HomeNutritionWhat is Millet? Types of millets, Benefits, and nutrition information

What is Millet? Types of millets, Benefits, and nutrition information

Do you know what is millet? No? then in this article we will know what are millets, it’s health benefits, and it’s nutritional facts. 

Millet is becoming popular because it is adaptable and can be grown easily. Millets are consumed all around the world and majorly it is consumed in Africa and Asia region. They can be grown in unfamiliar conditions like drought with little water, also able to survive in less fertile soil, require less fertilizer, resists pesticides, and other diseases as well.

What are Millets?

Millet is the type of whole grain and it belongs to the grass family, also known as Poaceae. In India, it is known as “Baajara”. Millets look like small seeds and are very economical and cheaper than other lentils. For many decades millets are used for human consumption and the meal of animals as well as for birdseed. They are gluten-free and can be utilized as flour or small seeds. It contains high fiber, protein,vitamins, and antioxidants as well. From millets, we can make bread, beer,cereal, and many other recipes.

Types of millets

Millets are majorly grown in India, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, and other regions of Africa and Asia. Millets come in a variety of sizes and shapes. There are many kinds of millet consumed all around the world. Below are some types of millets.

Foxtail millet 

Foxtail millet is also known as kakum or kangni in India. Foxtail is one of the oldest cultivated types, it is widely planted millet, and most of it grown in Asia. Foxtail millet grains are the same in size asporso millet. This millet comes in a different range of colors like black, red, yellow, and white.

It contains healthy carbs which are good for balancing blood sugar levels. The high iron and calcium content boosts immunity and are helpful to regulate blood cholesterol of the body.

Finger millet

Finger millet’s common name in India is ragi. They look like dark brown grains and are milled to flour. Ragi is gluten-free and contains high protein, iron, and fiber. The flour of it can be used to make different recipes like idli, dosas, roti, ragi malt, etc. They are cheap and easily available at the stores.

Pearl millet

Pearl millet is majorly produced in Africa and south Asia. It requires very little fertilizer and can be grown in less soil fertility and water. They survive in high temperatures also, so they are a food source for people living in dry regions.

            It is also known as “baajara” in India. They are packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, and fiber.

The pearl millet is a good choice to reduce the chances of Type II diabetes.


Sorghum is also a popular type of millet and is widely grown and consumed in India. It is popularly known as jowar in India. Generally, this millet is used to make thick roti known as jowar roti and consumed in a snake.

            Jowar is a good source of iron, protein, fiber and also has more antioxidants, rich in calories. They can help to reduce cholesterol levels. They are the healthier alternative for people who have wheat allergies.

Barnyard millet

The other name of barnyard millet is sanwa. They can be easily cooked by soaking them for a shorter time before cooking.

It is loaded with a high amount of dietary fiber which is beneficial for good bowel movement and aids weight loss.

It contains high calcium so that it strengthens bone density.

Buckwheat millet

Buckwheat millet is also known as kuttu in India. It is low in calories and good for people who want to lose weight. This is the healthier option for diabetic people. It helps to lower blood pressure and helps to maintain good cardiovascular health.

Buckwheat helps to fight against breast cancer, child asthma, and gallstones.

Little millet

Little millet is also called kutki, moraiyo, or sama. This is an excellent diet option for weight loss. It is the alternative to rice.

It contains vitamins, essential minerals and iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. It contains high fiber and vitamin B.

Kodo millet 

Kodo millet is alos known as kodon millet. It is gluten-free millet so it is good for gluten-intolerant people. It provides relief in high blood pressure and cholesterol levels when eaten regularly. It is helpful to empower the nervous system of the body and is good for digestion.

It is one of the good source of vitamin B, B6, and folic acid. It contains calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc, and other minerals.

Nutritional benefits

Millets fulfill the deficiency of several vitamins and minerals in the body and are high in carbs. The potassium supports the kidneys to function well and also plays a good role to help nerve signals to function well so that our brain and body communicate.

One cup(180 grams) of cooked millets provides:

  • Calories: 207
  • Carbs: 41 grams
  • Fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 1.7 grams
  • Phosphorus: 25% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Magnesium: 19% of the DV
  • Folate: 8% of the DV
  • Iron: 6% of the DV

Benefits of millets

Types of millets Benefits and nutrition information

Millets boost immunity

As millets provide a good amount of protein to the body which is responsible to strengthen the immune system of the body. It is the building block for every cell of the body. The stronger the immunity the fewer chances of sickness and diseases.

Reduce cardiovascular disease.

Millets are loaded with good fats and fight against bad cholesterol. it preventsthe storage of excess fat and lowers high cholesterol levels and lowers the risks of heart attack, strokes, and blockage of arteries.  It optimizes the blood circulatory system and regulates blood pressure.

Helps in asthma

It prevents the severity of asthma and reduces migraines. The magnesium content reduces the frequency of asthma strokes. They do not contain the allergens that are responsible for asthma.

Maintains blood sugar levels

The low glycaemic index contributes to maintaining blood sugar levels in the body. And if they are consumed regularly can lower the risks of diabetes.

Helpful in Weight loss

most millets are low in calories, so it’s a good option for people trying to lose weight. It helps to maintain body energy levels all day and reduces the cravings to eat frequently.

It provides the feeling of fullness after eating for a longer time. As the millets take time to digest and get absorbed in the body. So that it stops overeating habits.

Good for digestion

Millets contain a good amount of fiber in it so it aids to function smoothly for intestines. It helps to get rid of gas, bloating, constipation and cramping. It prevents digestive issues like colon cancer and other gastric problems.


As millets are gluten-free so are a good alternative for people with gluten allergies. People with gluten intolerances should avoid wheat products as it triggers digestive issues which are diarrhea and nutrient malabsorption. These people can switch to millets.


Millets are highly nutritious and healthily benefit our bodies. Millets are a superfood and are one of the healthiest food options for overweight people.

Millets help to cope up with many diseases. It contains vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients for the good function of the body. It is the alternative to wheat and rice as it is gluten-free. So try to include it in your diet and experience the changes in your body.

FAQs on Millet

What is millet?

Millet is a type of cereal grain that has been around for thousands of years. Millet is highly nutritious and rich in magnesium, phosphorus, copper and protein. It can be cooked like other grains such as rice or used as an ingredient in foods like porridge, breads, soups and stews. It’s also gluten-free and very easy to digest, making it popular among those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Millet’s earthy flavor makes it a versatile choice for meals both savory and sweet!

What are the different types of millet?

Millet is a type of grain that has been cultivated around the world for thousands of years. There are several different types of millet, each with its own flavor and texture profile.
The most common varieties include pearl millet, finger millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, kodo millet, little millet, brown top millet and barnyard millet. Pearl millet is the most widely grown variety and is often used for making roti or flatbreads. Finger millet is high in calcium and can be used as a substitute for rice in many dishes. Foxtail millets have a sweet nutty flavor and make delicious porridge or stir fries. Proso millets are rich in proteins and antioxidants while kodo and little millets contain important minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium. Brown top and barnyard millets are nutritious whole grains that can be used to make roti or porridge.

What are the nutritional benefits of eating millet?

Millet is a nutrient-rich grain with many health benefits. It is high in fiber and protein, as well as minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Eating millet on a regular basis can help improve digestion and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Millet also contains minerals that are important for building strong bones, including calcium, magnesium and iron. Additionally, its low glycemic index makes it beneficial for people trying to manage their blood sugar levels. All in all, eating millet can provide numerous nutritional benefits!

Is millet a suitable substitute for wheat and other grains?

Yes, millet is an excellent substitute for wheat and other grains. It is naturally gluten-free and contains a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. It is also high in fiber and has a mild, nutty flavor that pairs well with many dishes. Additionally, it cooks quickly and is easy to prepare. Millet can be used to make anything from pancakes to flatbreads to porridge, making it a great alternative for those looking for healthy grain options.

How do I cook and store millet?

Cooking millet is relatively simple and can be done in either a pot or a rice cooker. To prepare, first rinse the millet several times in cold water. Then combine 1 cup of millet with 2 cups of liquid (water or broth). Bring the millet to a boil and reduce heat to low, simmering for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Once finished, fluff with a fork and let it cool before serving or storing.

To store your cooked millet, make sure it has cooled completely before transferring it to an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator. Millet should last up to five days when stored properly. You can also freeze cooked millet for longer shelf life – just make sure to defrost before consuming. Enjoy!


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