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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Grains >>  Millet


Millet is small with round shape and can be red, grey, white or yellow. Like other grains it can be enjoyed with other cereals year round. The term millet is a broad term which includes a variety of grains out of which some belong to other genus. Besides being a good feed for birds, millets can be consumed by every individual for its nutritional benefits. Millet is a good source of some important nutrients like niacin, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese.

Heart health

Magnesium from millets not only help to reduce the severity of asthma and migraine attacks, but also helps to reduce high blood pressure, diabetic heart disease, atherosclerosis and heart attack. Niacin is been used since ages to reduce high cholesterol levels in the body. Phosphorus from millets is an important mineral for energy production and is an essential component of ATP – the energy store of the body. It also forms an essential part of nervous system and cell membranes. A cooked cup of millet provides 26.4% daily value for magnesium and 24% daily value for phosphorus. Magnesium from millets also helps to relax blood vessels, enhances nutrient delivery by improving the blood flow and maintains the blood pressure and thus further protects the cardiovascular system. Lignans present in millets is converted to mammalian lignans by the healthy gut micro flora in our body which is thought to protect against breast cancer as well as heart diseases.

Gallstones prevention

The insoluble fiber from millets helps in gallstones prevention. A study proved that including insoluble fiber in diet lowers the risk of getting gallstones by 17% compared to women whose diet lack in fiber. This gallstones protection from fiber is dose related, with every 5g increase in insoluble fiber the risk drops by 10%.

Lowers the risk of diabetes

Millets helps to lower blood glucose levels and improves insulin response. Besides the magnesium present in millets is a co-factor in various enzymes involved in the secretion of insulin and metabolism of glucose in the body.

Overall health benefits

Postmenopausal women with signs of cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and obesity can benefit from eating whole grains especially millets by eating them 6 times a week.
Whole grains like millet may have health promoting effects equal to or even in higher amount than fruits and vegetables and have a protective effect against insulin resistance, heart diseases, diaetes, ischemic stroke, obesity, breast cancer, childhood asthma and premature death.
But to gain the above health benefits, it is important to include variety of whole grains in the diet, as focusing on only one would not suffice all the nutritional requirements.
Submitted on January 16, 2014