Millets are nutri-cereals, ancient crops, farmer friendly, climate resilient, energy-efficient and sustainable crops. The nutritional properties of each millet are unique but overall, they are nutritionally superior to white rice and refined wheat when consumed in whole grain forms. Millets being rich in complex carbohydrates contain higher levels of insoluble fibre and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Pigmented millets are rich in phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds and are reported to have several health benefits which include antioxidant, antimicrobial and blood sugar and cholesterol lowering properties etc. These were established through in vitro, animal feeding and human feeding trials. In India refined grain-based diets which are deficient in pulses are being consumed. There is therefore a need for alternative cereal staples and this is where millets can help. Processing is known to impact the nutritional properties of millets. Dehulling / polishing reduces dietary fibre, vitamins and mineral contents while increasing available carbohydrates. Such millets are nutritionally inferior as they can increase the glycemic load. Characterization of millet germplasm, landraces for nutritional property and phytochemicals can be helpful to identify millets with superior nutritional qualities. The glycemic index of millet foods ranges from low to high, is unique for each millet food. Inclusion of pulses and soluble fibres in millet foods is helpful in lowering the glycemic response. Continuous glucose monitoring studies showed that finger millet diets as compared to white rice diets produced 18% lower fasting insulin levels. Studies on the drivers and barriers of millet consumption, millet consumption patterns will provide more insights on the preferred forms of millet foods. There is a need for data base on the nutritional and glycemic properties of millets and this can help create a millet food atlas. Collaboration between different stake holders along millet value chain is essential to promote healthier forms of millets in this population.

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