The Wonderful World of Millets: What to Eat & How - Sepalika
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The Wonderful World of Millets: What to Eat & How

Apr 3, 2018

Shravani is a class 12 student who was diagnosed with PCOD when she was just in class 7. She sits in the Biology class but often times her mind wavers around finding effective and innovative ways to treat her condition. The teacher teaches something about Millets and the importance of Millets in the diet of Indians. That is what grabs her attention. To begin with the teacher stresses on the fact that India is one of the biggest producers of Millets each year. From here on, she grabs her notebook and writes every detail she hears. Her book is titled,” The Wonderful World of Millets- What to eat and how?”.

Health benefits of Millets

Wonderful World of Millets
Health benefits of Millets

I am 17 and I suffer from PCOD. I have tried all types of medication from Ayurveda to Allopathy but the condition just crops up back again. After reading up a little did I understand the importance of diet in regulating PCOD. It is imperative to take in foods which are rich in Minerals, Vitamins and anti-oxidants. This helps overcome any imbalance in your health which results from PCOD. Other than that, they help in reducing weight as well. One of them is Millets. There are a variety of Millets, but the ones which help this condition are Foxtail millet, Finger millet and  Pearl millet. PCOD meals will generally recommend that you avoid processed food such as white flour, pasta, bread etc and instead substitute that with whole gluten-free grains such as millets.

Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with proper nutrition. Millets are a rich source of magnesium which aids the control. Magnesium helps in starch digestion by producing the carbohydrate digesting enzyme.  Just as nothing in isolation can be useful, millets with calcium are the most effective in controlling Type 2 diabetes.

If you suffer from Cholesterol levels and heart conditions, then millets is one of the best grains to include in your diet. The magnesium in millets helps reduce blood pressure. The Lignans are another substance found in millets which are fermented in our body by bacteria. The product they produce after fermentation help protect us against heart diseases.

It is important to include Millets in your diet since childhood, especially if you suffer from asthama as a child. Other than that, they help in preventing gallstones, especially because they are a rich source of fibre. Lastly, millets are very important in preventing breast cancer. Ladies, you can reduce the chances of breast cancer by 50 per cent if you just consume more than 30 grams of fibre every day.

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Nutritional Value of Millets

Millets are a good source of the minerals copper, Phosphorus, manganese and magnesium.

Another very important nutritional value is that, Millets have a low GI-index.  GI is the Glycemic Index. Carbohydrates with high GI-values can worsen PCOD as it leads to production of large amount of insulin which leads to obesity. Thus it is better to choose grains with a low GI, Millets being one of them.

Types of Millets and Millets Names in Indian Languages

Millets In EnglishPearl MilletFinger MilletFoxtail Millet
Millets In HindiBajraNachani, Mundua, Mandika, MarwahKangni,
Millets In TamilKambuKezhvaragu,
Millets In TeluguSajjaluRagula,
Ragi Chodi
Millets In KannadaSajjeRagiNavane
Millets In MalayalamKambamPanji PulluThina
Millets In MarathiBajriNagli,
Millets In PunjabiBajraMandhuka,
Millets In GujaratiBajriNagli,
Millets In BengaliBajraMarwaKaon
Millets In OriyaBajraMandiaKanghu,
Millets In EnglishKodo MilletLittle MilletBarnyard MilletSorghum
Millets In HindiKoden,
Millets In TamilVaraguSaamaiKuthiravali (Kuthiraivolly)Cholam
Millets In TeluguArikelu,
Udalu, KodisamaJonna
Millets In KannadaHarkaSaame,
Millets In MalayalamKoovaraguChamaKavadapulluCholam
Millets In MarathiKodraSava,
Millets In PunjabiKodraSwankSwankJowar
Millets In GujaratiKodraGajro,
Millets In BengaliKodoSamaShyamaJowar
Millets In OriyaKoduaSuanKhiraJuara

Varieties of Millets Available

Wonderful World of Millets
Varieties of Millets Available

Lets look at the different varieties of Millets and their nutrient values.  It is important to remember that some Millets generate heat, hence it is a good idea to consume them with ghee or butter milk. Ghee also helps in the absorption of nutrients.

There are a variety of Millets and here we will be discussing a few of the most abundant in India.


The most famous millet for weight loss, it has a higher level of calcium compared to rice and wheat. Alongside calcium, it is a rich source of iron, protein and fibre. To top it all, it is a gluten free grain.

Foxtail Millet

You can buy it in the form of rice, rava or flour. It is a rich source of fibre, iron and copper. It controls the blood sugar level and cholesterol.

Finger Millet or Ragi

It is a source of calcium, protein and amino acid. You can kick off your day by having a bowl of porridge with Ragi in it. Like Jowar, you can skip rice and wheat and instead hog on Ragi.

Pearl Millet or Bajra 

An important fact is that this millet has iron content which is about 8 times higher than that contained in rice. Why would you not include Bajra in your diet? Other than that it is rich in protein, magnesium, fibre and calcium.

These are the most important Millets found in an average household in India. If you don’t have them, make sure you make it your staple food.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Okay, so as always, we need to eat in a proper quantity. Overeating of anything is harmful. It’s the same case with Millets.  Millets contain goitrogens. These impair the thyroid and iodine metabolism which could lead to Goitre. Thus if you already have thyroid issues, it is best to get the dosage of millets approved by a nutritionist.

Want To Explore More? Checkout Sepalika Polycystic Ovary Disorder (PCOD) Program