The history of Indian food makes for a mélange of cuisines that evolved over centuries; often shaped by trade, invasions, and international relations. Varieties of food were introduced in the country and the native cultivations found followers the world over. Millets that have been mentioned in some of the oldest Yajurveda texts have been a staple of India that is now back in fashion.
Before the Green Revolution, for over 5000 years, millets have known to nourish our ancestors. Although they steadily got cornered at the time of agricultural standardization, millets are back at the helm today, thanks to the power-packed nutrition that they offer. Being weight loss-friendly is just one of those hundreds of health benefits that Indian millets have to offer.
What do we need to know about Millets?
- They are rough grains cultivated as completely rain-fed crops in the Indian subcontinent.
- All millets in their natural form are Gluten-free. So, they’re safe for individuals with Celiac Disease or any condition involving gluten sensitivity.
- Unlike the otherwise mainstream refined staples, Rice and Wheat, millets are amply nutritious, high in fiber, low in calories & more favorable for people trying to lose unwanted weight.
Weight loss and Millets
- Millets have an extremely low Glycemic Index (GI). So, their consumption does not cause sudden spikes in blood sugar, something which refined carbs like rice, wheat, maida, etc are notorious for.
- They’re high in Fiber & low on calories, making them an ideal choice for people looking to lose weight. Since they can keep you satiated for long, your urge to snack on junk or random savories is vastly reduced, a tendency that becomes a huge hindrance to losing fat.
- All millets are a powerhouse of micronutrients essential for weight loss, like Phosphorous, Calcium, Iron, and many more.
Which Millets are BEST for weight loss?
Millets are an important cereal that is consumed by more than 1/3rd of the world’s population. A majority of the world’s commercial millet crop is cultivated by China, Greece, India, Egypt, and Africa. A versatile crop, millet can withstand higher heat regimes while being way ahead on the nutritional parameters.
Top 5 millets that are perfect for weight loss and are easily available in India
Ragi is one of the linchpin grains that work wonders for weight loss.
That’s because it contains an amino acid Tryptophan, which efficiently regulates appetite, thus preventing you from binge-eating. So, you’re likely to have no hunger pangs, if you consume Ragi in any form regularly.
Besides, it is also a great source of Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin C which aid good bone health and immunity. An erratic sleep routine is considered one of the biggest culprits behind weight gain. With Ragi, you can reap another benefit of having sound sleep.
Jowar is another millet, which is protein-rich and has the optimum amount of Magnesium, Iron, and complex carbohydrates. Unlike Maida or regular wheat bread (Rotis), Jowar Rotis typically keep you feeling full for hours. Moreover, with obesity being one of the biggest emerging problems in India, several associated chronic diseases like diabetes are on the rise. Regulating weight is one of the best ways to keep chronic diseases at bay. If you are at risk of developing or are already dealing with Diabetes, incorporating Jowar into your diet can be a game-changer!
Just like the other millets, Bajara has a lot of insoluble fiber, complex carbs and is great for digestion and your overall cardiovascular health, since it regulates blood pressure & helps in decreasing bad cholesterol which is, responsible for rigid or blocked arteries resulting in a range of cardiac issues.
Buckwheat helps in improving gut health by facilitating the growth of essential microflora in the intestine, enabling healthy digestion, which is a prime requisite for weight loss. It also reduces sugar cravings, fights gall bladder stones & is known to prevent Breast Cancer.
Foxtail, Kodo & Little Millet
All of these millets contain a host of micronutrients, which improves Haemoglobin levels; promotes great heart health by improving HDL cholesterol and strengthening immunity.
Fitness or weight loss, whatever your aim, including millets in your diet, is the first step in that direction. Indian millets had lost their sheen in the past few years; however as fitness enthusiasts’ world-over rediscovered the health benefits that millets had to offer, it has gained its rightful position in nutrition value-chain world-over. A sustainable food item that is good for our health, as well as the earth, should be a part of our daily diet, don’t you agree?