“To Eat Is A Necessity, But To Eat Intelligently Is An Art”Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Cooking & consuming meals every day is a basic necessity. But eating to alleviate hunger versus eating to nourish our bodies are two very different things. They say, “Variety is the spice of life”, and today we know more than ever that adding slight variations in our everyday diet will go a long way to help lead a disease-free healthy life. What’s more, a meal with different textures and flavours always adds to the joy of eating.
Our meals are largely made up of a combination of two staple grains, mainly Rice & Wheat. And though millets are nutritionally far superior, they have never replaced the staple grains in our daily diet. The most commonly found millets include Jowar, Ragi, Bajra, Sama & Korra. Today when so much of our dietary habits are being revisited, the inclusion of Millets in our everyday diet has also taken centre stage.
Millets are a valuable source of nutrients like proteins, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins. The protein component found in Millets is Gluten-Free making them a safe but nutritious replacement for gluten intolerance. Millet protein is rich in essential amino acids which stimulates muscle protein synthesis. They are also the richest source of insoluble & dietary fiber. This helps prevent gall bladder stones & protects the small intestine from damage. Millets have a low glycemic index, which plays a very important role in diabetes prevention as well as management. Being a rich source of antioxidants, they help reduce free radicals and promote anti-ageing. The presence of Vitamin B6 and B1 helps prevent migraine, reduces bloating & inflammation. Micronutrients like Magnesium & Zinc found in Millets enhance immunity, lower triglycerides & reduce risk of heart disease.
Bajra, Jowar and Ragi have been used in traditional cooking for years. However, the arrival of processed foods & takeaways has slowly edged out quality nutrition from our kitchens. Millets, the small pearl-shaped delicious grains are making a comeback. They can be cooked in numerous ways enhancing their taste as well as their nutritional value. Millets do not break down easily, so you feel sated with smaller portions and for longer hours. No more binge eating or dealing with hunger pangs, Millets have you covered!
About the Author
Archana Dathathri is a specialist in Nutrition & Dietetics [M.Sc. (Gold Medalist)].