Millets are small-seeded plants with a short growing season, low water requirements and high disease resistance. Millet cultivation can potentially improve food security of marginal farmers in areas affected by drought due to climate change. But they are not the preferred crops in other areas because of low yield, short shelf life, low demand and non-remunerative selling price. There had been a progressive reduction in millet consumption over decades partly due to ready availability of subsidized rice and wheat through Public Distribution System (PDS) and partly because of the drudgery in processing of millets and difficulty in making tasty millet preparations. Industrial level processing methods to improve organoleptic properties often result in reduction in fiber content. Carbohydrate protein and fat content of millets are similar to cereals; they are gluten-free. Millets have higher vitamins, calcium, iron, phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidant content as compared to rice and wheat. Bio-availability of calcium and iron in millet-based diets is low because of the high fibre and phytate content. Millet-based meals with high fibre contents lows intestinal transit and provides satiety. Millets contain resistant starch which gets digested and absorbed slowly. The high phytonutrient and anti-oxidant content of millets has been shown to have a protective role in the prevention of non-communicable diseases in animals and may help in reducing CVD risk in human beings. Reintroducing millets into habitual Indian diets may help in the dietary management of over-nutrition, blood sugar in diabetic persons, halt the rise in lipid levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Full Text
Published version (Free)

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call