Amazing Benefits Of Pearls Millet You Never Knew About
Main Name: Pearl Millet
Biological Name: Pennisetum glaucum
Names in Other Languages: Grano (Spanish), Type de graine (French), Bajra (Hindi), Kamboo (Tamil & Malayalam), Sajjalu (Telugu), Bajri (Marathi, Gujarati), Bajra (Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi & Urdu) There’s great news for all you gluten intolerant people! If you are looking for alternatives, then don’t forget to incorporate the pearl millet in regular diet. The most widely grown millet, the pearl millet, is known for its culinary uses as well as health benefits. It is cultivated in countries of Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times. Pearl millets, earlier known as ‘bird food’, come in several delicious flavours. What is unique about this cereal is that it may be as creamy as mashed potatoes or as fluffy as rice. In India, pearl millets are regarded as one of the major sources of dietary energy and nutritional security for poor farmers and consumers. Apart from offering excellent taste, these millets contain essential mineral and nutrients, which provide the body with a variety of advantages.
Since prehistoric times, pearl millet has been grown prominently in Africa and Indian Subcontinent. It is believed that pearl millet originated in Africa and was later introduced to India. The earliest archaeological evidences show that millet was cultivated in India around 2000 BC; hence, domestication in Africa must have taken place before that. Its origin can be trailed back to North Africa, specifically in Ethiopia but the center of diversity for the crop was in the Sahel zone of West Africa. From there, its cultivation subsequently spread to east and southern Africa, and southern Asia. Millet is an important food staple in Africa where it is used to make a traditional flatbread known as injera. The ground millet seeds are used for making the Indian flatbread, called roti. In the Middle Ages, millet was a staple grain in Europe, especially in countries in Eastern Europe. It was introduced in the United States in the 19th century. Millet is popular as birdseed and livestock fodder in Western Europe and North America, but it has recently gained popularity as a delicious and nutritious grain due to its nutritious benefits and gluten-free status. Currently, India is the leading commercial producer of pearl millet, followed by China and Nigeria.
Health Benefits of Pearl Millet
- Millets are a great source of starch, making it a high-energy food. It is also an excellent source of protein and fiber. It is said that the amino acids in the pearl millet are more easily digestible than the ones found in wheat.
- Due to essential nutrients such as methionine (an amino acid), B complex vitamins (niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin), folic acid, lecithin, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc, millets are very effective in several roles. Niacin reduces cholesterol while magnesium is essential for maintaining good heart health, as it lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks.
- Pearl millet is a rich source of phosphorus, which plays an important part in the structure of body cells. Phosphorus, found in pearl millets, is a significant component of several necessary compounds including adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This element is also a crucial component of nucleic acids, which are the building blocks of the genetic code. Phosphorus is a constituent of lipid-containing structures such as cell membranes and nervous system structures.
- Recent studies have proven that regular consumption of pearl millets help in preventing gallstones in women. They contain insoluble fibers which not only speed up intestinal transit time but also reduce the secretion of bile acids. Pearl millets are known to increase insulin sensitivity and lower the level of triglycerides.
- Regular intake of millets provides protection against breast cancer in pre-menopausal women. Apart from that, it has also shown a considerable reduction in the occurrence of wheezing and asthma in children.
- Millets contain an essential phytonutrient, lignin, which is very beneficial for the human body. With the help of natural flora, lignans get converted to mammalian lignans and they fight against hormone-dependent cancers and reduce the risk of cardiac arrests.
- Consumption of pearl millets helps in minimizing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Being a good source of magnesium, millets act as a cofactor in a number of enzymatic reactions.
Pearl Millet Nutrition FactsAmount: 1 cup
Weight: 200 g
|Calories From Carbohydrates||600|
|Calories From Fats||71|
|Calories From Proteins||85.3|
|Dietary Fiber||17 g|
|Fats & Fatty Acids|
|Total Fat||8.4 g|
|Saturated Fat||1.4 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||1.5 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||4.3 g|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||236 mg|
|Omega-6 Fatty Acids||4 g|
|Vitamin E||100 mcg|
|Vitamin K||1.8 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||768 mcg|
|Pantothenic Acid||1.7 mg|
How many calories in pearl millet (per 100 gm)
Pearl Millet has about 378 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Pearl Millet
- Pearl millets are available in hulled and whole-grain forms. It is commonly found in pre-packaged and bulk containers in the grain section of supermarkets.
- While purchasing them in bulk, check that the bins are covered and the store has a good product turnover. This is done to ensure maximum freshness.
- Check for any signs of moisture while purchasing millets.
Pearl Millet Storage Tips
- When stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place, pearl millets can be kept for several months.