Millet is one of the world’s oldest cultivated grains, having been grown in Africa and Southeast Asia for thousands of years. Millet is used in the production of bread, beer, cereal, and a variety of other foods. Millet is still a popular food all over the world today.
Millet is regaining popularity as a result of its versatility and ease of cultivation. Millet is available in the United States in pearl, finger, proso, and sorghum varieties. While the appearance of these millet varieties varies, the health benefits they all provide are similar.
Advantages for Health
Millet is high in niacin, which helps your body manage over 400 enzyme reactions. Niacin is also necessary for healthy skin and organ function. In fact, it’s such an important compound that it’s frequently added to processed foods to enrich them.
Millet, especially the darker varieties, is also high in beta-carotene. This natural pigment functions as both an antioxidant and a precursor to vitamin A, assisting your body in fighting free radicals and promoting eye health.
Other health benefits of millet include:
Take Care of Your Heart
Millet’s soluble fiber can help lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your blood, which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Soluble fiber gels in your stomach and absorbs cholesterol, allowing it to be safely carried out of your system.
According to some studies, millet can also increase “good” cholesterol levels while decreasing triglycerides. Because cholesterol is such a major risk factor for heart disease, eating millet on a regular basis may help keep your heart healthy.
Millet has a low glycemic index (GI) because it contains fewer simple carbohydrates and more complex carbohydrates. This means millet takes longer to digest than wheat flour. Low-GI foods can help keep your blood sugar from spiking after eating, making it easier for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels.
Improve Your Digestive Health
Millet is high in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Millet’s insoluble fiber is a “prebiotic,” which means it promotes the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system. This type of fiber is also important for adding bulk to stools, which helps keep you regular and lowers your risk of colon cancer.
How to Cook Millet
- 1 ¾–3 ½ cups Water
- 1 cup Hulled Millet
- ½ tsp Salt
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Add millet and salt. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 20 minutes. Drain off any remaining water.
Place millet, 3 ½ cups water, and salt into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4–5 hours or high for 1 ½–2 ½ hours.
Place millet, 1 ¾ cups water, and salt in the pot of a multi-cooker. Set the valve to sealing. On manual setting and high pressure, set for 10 minutes. Natural release the pressure for 10 minutes, then serve.