Barnyard millet, a small, round grain that is often eaten as a porridge, is an ancient crop that has been cultivated in Africa and India for thousands of years.
It is popularly known as Sanwa or jhangora in India. This grain is high in fiber, protein, iron, zinc, and magnesium, among other minerals. Also, it has many benefits over other grains available in the market.
Globally, India is the largest producer of barnyard millet both in terms of area and production. It is primarily cultivated for human consumption, but it can also be used as livestock feed.
Despite its nutritional and health benefits, Barnyard millet has remained an underappreciated crop. Only a small number of studies on the barnyard millet have been conducted.
As a result, in this blog, I’ll discuss 8 health benefits of barnyard millet and why choosing it over rice is a good idea.
But first, let’s see what barnyard millet has to offer in terms of nutrition.
Nutrition value of barnyard millet
In terms of nutrition, barnyard millet is very high compared to other millets and grain(especially in fiber and Iron). It is also a good source of other nutrients such as copper, zinc, phosphorous, and niacin.
In addition, barnyard millet is low in phytate, favoring the more bioavailability of minerals.
A 100 grams serving of barnyard millet provide:
- Calories: 300
- Fiber: 13.6 grams
- Protein: 6.2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 65.5 grams
- Fat: 4.8 grams
- Calcium: 22 mg
- Phosphorous: 280 mg
- Iron: 18.6 mg
- Niacin: 4.2 mg
Furthermore, barnyard millet is a good source of polyphenols and flavonoids that offers ethnomedical qualities such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial.
Overall, the barnyard millet is a nutritious powerhouse.
8 Health benefits of barnyard millet
Excellent source of fiber
Barnyard millet is an excellent source of fiber, containing about 13.6 grams of fiber in 100 grams of serving, which is high of all other millets.
In fact, barnyard millet has five times more fiber than quinoa.
Eating enough fiber in your diet ensures healthy digestion. Moreover, fiber has many other benefits such as:
- Maintaining bowel health
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Managing healthy weight
- Lower risk of heart disease
So, if you are looking to include more fiber in your diet, barnyard millet can be a good option.
Good for diabetes
In this day and age, there is an alarming number of people diagnosed with diabetes.
If not managed properly, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and other health problems.
According to a study, including barnyard millet in one’s diet positively impacts blood glucose and serum lipid levels in diabetic and non-diabetic. Therefore, it could be a worthy addition to one’s diet.
Furthermore, barnyard millet is low in glycemic index(GI), which is another reason that it can strongly help manage your diabetes.
Anemia is a common blood disorder where the number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood is low. This leads to tiredness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. It is most commonly caused by a lack of iron in the diet.
Barnyard millet is an excellent source of Iron, providing more than 200% of the daily value. Adding barnyard millet to your regular diet can help in improving hemoglobin and myoglobin levels.
Furthermore, eating enough Iron in a diet can be a good strategy for pregnant women as they lose a lot of blood during pregnancy.
It is indeed true that your body needs some cholesterol to work efficiently, but too much of it can lead to many problems.
Studies suggest that eating a single bowl of millets on a daily basis can help prevent high cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
Barnyard millet has a good combination of protein, fiber, and other minerals that helps to keep your heart healthy and prevent heart diseases.
Furthermore, the Barnyard millet is a good source of niacin(B3), which according to studies, helps boost high-density lipoprotein(HDL) cholesterol.
Packed with antioxidants
Barnyard millet provides high-quality nutrients and is also a great source of antioxidants such as phenolic acids, tannins, catechin, and flavonoids.
Antioxidants are molecules that protect your cells from free radicals damage. As per studies, Adding antioxidant-rich foods to your daily diet may help protect against some types of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.
Gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly popular, as many people are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. While wheat is the most common source of gluten, other grains like barley and rye also contain it.
Barnyard millet, however, is gluten-free and a great alternative to other grains for people on a gluten-free diet.
Promote weight loss
A balanced diet plays a crucial role when it comes to losing weight.
One of the most important benefits of eating barnyard millet is it helps promote weight loss. This is because it is low in calories and glycemic index(GI), meaning it releases sugar slowly into the bloodstream, which prevents spikes in blood sugar levels.
In addition, it is also a good source of protein and fiber, both of which are essential for weight loss.
Furthermore, the high fiber content of the barnyard millet will help you feel fuller for an extended period of time. This will prevent you from eating unnecessarily in between your meals and promote weight loss.
So if you are on a weight loss diet, do include barnyard millet.
Good source of niacin
Another compelling reason to include barnyard millet in your diet is that its high in niacin. A 100 grams serving of barnyard millets has 4.2 mg of niacin or 30% of the daily recommended amount.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin. The human body needs to get an adequate amount of niacin because:
- It helps the body release energy from food and keep the nervous system working correctly
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Helps to maintain healthy skin
How is barnyard millet better than white rice?
People around the world are getting more and more health-conscious with the time and are looking for healthy alternatives in the market.
Barnyard millet is a healthy alternative to white rice, and there are plenty of reasons. Here are just a few of them.
- Barnyard millet is high in protein and fiber compared to white rice, making it a healthy choice for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- It is low in glycemic index than white rice meaning it doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes as white rice does. Moreover, many experts recommend not to eat white rice for people with diabetes.
- Barnyard millet is more beneficial than white rice in terms of managing cholesterol.
- Rice is high in a substance called arsenic, which is associated with an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes.
Also read: 9 Solid Reasons To Choose Millet Over Rice
Barnyard millet may be unfamiliar to you, and you may not enjoy its flavour the first time you try it, but it is worth trying. This gluten-free, high-fiber grain has many health advantages that you may get by including it in your diet.
Whether you’re a diabetic or a patient with excessive cholesterol, including barnyard millet in your diet and watch the magic happen.
Start incorporating barnyard millet into your diet today!
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