Millets are tiny seeds that are produced from grasses that grow annually. These tiny seeds have been consumed for long periods of time in developing countries such as India, Pakistan and many countries in Africa. However, the present generation is quickly making a move towards their grains after realizing their immense health and environmental benefits.
These tiny seeds are consumed in a variety of ways. Some people prefer to cook or boil them; others like to consume them as flakes that are made by crushing the seeds. Also, there are different types of millets like pearl, foxtail etc. The nutritional aspects of cooked millets can be different from raw ground flakes. If someone wants to make a switch towards a healthy eating habit and ditch the regular wheat and rice, they can go for millet flakes.
Why Has There Been A Rapid Shift Towards The Consumption Of Millets?
Millets are steadily gaining a foothold in both the developed and developing world. These seeds are not only rich in vitamins and fibers, but they are also great from the point of view of controlling chronic diseases. Unlike traditional cereals like rice and wheat, they are easy to cultivate. And they do not require a large input of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for their production.
The production of millets requires less water and chemical inputs. Hence these grains are known as drought-resistant cereals. Most people view them as the food for the future planet when the earth becomes a drier and warmer place to live in.
Can People Consume Raw Millet Flakes?
As A Gluten-Free Diet That Is Beneficial For All
It has been well documented that millets in their raw form have great nutritional value. The nutritional values might change based on the method of cooking. Also, some cooked versions may be unsuitable for diabetic individuals. However, raw flakes are almost universally beneficial. In fact, they have found wide acceptance for being gluten-free. Gluten is a protein that is naturally present in many kinds of cereal. However, many people are intolerant to their proteins. People show a range of symptoms if their body is allergic to gluten. Some people show mild symptoms like frequent constipation, getting tired very easily and not gaining weight despite eating wholesome meals. Others show serious symptoms like chronic and severe stomach pain and also severe anemia.
A Tasty Breakfast Or Healthy Snack In Between Regular Meals
Raw millet flakes do not have a bitter or pungent taste; hence they can be eaten raw. If people find the raw flakes to be dry, then they can be mixed with milk, honey and nuts to make a wholesome breakfast. They can also be consumed in between regular meals, like between lunch and dinner. There are several companies that are coming out with new products that have incorporated raw flakes in their products. These products make the snack tasty and do not significantly alter the nutritional value of raw flakes.
As A Supplement That Is High In Vitamin Content
Raw millet flakes are also rich in Vitamin B. Thus, any person who shows symptoms of Vitamin B deficiency can get their regular dose of Vitamin B by consuming raw millet flakes. Vitamin B has many crucial functions to perform in the human body. It is important for the proper synthesis of blood, and deficiency can cause anemia. Millets are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for ameliorating the ill effects of aging. Thus, one good snack of raw millet flakes can ensure that people reduce the risk of coronary diseases or delay the signs of aging.
As A Food Source That Is High On Fibers
Millets are also a good source of fiber, and they help prevent constipation. Fibers also have some role in reducing cholesterol levels. They help reduce weight and also have some role in regulating blood sugar levels in the body.
A Great Food Item For Vegans
A large number of people worldwide are going for a vegan diet. Vegans do not consume animal or animal-based products. Thus, vegans avoid eggs, meat, dairy products like cow and buffalo milk etc. Meats and dairy products are rich sources of proteins, Vitamins and fibers. If people do not consume these products, then their diet can easily become deficient in these essential nutrients. Hence, vegans can consume raw millet flakes as an alternative to a non-vegetarian or dairy-based diet.
Need To Avoid Excessive Consumption
Although millets have many good qualities yet they must not be consumed in excess, especially when they are eaten in their raw form. They are known to affect the proper functioning of the thyroid gland if they are consumed in excess. Thus, those people who have thyroid-related issues should either soak or boil the millets before consumption. Also, it is advisable that they consult a dietician before consuming raw millets.
Need To Have A Well Balanced Diet
Some individuals frantically start eating only millets and completely do away with other cereals. However, such rapid diet changes can be harmful to one’s health. Millets are rich in fibers, and fibers are difficult to digest for humans. Hence, a rapid and complete transition to millets could cause a person to become underweight and malnourished. Hence, it is always a good idea to do a complete medical check-up and consult a dietician before making a major change in food patterns. Also, it is a good practice to try different diet charts for some time and then choose a diet plan that suits the body best.
Millets have been consumed by indigenous people for centuries, and they have proven medicinal value. In most countries, they are easy to cultivate, but the end products are more expensive than traditional cereals. For millets, the supply chain is not as well developed as they are for other cereals hence the high price. However, with growing utility, the price of millets will eventually become more affordable for the end consumer. Once they become more affordable, their popularity will increase further.