Health Benefits of Millets
Table of Contents
Health Benefits of Millets
Let us see how Millet brings about all the above mentioned changes in the body:
- Diabetes: Barnyard and Foxtail millets have low Glycemic Index when compared to other general grains. So, millets are digested slowly and hence, the blood sugar levels are moderated unlike when we eat general grains where the blood sugar spikes at one time.
The indigestible portion (insoluble fibres) of Millets slows down and regulates the absorption of carbohydrates and fats thus maintaining blood sugar levels.
- Cancer: Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Laboratory and animal research has shown antioxidants help prevent the free radical damage that is associated with cancer. Antioxidants are provided by a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage may lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals otherwise might cause.
All Millets are rich sources of phenolics, tannins and other phytochemicals which can act as antioxidants.
- Cardiovascular Diseases: Millets helps bring down low density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as the “bad” cholesterol) and increases high density lipoprotein cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”). Also, high fibres help reduce the obesity and hence, delays and prevents the onset of cardiovascular and other lifestyle disorders.
- Constipation/Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Constipation is the retaining of the food you eat for more than 24 hours.
“Dr” Leo Schafer the Canadian herbalist was known as ‘Canada’s Cancer Doctor’ for treating about 5000 patients of terminal cancers a year by herbs and diet with great success. He used to say “If a patient has cancer, he must be constipated.” Insoluble fibre can help improve bowel-related health problems.
- Immunity Building: Millets contain resistant starch, which does not get digested in small intesting and gets to large intestine. Since, it get broken down in large intestine, it becomes food for good bacteria and helps in their colonization and proliferation. Prebiotic nature of millets helps build our gut health. Immunity is power of body to combat pathogen attacks and diseases. Millets are rich in both type I (Iron, Calcium, Vitamins) and type II (Nitrogen, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Selenium) micronutrients and hence, help in keeping our body immune to these infections.
- Aids in treating respiratory conditions like Asthma: There’s evidence that people who eat diets higher in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids have lower rates of asthma. Many of these substances are antioxidants, which protect cells from damage.
- Reducing High BP: Eating a diet high in Millets which are rich source of dietary fiber has shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Dietary fiber also provides satiety and reduces overall caloric intake. This leads to weight loss, which further helps in reducing blood pressure. Therefore, a diet containing 25 to 30 grams fibre per day should be consumed. High Magnesium present in Millets has also been shown to lower high blood pressure.