The Diet Kitchen
An Unit Of Coimbatore Diabetes Foundation Hospital Private Limited
Importance of Millets:
- Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans. These are the small-seeded hardy crops belonging to gramineae family. If stored properly, millets can keep well for two years or beyond.
- Most of the millets are highly nutritious, non-glutinous, non-acid forming and easily digestible foods. Being gluten free, individuals suffering from celiac disease can easily incorporate various millets in their diets. Millet ingestion helps in a slower release of glucose over a longer period of time; thus, due to low Glycemic index (GI), their habitual intake reduces the risk of diabetes mellitus.
- Further, millets are rich sources of minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Millets are rich in calcium & iron. These also contain appreciable amounts of dietary fiber and various vitamins (β- Carotene, niacin, vitamin B6 and folic acid); high amounts of lecithin are useful for strengthening the nervous system. Therefore, a regular consumption can help to overcome malnutrition among majority of our Indian population. Millets are also rich in phytochemicals (polyphenols, tannins, phytosterols) and antioxidants
- Despite numerous qualities, utilization of millets as food is confined to the traditional consumers, particularly the tribal populations. This is mainly due to the non-availability of consumer friendly, ready-to-use/ready-to-eat millet based products. Recently, millets have gained attention and efforts are under way to obtain their convenient and value added processed products.