pearl millet
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Pearl Millet, commonly known as Bajra in India, is a widely cultivated millet that has been a staple food for many communities across India for centuries. It is known for its high nutritional content and health benefits. Pearl millet is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, and essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. It is also gluten-free, making it a suitable option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. pearl millet is a good source of energy and helps maintain optimal energy levels throughout the day. It is also a good source of essential amino acids, making it an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans who may struggle to get enough protein in their diets.

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Millet Nutrition Profile: The Nutrients Present in Pearl Millet

Let’s have a look at the nutrition profile per 100g of Pearl Millet as provided by Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (Source):

  • 1.  Total Calories              756
  • 2.  Proteins                        22    g
  • 3.  Total Carbohydrates        146  g
  • 4.  Dietary Fiber                    17    g
  • 5.  Total Fat                           8.4   g
  • 6.  Calcium                            16    mg
  • 7.  Iron                                  6      mg
  • 8.  Magnesium                      228  mg
  • 9.  Phosphorus                       570  mg
  • 10.  Potassium                         390  mg

The Pearl Millet has many different names in different regions of India. In Telugu, it is called Sajja, while in Tamil, it is known as Kambu. The crop is also known as Bajri in Gujarati, Marathi, and Rajasthani, and as Bajra in Punjabi, Haryanvi, and Hindi. Additionally, in Kannada, it is known as Sajje and in Bengali, it is called Bajra or Bajracharya. These different names reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of India and highlight the widespread use of pearl millet in various regional cuisines.

Here are some of the health benefits of Pearl Millet:

HELPS IN MAINTAINING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

Pearl Millet has a low glycemic index (GI) and high fiber content, which makes it an ideal food for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing it. Its low GI value means it does not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, which is essential for maintaining insulin sensitivity. Moreover, the fiber content in Pearl Millet slows down the digestion process and the absorption of carbohydrates in the bloodstream, which further helps in controlling blood sugar levels. A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has shown that consuming Pearl Millet regularly can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes by 30%.

AIDS IN DIGESTION

It is rich in insoluble fiber, which acts as a natural laxative and aids in digestion. This fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps in preventing constipation, bloating, and other digestive issues. Additionally, the high fiber content in Pearl Millet stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes, which further helps in breaking down complex foods and enhancing nutrient absorption. Pearl Millet also contains compounds like phytic acid and tannins, which can bind to minerals and prevent their absorption. However, soaking or sprouting the Pearl Millet grains can reduce the levels of these compounds and make the nutrients more bioavailable for the body.

pearl millet

GOOD FOR BONE HEALTH

It is a rich source of magnesium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones. Magnesium is known to play a significant role in bone formation, and its deficiency can lead to several bone-related problems like osteoporosis. Besides, it also contains phosphorus and calcium, which are vital minerals for bone health. Therefore, including Pearl Millet in your regular diet can help prevent bone-related problems and ensure good bone health.

AIDS IN DIGESTION

It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which plays a crucial role in maintaining digestive health. The insoluble fiber in this Millet adds bulk to the stool, thereby facilitating smooth bowel movement and preventing constipation. Additionally, the soluble fiber in Pearl Millet helps in the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which aids in digestion and boosts overall gut health. Therefore, regular consumption of Pearl Millet can help improve digestion and prevent digestive disorders.

HELPS IN MANAGING DIABETES

Pearl Millet (Bajra) is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which means it takes time to break down and digest. This, in turn, helps in regulating blood sugar levels, making it an ideal food for people with diabetes. In addition to this, (Bajra) also contains compounds like catechins, tannins, and phenolic acids that possess anti-diabetic properties. These compounds help in improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar levels.

PROMOTES HEART HEALTH

Pearl Millet (Bajra) is rich in fiber and essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and folate, which are important for maintaining heart health. The fiber present in this Millet (Bajra) helps in reducing cholesterol levels and preventing the formation of plaque in the arteries. It also helps in regulating blood pressure, which is important for reducing the risk of heart disease. Magnesium and potassium, on the other hand, help in maintaining the normal heart rhythm and preventing arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Additionally, the presence of antioxidants like phenolic acids in Pearl (Bajra) helps in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, which are major risk factors for heart diseases.

pearl millet

GOOD FOR BONE HEALTH

It is rich in essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are necessary for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. Calcium helps in strengthening the bones, while magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium into the bones. Phosphorus plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of bone tissues.

PROMOTES DIGESTION

It is a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. The fiber in pearl millet helps regulate bowel movements, prevents constipation, and reduces the risk of gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colon cancer. Moreover, pearl millet also contains compounds like phytic acid and tannins, which help in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

In conclusion, Pearl Millet (Bajra) is a highly nutritious and versatile grain that offers a range of health benefits. It is a great alternative to traditional wheat and rice and is becoming increasingly popular in the Indian market. Its high fiber content, ability to regulate blood sugar, and ability to aid digestion to make it an excellent addition to any diet. Its abundance of vitamins and minerals, particularly iron and magnesium, can help to prevent and manage various health conditions. With its many health benefits, Pearl Millet (Bajra) is a smart choice for anyone looking to improve their overall health and well-being.

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