluten sensitive people.
Unless we understand millets, it's difficult to reap the benefits of them. There are many varieties of millets, we need to understand each of them. Each millets are unique in their own way.
Indians in comparison to our global piers consume lots of rice and wheat in our daily diet. During green revolution in India around 1960's , government focus shifted to cultivation and production of rice and wheat in large scale. Leaving behind millets and millets died out of our food menu. As the proverb says the good always returns back.
Heavy consumption of wheat (which has gluten in it) and rice have created many health related diseases. Rice is a powerhouse of energy but millets brings lots of minerals and protein.
In broad classification Millets belong to two different kinds of grains:
Paddy belongs to the group of Husked grains – to which other small millets like Foxtail, Little, Kodo and Barnyard Millets also belong.
Wheat belongs to the group of Naked Grains – to which other millets like Finger millet (Ragi), Pearl millet (Bajra) and Jowar (Sorghum) belong.
Exclusive millet information specific to India are available in this wonderful website on millets. millets.wordpress.com
Indians use below mentioned 7 varieties of Millets
- Pearl Millet
- Finger Millet / Ragi
- Foxtail Millet / Thinai
- Kodo Millet
- Samai / Little Millet
- Barnyard Millet / kuthiraivali
- Sorghum / Jowar / Cholam
Millet For Babies - Can I Give Millets to My Baby?
Millets are nutritious, gluten free and least allergic grain. Introduce millets to babies after they are 6 months old. Feed the babies with millets as a substitute for baby foods and cereals.
know more about the goodness, benefits and some amazing recipes to cook millets for your babies.
Can I eat millets as part of my regular diet?
Millets are like any other food (rice or wheat), you can consume them as part of your regular diet. Once you start developing the taste for millets you will find more interesting recipes. You can mix millets with wheat or rice based products.
Pure millets rice, millet idlis, pongal, pulao, khichdiCurd rice, Dosa, Idly, Puttu etc. can all be made with millets.
Are Millets hard to Digest? Will I develop digestion issues consuming millets?
Millets are slow in digestion which is beneficial because it releases energy slowly. This is not a cause for indigestion problem. Eating millets will make you feel full until next meal. You will not have a bloating stomach kind of a feeling. They are light in your stomach.
How do I cook millets? Is cooking millets easy?
Cooking millets are certainly not complicated. We are comfortable cooking rice and wheat, millets are part of it. You will have a learning curve to understand this healthy grain but once you are comfortable you will enjoy eating and feeding it to your family.
Myth about Millets and Diabetes
Millet are potentially beneficial for diabetic persons. Millets are slow in digestion and help control the blood sugar spike. According to article from purple kaddu - Pearl Millet (Bajra), Finger Milleot (Ragi), Sorghum (Jowar), Little Millet (Varai, Sanwa) are good for reducing sugar levels in our body when consumed regularly.
Above statement does not mean - Millets are only for diabetic persons. It is healthy for all to consume millets.
How are Millets better than Rice and Wheat?
This question keeps popping up quite often and people find it difficult to convince themselves to accept millets.
Adding whole grains to your diet looks to be depriving yourself from the tasty food made by rice or wheat. Try millets with a open mind and you will start appreciating the benefits you get from millets. When compared to Rice which has more carbohydrates, millets are rich in many minerals and protein.
In true competition - rice is NO comparison for this nutritionally rich minerals. Rice is more of a hunger satisfaction with quick carbohydrates to help in our daily work.
So add more of millets to your diet and have a healthy lifestyle.