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Why you should substitute your rice with millets ?

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

Are you looking for healthy and nutritious meal replacement options? This article talks about one such option, which is worth trying out. Do you know that there are many reasons why we should substitute our food with millets? Lets talk about how millets can be beneficial for you.


In India, millets are the most important and widely grown crop. Millets are one of the most nutritious grains. They are rich in protein, fat, and carbohydrate. In fact, they make up a large portion of the dietary intake of many people across the world. If you have ever wondered how to get nutrition from millets, then this article is for you. The weather conditions of millets allows us to grow them in almost all parts of the country. The cultivation of millets allows people to make a living from farming and contribute towards food security. If you have not given any thought about the importance of these crops, then it is time you take a step back and consider how this crop can benefit your life and could be a perfect substitute to rice.


Before understanding the benefits let us learn about the types of millets.

In India, the millets are grown in a wide range of soil types. The best soils for growing these crops include black and red earths (black sandy loam), alluvial, chernozem, clayey subsoils. They also grow well on the river margins as they have good availability of moisture; high pH and deep potash levels etc..

1. Foxtail Millet

Foxtail millet seeds are brittle, small, and irregular in shape. The leaves of foxtail millets can be drying in the hot climate of India. To counter this problem, farmers often pluck them off as they grow to prevent plant stress from reaching higher levels. Foxtails are good for grinding as flour available in Indian markets or on the websites of farmer-centric organizations that sell it. In addition to its food applications, foxtails also have a number of other commercial uses including animal feed and bait against rodents etc.

2. Finger Millet/Ragi

This is mostly used in south-east Asian countries. Finger millet contains more fibre than other types of millets and also acts as a solution to your breakfast problems on weekends like boredom at work because of time constraints, an empty stomach and so on.

Ragi costs around US$ 0.60 / Pound, which is by far lower than rice or wheat prices in the region. It can be bought from the local markets for about ₹ 20-50/- per kg depending upon season and location. Along with all of its health benefits it will not make you weigh too much.

3. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is an unsweetened, and gluten-free grain. Although it has a bitter taste due to its high tannin content, this doesn’t detract from the wide variety of food products made out of it (including noodles and breads).

4. Kodo Millet

Kodo millets are used in cooking, as well as for making special varieties such as honey and wine. They are not meant to be cooked in their whole form like other grains but can be steamed or boiled into porridge or flatbreads.


5. Little Millet

Little millet comes in a variety of shapes. Its nutrition value is similar to buckwheat and ragi, but it can help you lose weight. Little millets are high-magnesium foods and they also play an important role in digestion.

6. Barnyard Millet/ Jhangora

Barnyard millet is a staple food in India and Pakistan. Barnyard Millet contains iron, phosphorus, zinc and B-complex vitamins. It’s healthy properties include improving the skin condition, detoxifying the body of harmful toxins, and promoting good digestion.


Health Benefits of Millets

A) Millets for weight loss - Ragi, Kodo Millet & Little millets have a high content of fibre which helps to prevent fat from accumulating in the body. Regular consumption of these healthy grains will help one lose weight without compromising on taste or quality.

Millets are rich sources of dietary fiber and this plays an essential role in lowering cholesterol levels as well as keeping you full for longer durations by slowing down digestion

B) Millets for boosting your immunity and helps in digestion - Ragi is one of the best immunity builders as it helps in digestion, absorption and trapping of harmful toxins.

Barnyard millet , on its own or cooked with other grains also help a person fight against digestive disorders by controlling feelings of sickness and extreme hunger pangs.

C) Millets as an antioxidant -Ragi contains high amounts of vitamin B3 (thiamin), which is also a good source of antioxidants.

The manganese content in millets can scavenge and detox the free radicals causing cell damage, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic diseases.

Moreover, it also aids mental health by increasing your energy level and mood.

It prevents you from consuming too much sugar or fat.

Millets are also rich in vitamins E which is necessary to heal wounds faster as well as prevent premature aging of tissues. The vitamin E makes our skin so supple that it acts like a softener on rough nails such as fingernails prone to breaking or peeling off frequently when exposed

D)Millets is high in Nutrition, iron and protein -Millets come with a host of health benefits and is an ideal food for our nutrition system as they are high in protein, fibre, essential fatty acids and minerals.

Ragi has 38% Protein content which helps in strength building as well as maintain immunity during the flu season

Kodo millet contains 66% dietary fiber from raffinose not just promotes digestion but also good bowel movements

Barnyard millet is a good source of Iron which helps in the formation of red blood cells and focus processing at work or study to perform better.

The zinc content also supports immunity by boosting the activity of natural killer (NK)cells and consequently, it hinders infections due to bacteria

Millets are rich in magnesium for healthy bones, energy levels and nerve function as well as phosphorus that supports strong bones with calcium.


E) Millets gives a gluten free diet -Millet products are often referred to as "gluten-free" in countries like USA and Canada, where celiac diagnosis has been prevalent for a long time. Jhangora is the best option of millets because it does not contain gluten.

F) Millet Aids in Sleep -Tryptophan in millet raises the serotonin level in the body which helps in reducing stress. A cup of millet porridge every night can help to get sound and peaceful sleep.



Add to all of the health benefits the delicious taste of millets and you have with yourself the most healthy substitute of rice. Now no more missing rice if you are a diabetic.


Millets have been in use for a long time and are one of the oldest grains in the world. They are rich in dietary fiber, protein, and other nutrients. They are also known to help reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, they are low in fat and cholesterol. They are considered as a staple food and are commonly consumed in many parts of the world.

They have been used for food, animal feed, and human consumption. There is no evidence that they contain any harmful effects on health when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is millet gluten free?

So far, scientists have identified only one known case of intolerance to the protein in wheat. This was an occasion when a person with Celiac disease ate large amounts of cereal grain and developed enterocolitis. Considering this as a rare event does not make millets gluten-free for everyone though. Read about Millet Gluten Free here .

Are millets good for growing kids? Yes, many children lack quality food because their parents cannot afford quality eating habits or because they are stuck to monotonous staple diet.

Is it good to eat millet everyday?

In general, millet is a cereal grain that is gluten-free and can be eaten by all people.

However, millet should not be eaten everyday because it contains a low level of calories. It also has a low fiber content and is often used as an animal feed rather than human food.

Are millets better than grains when it comes to losing weight?

Millets are an excellent source of carbs and protein. They contain more fiber than grains which can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time.

When it comes to losing weight, millets are a great option because they don't cause blood sugar spikes like grains do

• It helps prevent cancer and heart disease.

• It helps improve memory and concentration.

• It lowers cholesterol levels.

• It can prevent wrinkles by reducing fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and neck area.

How many calories does one cup of cooked millet contain?

Millet is a whole grain that contains more protein than most other grains. It also has a lower glycemic index and lower levels of fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

The answer to this question is: One cup of cooked millet contains about 122 calories.

What are you waiting for give millets a try and discover the healthy way of living





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