Millet: The Rice Alternative Is So Healthy

While wheat, oats and corn are popular types of grain in this country, millet is less well known – wrongly so. Because millet is very healthy and an ideal part of a balanced diet. What nutrients are in millet and how vegetarians and diabetics can benefit from them.

Why is millet healthy?

The term “millet” stands for satiety and nutritiousness – two characteristics that already suggest that millet is healthy. There are up to twelve different genera and numerous types of the small-grained grain, which can have different nutrients.

Even the color can reveal something about the ingredients of the millet genus:

  • yellow millet, like golden millet, contains a lot of beta-carotene
  • red and brown millets are high in antioxidants
  • Glassy white millet is rich in protein

All types of millet have in common that they are good sources of amino acids, vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, iron, magnesium and zinc. In addition, millet is rich in fiber and thus prevents food cravings. It is healthy for the digestion and the intestines. There are also valuable secondary plant substances such as polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins. Brown millet is particularly rich in these plant substances, as this variety still contains the entire grain including the outer layers.

Millet has another big advantage: Millet is gluten-free, which is why people with celiac disease can eat the grain.

Although millet is healthy, it should not be eaten raw in large quantities. Because the large amount of tannins contained in raw millet inhibits starch digestion, which can lead to gastrointestinal pain. The tannin content decreases as a result of heating and cooking.

Golden Millet: A healthy source of protein

Millet can often be bought as golden millet. The small golden grain balls owe their color to the high content of beta carotene, also known as provitamin A. Golden millet is therefore an important source of vitamin A. But other nutrients also make golden millet healthy: it is rich in vitamin C and iron and high in fiber. Due to its high protein content, golden millet is suitable as a healthy vegan protein source.

Does millet help with diabetes?

Diabetics have to constantly monitor their insulin levels. Sugary foods in particular can cause the levels to skyrocket. Millet can be a healthy grain alternative for diabetics. In a 2021 meta-analysis, scientists found that millet has a moderate to low glycemic index (depending on the variety). This means that blood sugar rises only slightly and slowly after eating millet.

In addition, a balanced diet with millet could be an effective means of positively influencing the course of type 2 diabetes.

Millet flakes as millet porridge – a healthy start to the day

Millet can be bought in a wide variety of forms – for example as millet meal, millet flakes or millet flour. Millet flakes, which are processed as porridge, are particularly suitable for a healthy breakfast. With only 114 kilocalories per 100 grams, millet porridge is a comparatively low-calorie but filling meal. With a few fruits and nuts as a topping, you can start the day full of energy.

Millet in the evening healthy

Millet can also be integrated into many dishes in the evening. Depending on the season, you can prepare a healthy and delicious salad with millet and beetroot or peppers with a millet and mushroom filling. Millet can also be a good substitute for rice as a side dish. The possible uses of healthy millet are diverse and there are no limits to your imagination when preparing it.

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