Millets are always the best staple food and the oldest known food to the human race. We can call it a smart carbohydrate with simple sugars and whole lot of fibre and protein. They contain every other macronutrient in the right proportions and a host of micronutrients, essential amino acids and Vitamins. Millets are available in many varieties and each with its own unique health benefits. A good way to get on to the path of good health is to replace rice with millets wherever possible in meeting your nutritional needs. However, this power food must not be consumed in excess and should be considered in people with weak digestive power. The following table elucidates the various benefits of millets and the conditions where it is best recommended.

Fox Tail millet (Kangni / Thinai)

Barnyard Millet (Sanwa / Kuthirai valli)

Kodo Millet (Kodon / Varagu)

Pearl Millet (Bajra /kambu )

Finger Millet (Ragi)

Proso millet (Pani varagu)

Little millet (Sama / Saamai)

Rich in Vit B12, calcium and Vit D

Rich in Protein , carbs and Fibre. Also more of Iron and zinc compared to other millets

Rich in B complex phytates, synthetic compounds, Antioxidants ,Lecithin

High in fibre and protein. Rich in Vit A , B, Iron and Zinc, phosphorous, Magnesium, Flavonols, Phenolics, Omega 3 fatty acids

Highest calcium and phosphorous as when compared to other millets. Rich in thiamine, Niacin, Riboflavin,Tocopherols, Linoleic and Alpha Linolenic acid.

Rich in Lecithin, Vit B complex, Folic acid, Phosphorous, calcium, zinc, Iron, Amino acids like methionine and cysteine

Rich in magnesium, vit B3, Phosphorous,Potassium, zinc and calcium

Essential for Smooth Cardiac function and healthy heart

Essential for Smooth Cardiac function

Prevent s cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Prevent s and treats cardiovascular disease and helps in bone growth and development

Essential for the harmonious functioning of the central nervous system

Regulates the nervous system, regenerates nerve sheath, and restores nerve cell function.

Essential antioxidant that prevents tissue damage

Enhances the nervous system strength

The rich fibre enhances bowel movements

Prevents constipation , Nervous irritability haemorrhages

Helps deal with constipation and is anti allergic

Enhances bone strength

Enhances liver health

Enhances weight loss

Checks cholesterol and insulin in blood

Checks cholesterol and insulin in blood

Checks cholesterol and insulin in blood

Helps with respiratory problems

Protective against degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, and metabolic disease like diabetes.

Checks cholesterol and insulin in blood

Checks Asthma and boosts immunity

Improves glycemic control

It improves haemoglobin and rich anti oxidant

Promotes significant increase in serum insulin

Increases Haemoglobin

It is anti – aging, Anti – oxidant and anti – carcinogenic

Anti carcinogenic and Anti diabetic, Increase haemoglobin and folic acid in blood

Anti cholesterol and anti allergic

Recommended for Diabetics, Heart disease, Hypercholestremia, Muscle weakness

Recommended for Babies, Diabetics, Cardiac diseases, Anaemia, Muscle strengthening.

Recommended especially for Post menopausal women, debility and fatigue.

Recommended for younger and active adults, Anaemia, Gastritis, acidity and gastric disorders.

Recommended for geriatrics, Pregnant women, children, and in nutritional deficiencies

Recommended for pregnant women, Diabetic neuropathy, Nervous disorders

Recommended for all age groups as it is easily digestible

Best way to cook – Soak overnight for 7-8 hrs. Cook as porridge or rice. It is quickly digestible

Best way to cook – Soak overnight for 7-8 hrs. Make as porridge or kheer for 6-8 month old babies, upma, pulav kichadi for adults

Best way to cook – Make a flour out of the millet and consume it as Rotis with veggies or make idlis

Best way to cook – Dehusk the millet and soak it for 12 hrs , drain the water and cook for 25 – 30 mins in a open vessel and then drain the excess water. It can also be fermented to make a batter after grinding with urad dhal.

Best way to cook – Powdered flour can be steamed as cakes, made as porridge with jaggery, or gruel with buttermilk. Dosa and idli work good for those with poor digestion.

Best way to cook – Make dough and prepare dosa. Upma by roasting the grains in ghee and then in cooker for 2 whistles.

Best way to cook- Soak it for 2-3 hrs and cook it a pressure cooker for 4 whistles. Best when eaten with dhal and greens