What is millet and why is it good for your gut?
Millet is a cereal grain that is primarily grown in African and Asian countries. This resilient crop can survive in harsh conditions such as droughts and less fertile soil making it a staple for many. While it may look like a seed, millet’s nutritional profile is similar to that of sorghum and other cereals. As for its taste, it has a mild corn-like flavor, slightly a little sweeter compared to other grains. If toasted before cooking it can offer a nutty taste. Like rice, millet doesn’t have much flavor so it can be a great addition to many dishes.
Millet has gained popularity in the West because it’s gluten-free and boasts high protein, fiber, and antioxidant contents. Millet also provides more essential amino acids than most other cereals. These compounds are the building blocks of protein. Millet is also a great source of iron, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus. Iron is a mineral that the body needs for growth and development. Although the amount of iron provided depends on the millet variety and its form of processing, research shows that millet can play a good role in preventing and reducing high levels of iron deficiency anemia.
Lets not forget about its fiber content, as 1 cup of millet contains 2.2 grams of fiber. It is rich in insoluble fiber, which can add bulk to stools and reduce the risk of colon cancer. You can also get soluble fiber from millet, which will reduce bad cholesterol levels. This grain is gluten-free, so those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can enjoy millet without negative digestive effects. Be sure to enjoy millet in moderation as it is high in calories.
Ways to eat it
Use millet instead of rice for your dishes.
Use it in a variety of dishes such as:
Puffed millet can be eaten as a snack on its own, or added to cereal.
Recipe: Millet Bean Salad
Image from food.com recipes
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
3 cups millet
6 cups vegetable broth
1 lb kidney beans
1 medium head lettuce
1 medium head broccoli
4 bell peppers
2 cups sauerkraut
Rinse the raw millet and let it soak for 2-6 hours in a bowl.
In a pan, add vegetable broth and millet and let it simmer on medium heat until the grains absorb most of the water (about 15-20 minutes).
Chop lettuce, broccoli, and bell pepper.
Cook kidney beans and broccoli in two separate pots.
Place chopped lettuce as a base on the plate and add the rest of the ingredients on top. Enjoy!
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Brennan, D. (2020, September 17). Health Benefits of Millet. WebMD.
Lang, A. (2020, March 19). What Is Millet? Nutrition, Benefits, and More. Healthline.
Yousaf, L., Hou, D., Liaqat, H., & Shen, Q. (2021). Millet: A review of its nutritional and
functional changes during processing. Food Research International, 142,