What is millet and what are its health benefits

The WHO includes this cereal among the ingredients for a healthy diet. Research showed that it can lower cholesterol. How to include it in your daily diet
What is millet and what are its health benefits

What is millet and what are its health benefits

Among the foods recommended by the WHO for a healthy diet are cereals such as millet (Freepik)

There are foods that can save your life, and this is not an exaggeration. Not for nothing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “eating a healthy diet throughout life helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms, as well as different non-communicable diseases and disorders.”

What are the health benefits of millet?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the vitamins and minerals in whole grains, such as millet, “are important for overall health: The high fiber content of these foods can help do the following: Reduce bad cholesterol levels; increase good cholesterol levels; reduce insulin levels; lower blood pressure; give a feeling of satiety that can help lose weight or control it.”

Millet is highlighted for its multiple health benefits including a high fiber content that helps control cholesterol (Getty)

Millet is highlighted for its multiple health benefits including a high fiber content that helps control cholesterol (Getty)

Meanwhile, specialists at the American health center point out that various studies show that diets high in fiber reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer of the large intestine and rectum. , also known as colorectal cancer.

In that sense, a 2021 study suggested that consuming millet can reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels . The researchers analyzed data from 19 studies involving almost 900 people.

The study was led by the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. “This latest revision further emphasizes the potential of millet as a staple crop that has many health benefits. "It reinforces the evidence that eating millet may contribute to better cardiovascular health by reducing levels of unhealthy cholesterol and increasing levels of whole grains and unsaturated fats in the diet," study co-author and director Ian Givens said in a statement . from the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) at the University of Reading.

What is millet and what are its health benefits
According to research analyzed in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, millet contributes to cardiovascular health (Freepik)

While Seetha Anitha , lead author of the study and nutritionist at ICRISAT, contributed: “We were very surprised by the number of human studies that had already been carried out on the impact of millet on the elements that influence cardiovascular diseases, and this is the first time anyone has compiled all of these studies and analyzed their data to prove the significance of the impact. “We used a meta-analysis and the results showed a significant positive impact on cardiovascular disease risk factors.”

The research suggested that the consumption of millet reduced total cholesterol by 8%, going from high to normal levels in the people studied. Additionally, there was a nearly 10% decrease in levels of very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (commonly considered “bad cholesterol”) and triacylglycerol in the blood.

Which is better, millet or rice?

Some people think of millet as a possible replacement for rice. In that sense, the Mayo Clinic advises that, to add “more whole grains or cereals to meals and snacks,” it is possible to replace “white rice with brown rice, wild rice, bulgur wheat, barley or other grains or cereals.” .

In some cases people can eat white rice with millet. In any case, you should always seek advice from a health professional (Illustrative Image Infobae)

Along the same lines, in MedlinePlus , the online information service provided by the United States National Library of Medicine , they postulate that “refined grains, such as those found in baked goods, white bread, crackers and white rice also contain starches. However, they lack vitamin B and other important nutrients unless they are marked 'fortified'. “Foods made with refined or ‘white’ flour also contain less fiber and protein than products made with whole grains and do not help you feel full.”

How to consume millet in your daily diet

Millet can be consumed in salads, soups and even with sauces that usually accompany pasta or rice. For any of these cases, the cereal must be cooked in the following way.

IngredientsA cup of millet.
Two cups of water.
Salt to taste.

Heat salted water in a pot until it boils. Later, add the millet and lower the heat to minimum so that it cooks for 20 minutes. Strain and use as desired for a recipe or keep in the refrigerator. In some cases, a broth can be added to the millet or toasted before cooking with water.

The preparation of millet requires simple cooking with water and salt (Pixabay)

Another recipe with millet: whole wheat Irish bread, by Mayo Clinic
IngredientsTwo cups of whole wheat flour.
A teaspoon of baking powder.
A quarter cup of ground flax seeds (flax seed meal).
Half a teaspoon of baking soda.
A quarter cup of millet flour (millet flour).
A teaspoon of caraway seeds, crushed.
Two tablespoons of wheat gluten.
A quarter teaspoon of salt.
One and a quart cups of skim milk or low-fat buttermilk.
Two egg whites.

Heat the oven to 170°C. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, place the milk and egg whites. Mix well. Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until well moistened. Lightly grease the bottom of a 5-by-8-inch loaf pan. Place the dough in the mold. With a sharp knife, make a cut in the dough lengthwise, about a quarter-inch deep. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a skewer or knife into the center of the bread. It should come out clean. Let cool completely on a cooling rack before cutting.
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