Foxtail millet is a health-beneficial ancient food grain that has been used for centuries among people. It is rich in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber and is known as one of the nutritious grains available today.
May studies have shown that this little-known grain has many impressive health benefits. It contains antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage. Additionally, it may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve your heart health.
However, many people are still unaware of the benefits that this ancient grain has to offer. As a result, I’m going to tell you about the amazing health benefits of foxtail millet, which may surprise you and make you want to incorporate it into your diet.
What is foxtail millet?
For those who don’t know, foxtail millet is the second most widely cultivated millet species worldwide. At present, it is grown in over 25 countries. It is known by various names, including dwarf Setaria, foxtail bristle-grass, giant Setaria, green foxtail, Italian millet, German millet, and Hungarian millet.
It is the most grown millet species in Asia and is popularly known as kangni in India.
Let’s explore the nutritional power of this grain.
Nutritional value of foxtail millet
When it comes to nutrition, many people prefer foxtail millet. The grain is a rich source of protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and niacin. It also has a high amount of thiamin than other millet varieties.
A 100 grams serving of foxtail millet packs:
- Calories: 351
- Protein: 12.3 grams
- Fiber: 6.7 grams
- Calcium: 31 milligrams
- Carbs: 60.2 grams
- Fat: 4.3 grams
- Iron: 2.8 grams
- Phosphorus: 290 milligrams
- Niacin: 3.2 milligrams
- Thiamin: 0.59 milligrams
Foxtail millet has 300% more protein and 550% more fiber than regular white rice. It also outperforms other healthy foods like brown rice and quinoa in nutrition.
10 Benefits of foxtail millet
People across the world are turning to millets to fulfill their protein requirements. Foxtail millet is the highest in protein than many other millet varieties(except proso millet). It has 12.3 grams of protein in 100 grams.
Protein is an essential component of any diet. Along with carbohydrates and fats, it is one of the macronutrients that provide energy. This means that people who consume foxtail millet as part of their diet will never run out of energy.
Good for your heart
Consumption of foxtail millet has been linked to good cardiovascular health in humans.
Being high in magnesium, regular consumption of foxtail millets helps in reducing blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Moreover, the potassium in the foxtail millet helps keep your blood pressure in check by acting as a vasodilator.
Furthermore, the high amount of fiber and amino acids such as Lecithin and Methionine present in foxtail millet plays a crucial role in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol from your body and increasing the HDL.
Reduces gastrointestinal disorders
If you’re having trouble with your digestion, you should try eating more whole grains.
Foxtail millet is an excellent source of dietary fiber, providing more than 15% of the daily requirement.
Consumption of foxtail millet helps regulate the digestive process, which increases your nutrient retention and decreases the risk of serious gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers and colon cancer.
In addition, it helps eliminate disorders like constipation, excess gas, bloating and promotes healthy digestion.
Control your diabetes
Types 1 and type 2 diabetes are among the most common health problems around the world. Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed or controlled through eating a healthy diet, which is where millets come in.
Foxtail millet is high in magnesium that helps increase the efficient functioning of insulin and glucose receptors in the body, which helps prevent diabetes.
Also, foxtail millet is a good source of protein and fiber, which are essential nutrients to control diabetes.
Furthermore, the glycemic index of foxtail millet is medium, ranging from 54 to 68. This means that it will slowly release glucose into your bloodstream and not raise your blood sugar levels.
Foxtail millet is gluten-free, and that’s one of the most important benefits due to which more and more people are turning it into a staple food for their daily diet.
You can replace your cereals like wheat, barley, and rye-based foods with foxtail millet which may help people suffering from celiac disease.
Helps in detoxification
Foxtail millet is high in antioxidants, which aid in neutralizing free radicals and removing toxins from the kidneys and liver.
It contains a variety of essential flavonoids, including quercetin, curcumin, and other catechins, which aid in removing toxins by promoting proper excretion in the body.
Moreover, these flavonoids help treat various inflammatory diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Foxtail millet is very high in iron, with about 2.8 grams in just 100 grams. This amount of iron is equivalent to more than 25% of the daily iron recommended value.
Iron is an essential mineral for the body to function properly. It helps promote oxygen supply to your body by increasing the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin.
Eating foxtail millet on a regular basis will help you maintain a healthy level of iron in your body and reduce your risk of anemia.
Promote weight loss
According to studies, foxtail millet could be an excellent alternative to other foods, especially for people looking to lose weight.
Foxtail millet is a good source of polyphenols and flavonoids, which have been found to have anti-obesity effects in the study.
Also, being high in protein and fiber, foxtail millet keeps you full for a long time and prevents unnecessary foods cravings.
Furthermore, foxtail millet has a medium glycemic index. According to studies, a low to medium GI diet containing moderate amounts of carbohydrates may be more effective at reducing body weight than a high-GI and low-fat diet.
Good for your skin
Consumption of foxtail millet can make you look more appealing and younger.
This grain is a good source of niacin, which, according to studies, helps protect your skin from sun damage.
Moreover, regular consumption of foxtail millet may help prevent some skin cancers and promotes a brighter skin tone.
Good for your brain
Foxtail is a powerful nutrient source called thiamine, containing almost 50% of the daily value. Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is beneficial to the body because it increases energy production, strengthens the nervous system, reduces the effects of sepsis, combats depression, and improves memory.
In fact, foxtail millet has the highest concentration of thiamine among millet varieties, which is yet another compelling reason to include it in your daily diet.
Why choose foxtail millet over other millets?
When it comes to foxtail millet, it is one of the most popular varieties and has some advantages over others.
Here are 4 major reasons to choose foxtail millet over other millets.
- The protein content of foxtail millet is higher than that of many other millets (except proso).
- It contains more thiamin than any other variety.
- It has the fewest carbs of all the millets and is an excellent choice for people trying to lose weight.
- Foxtail millet is the most abundant in terms of overall mineral enrichment.
If you’ve read this far, it’s probably that the above benefits of foxtail millet has compel you to incorporate it into your diet. Why not? It’s high in protein, promotes healthy digestion, lowers blood sugar, aids in detoxification, is gluten-free, and much more.
It is undeniably healthy to include foxtail millet in your diet. So, the next time you go shopping, inquire about the availability of foxtail millet.
Frequently asked questions(FAQs)
Yes, you can eat foxtail millet on a daily basis. In fact, most people have already opted for it as a staple food in their diet.
Being low in carbs and rich in protein and fiber, foxtail millet is an ideal choice for weight loss. Include foxtail millet in your diet with legumes for better results and overall health.
Foxtail millet is better in terms of both nutrition and benefits than white rice. It has 300% more protein, 600% more fat 550% more fiber than raw white rice. Moreover, foxtail millet is a better choice for diabetes and weight management.
Foxtail millet is a good source of essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, and magnesium, making it a good choice for diabetes. Also, it is medium in glycemic index, which is another compelling point for diabetes.
The glycemic index of millet is somewhere between 54 to 68.
No, you cannot eat millets on a ketogenic diet. This is because a ketogenic diet involves low carbs and high-fat foods. Millets are among the most carbohydrate-heavy groups of foods and, therefore, are not included in the keto diet.