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    pink loader

    Millets - Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, Side Effects

    • 4.5   (1 Votes)
    Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MS, MBBS on 16 Jul 2019 - Written by Dr. Mamta Pattnayak - MBBS, MD - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MS, MBBS

    Health benefits of Millets are in coronary artery disorder, menstrual cramps, weight loss, and diabetes. Nutritional values of millets make them a crucial part of daily diet. Millets side effects include goiter, which leads to enlargement of thyroid gland.

    Millets are cereals, which are consumed for decades. These are small-seeded grains grown as cereal crops. In India, millets are in existence since years in the name of Priyangava, Aanava, and Shyaamaka, now known as Foxtail Millet, Barnyard Millet, and Black Finger Millet respectively. The intake of millets is very common in different parts of the world for decades. It is consumed along with other nutritious foods to suffice the nutrition intake of the respective individual. (1)

    In this article, you will find useful information about:

    Nutritional Facts about Millets:

    Millets comprise of several nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which prove to be useful for the body. You can refer to the nutritional content of the millets mentioned below if you plan to consume millets in your daily diet. (2)

    • Calories: 378
    • Total Fat: 4.2 gm
    • Total Carbohydrates: 73 gm
    • Sodium: 5 mg
    • Potassium: 195 mg 
    • Protein: 11 gm
    • Iron: 16%
    • Vitamin B6: 20%
    • Magnesium: 28%

    So, you can see that millets are a reliable source of proteins, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium as well. This leads to a balance in the diet of the individual adding millets along with other cereals. 

    Health Benefits of Millets:

    Millets have got several proven health benefits helpful in improving the overall health status of the person. (3) (4)

    • Coronary Artery Disorder: The levels of triglyceride in the body reduce significantly with the consumption of millets in regular diet. This helps in preventing the occurrence of blood clotting conditions in the body. You can modify your diet accordingly to reap benefits of millets.
    • Aids in Weight loss: If you are planning to lose weight, then millets will help you in your weight loss journey. Tryptophan is a substance which is present in the millets. It helps in controlling appetite in the individual consuming it. Also, the high fiber content in millets helps in achieving appreciating weight loss.
    • Control Diabetes: Millets slow down digestion rate and keep blood sugar level at a constant rate. These types of cereals prove to be useful in case of Type 2 diabetic patients.
    • Helps in Colon Cancer: Phytonutrients and fibers present in millets help in reducing risk of occurrence of Colon Cancer. One of the phytonutrients, Lignan is converted in the body after consumption and protects women from breast cancer. You will be surprised to know that regular intake of millets lead to a 50% reduction of colon cancer.
    • Decreases High Blood Pressure: Millet also contains magnesium that plays an important role in relaxing muscles present in arteries in the body. This component of millets also helps in dealing with asthma and migraine frequency in patients.
    • Excellent source of Antioxidants: Women can consume millets in their diet to make sure that their aging process is slowed down. The antioxidant properties of millets result in an anti-aging effect on the body.
    • Slows down muscle degradation: Lysin is an amino acid present in millets. Lysin is known to slow down the process of muscle degradation. It also helps in building lean muscles over time.
    • Relieves Menstrual Cramps: If a woman experiences excess pain during her menses, then millets help in relieving menstrual cramps and associated pain during her menstrual cycle. If you are very frequently facing similar cramps during your menstrual cycle, then be sure to add millets in your diet.
    • Boosts production of breast milk: Doctors recommend inclusion of millets such as Ragi to boost breast milk production in the body. Therefore, pregnant women and lactating women are advised to consume millets so that they can feed their babies for a longer time duration.
    • Improves elasticity of skin: L-lysine and L-proline are the amino acids, which are present in the millets. These amino acids efficiently contribute to improving skin elasticity. Millets boost collagen levels in the body which prevents wrinkles formation for an appreciating time period.

    improve elasticity of skin

    Side Effects of Millets:

    Millets are useful for the health of individuals only when consumed in moderation. If millets are consumed in more quantity, then make sure that there are high chances of occurrence of certain adverse effects in the body. (6)

    Goitrogen is present in millets. This substance in millets affects thyroid hormone production. It also inhibits iodine intake which thereby leads to the condition known as Goitre. In Goitre, a patient is affected by the enlarged thyroid gland. Some of the common causes of Goitre include dryness of skin, reduced ability of thinking as well as increased chances of anxiety and depression. Goiter cases are mostly seen in regions where Millets are the primary source of energy. Some of the most common regions with high Goitre cases are in the Sudan region of Africa. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals who have thyroid problems need to strictly control the consumption of Millets in their diet.

    Uses of Millets:

    Millets contribute in preparing beverages, which are of the alcoholic type. At the time of brewing millet beer, millets are used to get the right consistency and taste in this beverage. Millet is one of the important parts in the traditional cuisines of arid to semiarid parts of the world. Also, Millet is used as a grazing forage crop. It can then be used for sheep and cattle. (5) (7)

    Coronary Artery Disorder

    Cultivation of Millets:

    The date of the beginning of cultivation of millets is not yet known exactly but millets were cultivated and consumed in China during 8000 -2000 B.C which was the Neolithic period. Porso millets were cultivated with the efforts of Chinese farmers during that period of time. Since then, millets are an important part of the diet of the Chinese population especially in the northwestern region of China. Millet is one of the top five bowls of cereal, which are produced across the world. Other cereals, which are in the top five ranks in recent times, are Wheat, Corn, Sorghum, and Barley. Since decades together, a large portion of the population in Asia and Africa, consume millets in their daily diet. A good number of people in India, as well as Russia, also consume different type of good quality millets in their daily diet. Millet production is primarily done for the production of bread, snacks, as well as porridges. As millet flour lacks gluten, its flour is easily used to prepare gluten-free flatbread. Porto millets contribute in the preparation of bread bear in different countries such as Egypt and Turkey. (8) (9) (10)

    Thus, millets are useful for various health conditions ranging from coronary artery disorders to relieving menstrual cramps pain. The side effects of millets must be taken into consideration to prevent any adverse effects on the body. You can find out information about other food items with high nutritive values in ‘Wellness’ and ‘Lifestyle’ section of Elawoman.

    Dr. Mamta Pattnayak

    Written by

    MBBS, MD
    Obstetrician, Laparoscopic Surgeon
    Dr. Mamta Pattnayak is a gynaecologist, infertility specialist and obstetrician with illustrious experience of many years. She completed MBBS from SCB Medical college in 1999 and pursued MD in 2003. She is a member of the Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Delhi and American Association of Gynaecological Endoscopy. She holds her expertise in PCOD Treatment, Laparoscopic Surgery and Myomectomy, High-Risk Pregnancy Care, Normal Vaginal Delivery. Dr. Mamta Pattnayak is an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) specialist and is practising at Aro Health in Gurgaon. You can find the contact details of Dr. Mamta Pattnayak at



    1 Comment


    Karunamay Mayuri

    Jan. 30, 2019, 4:52 p.m. 4.5

    Leave a Comment



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