When you’re looking for grain to power your body, there are plenty of options to choose from. But when it comes to Millet vs. Rice, which one should you choose? Which is better for your health?
Millet and Rice are both cereal grains that are a staple in the diet of many people. In fact, many people, especially in Asia, grow up eating rice as their staple food. And still today, a majority of people in Asia eat rice.
But is rice really the best choice for a healthy diet?
Recent research suggests that millet may be a better alternative than rice. Millet is gluten-free, has a high protein content, and is a good source of fiber. It’s also low on the glycemic index.
No problem, In this article, I am going to share 9 solid reasons that will compel you to choose millet over rice.
What is millet?
Millet is one of the oldest grains cultivated by humans. It grows in tropical and temperate regions and has been a staple food for most of the world for thousands of years. In fact, it was one of the first domesticated crops in Africa. However, it has been overshadowed by other grains like wheat and rice, which are more popular in Western countries and easier to grow.
Millet seeds are small, round, and grow in India, Nigeria, and other Asian and African countries.
Millet is a healthy food that contains many nutrients and has the potential to be a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
It is a versatile grain that can be used in a variety of ways.
There are various varieties of millet available around the world: finger millet, pearl millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, and Kodo millet are some of the popular ones.
The world is finally discovering the amazing taste and health benefits of millet.
9 Reasons to Choose Millet Over Rice
Millet has more protein
When it comes to a healthy diet, protein is one of the foremost nutrients many look for.
Most people consume enough protein, but some people, particularly athletes or those who are physically active, require more protein than the average person.
Millet is a good source of protein containing 2x more protein than your regular white rice.
Also, millet protein’s essential amino acid profile is better than many other cereals.
Proso millet has the highest protein content of any millet, with 12.5 grams per 100 grams.
Millet has more fiber
Compared to white rice or wheat, millets are high in fiber. Studies suggest that fiber is essential to your body because it aids digestion and prevents gastrointestinal disorders like bloating, constipation, and gas.
Additionally, eating a fiber-rich diet helps in better weight management. So if you want to include more fiber in your diet, choose millet over rice.
Millet prevents cancer
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cancer prevention, eating a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to lower your risk of developing the disease.
Although white rice consumption is not linked to increased cancer risk, it is also not beneficial in lowering cancer risk.
On the other hand, Research has shown that the antioxidants and phytonutrients present in millet can help in reducing the risk of cancer. A study found that peroxidase from foxtail millet bran displayed an inhibitory effect on the growth of human colon cancer cells.
Millet is diabetes-friendly
If you have diabetes, you can still eat rice. However, many nutritionists and health experts recommend people not to eat white rice in diabetes. This is due to rice’s high carbohydrate content and glycemic index. Rice also has a low fiber content, which increases the risk of your diabetes worsening.
Even though millet is also high in carbs, it has good levels of fiber. It has a low glycemic index, which means they do not spike blood sugar levels after a meal, making them diabetes-friendly.
Furthermore, millet is high in protein, magnesium, and phosphorous, which helps control your blood sugar levels.
Millet promote weight loss
Even though moderate consumption of rice is not related to weight gain, millet is a 100% better choice for weight loss.
Millet contains more fiber than white rice, so it digests slowly and doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Moreover, research suggests that eating fiber-rich foods keeps you fuller for longer and helps you avoid snacking in between meals.
Furthermore, millets are low in glycemic index, which can help you lose weight, according to studies.
Millet is good for your heart
While rice consumption has no link to lower cholesterol levels, millet consumption on a regular basis can aid in the reduction of bad cholesterol levels in the body.
According to studies, millets are much higher in unsaturated fatty acids than refined wheat and rice, which helps prevent stroke and improve your overall cardiovascular health.
In addition, consuming millets also helps to manage your blood pressure.
Millet is good for your bones
Even though calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, many people suffer from a lack of calcium in their diet, leading to a number of conditions such as osteoporosis (bone density reduction) and scoliosis (curvature of the spinal column), arthritis and gout.
Millet, especially finger millet, is higher in calcium than regular white rice, which helps maintain strong and healthy bones at any age.
Furthermore, millet is also high in phosphorus which is essential for forming bones and teeth.
Millet is environment-friendly
In addition to being health-friendly, food must also be environmentally friendly.
You might don’t know, but your bowl of rice is hurting the environment and climate.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, rice growing consumes up to one-third of the world’s developed freshwater resources. It also contributes up to 20% of worldwide anthropogenic methane emissions.
However, on the other hand, millet is genuinely environmentally friendly. They don’t require much water. Therefore, farmers don’t have to worry about the drought when it comes to harvesting millets. They also don’t need as much fertilizers and pesticides as other grains.
Furthermore, millets do not deplete the nutrients present in the soil in which they are grown.
Millet is arsenic-free
Though rice is one of the most popular foods globally, you need to be careful while eating it. According to studies, rice contains high levels of arsenic than any other food crop.
Arsenic is a highly poisonous substance that can lead to cancer and other chronic illnesses. It is found in the soil and groundwater naturally. It accumulates in rice grains when rice plants receive it from the soil and groundwater. As a result, those who consume a lot of rice are more likely to get arsenic poisoning.
However, some millets do contain some arsenic, but the amount is so small that it is negligible and has no effect on your health.
Millet is a nutritious grain high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it an excellent choice for people with diabetes and gluten sensitivities. On the other hand, Rice is high in carbs, low in fiber, not recommended for diabetes, contains arsenic, and can be difficult to digest for some people. So if you want a healthy alternative to rice, then millet is the answer.
You don’t have to stop eating rice, but you can sometimes replace rice with a healthier alternative like millets.
I hope that these reasons have convinced you to give millet a try!
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