Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently announced 2022-2023 as the ‘International Years Of Millets’. She rolled out the plan while presenting Union Budget 2022 on Tuesday. “Year 2023 has been announced as the International Year of Millets. Support will be provided for post-harvest value addition, enhancing domestic consumption, and for branding millet products nationally and internationally,” she stated. This came after UN General Assembly in 2021 took a resolution to make the year 2023 the ‘International Year of Millets’. This resolution aims at promoting the nutritional as well as ecological benefits of millets.
Let’s begin with what is millet. Millet is considered an ancient grain that has been growing in the Indian subcontinent for 5,000 years. A popular food option in Africa and Southeast Asia, millet has garnered global interest in the recent past – courtesy the rich nutrient-profile. Millet is loaded with almost every essential nutrient and is considered an ancient superfood. According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), there are seven types of millets grown in India. They are:
- Pearl millet (bajra)
- Finger millet (ragi)
- Amaranth (ramdana)
- Buckwheat millet (kuttu)
- Barnyard millet (sanwa)
- Foxtail millet (kangni)
- Kodo millet (kodon)
Each of the above millets is affordable, easily accessible, and versatile to the core. You can use these millets to prepare roti, pancake, cheela, laddoo, idli, dosa and more. But before talking about the varied millet-based recipes, let’s find out why millets are considered superfoods.
Health Benefits Of Millets: 5 Reasons Why Millet Is Considered Superfood:
1. Promote Weight Loss:
Millets provide body with several minerals like calcium, iron, manganese and more. Not just that, they are loaded with antioxidants, fibre and protein too. All these factors may help prevent obesity and promote weight loss.
2. Boost Iron:
As mentioned above, millet is a storehouse of iron who helps maintain body’s iron content. This might further help prevent iron deficiency and related problems like anaemia.
3. Promote Bone Health:
The high amount of calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper and other such minerals make millet a great option to strengthen bone health.
4. Manage Diabetes:
Millets are food grains that may help regulate blood sugar levels, due to the presence of high-quality carbohydrates, fibre and high levels of protein.
5. Boost Heart Health:
Several studies have also shown that some types of millets can help boost heart health too and prevent heart disease like atherosclerosis.
Now that you know how healthy millets are, we suggest, include them in your daily diet for overall healthy functioning of the body. And we also bring you some millet-based recipes that will help you add the grain to your diet in the yummiest way possible. Click here for seven of our favourite millet-based recipes.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.