Monday, March 16, 2009

Millet and its health benefits


The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one.

Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult production environments.

It was millets, rather than rice, that formed important parts of the prehistoric diet in Chinese Neolithic and Korean Mumun societies.

The millets include species in several genera. The most widely cultivated species in order of worldwide production are:
  • Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum)
  • Foxtail millet (Setaria italica)
  • Proso millet also known as common millet, broom corn millet, hog millet or white millet (Panicum miliaceum)
  • Finger millet (Eleusine coracana)
Minor millets include:
  • Barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.)
  • Kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum)
  • Little millet (Panicum sumatrense)
  • Guinea millet (Brachiaria deflexa = Urochloa deflexa)
  • Browntop millet (Urochloa ramosa = Brachiaria ramosa = Panicum ramosum)
Millet is very easy to digest; it contains a high amount of lecithin and is excellent for strengthening the nervous system.

Millets are rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid, as well as the minerals calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Millets contain no gluten, so they are not suitable for raised bread, but they are good for people who are gluten-intolerant.

Millet has a tiny, pale, yellow seed with a nutty flavour which lends itself well to being cooked and eaten whole.

Soft millet can be used to prepare creamy porridges; it can be mashed or used in soups, hot pots, casseroles, croquettes and burgers, generally combining well with root vegetables, which have a sweet, relaxing effect.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, I wanted to know the nutritional value of Little Millet (Panicum sumatrense).
    Could you please tell me where i can find it or email it to me.
    Thanks a lot.