Most people have not even heard of millet, much less understand the benefits of millet nutrition. And yet, millet is one of the best-kept secrets of our ancient ancestors. Traced back to its origin in China, millet has been used throughout the ages and across many countries.
For centuries millet has been a prized crop in China, India, Greece, Egypt and Africa, used in everything from bread to couscous, and as cereal grain.
This tiny “grain” is gluten-free and packed with vitamins and minerals. In fact, while it’s often called a grain because of it’s grain-like consistency, millet is actually a seed. It’s often used in birdseed mixture, but if you think it’s just for the birds, you’re missing out on important benefits of millet nutrition for yourself.
Millet is a source of Magnesium, Calcium, Maganese, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Tryptophan, Phoshorus, Folic Acid, Fiber, B vitamins and Antioxidants. And, that’s not all. Many studies have been done on millet nutrition to identify its benefits for your health:
- Magnesium in millet can help reduce the affects of migraines and heart attacks.
- B Vitamins, especially Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol.
- Phosphorus in millet helps with fat metabolism, body tissue repair and creating energy (phosphorus is an essential component of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, a precursor to energy in your body)
- Millet can help lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Fiber from whole grains has been shown to protect against breast cancer.
- Whole grains have been shown to protect against childhood asthma.
The protein content in millet is very close to that of wheat; both provide about 11% protein by weight. But, millet is not related Wheat so therefore an appropriate food for those with celiac disease or other forms of allergies/intolerance of wheat. However, millet is also a mild thyroid peroxidase inhibitor and probably should not be consumed in great quantities by those with thyroid disease.