Try the humble millet for weight loss

Try the humble millet for weight loss

Have you ever wondered why doctors, dieticians and numerous websites on healthy living prescribe millets, the long forgotten traditional crop, as a panacea to battle weight loss? Well, that's because including this wonder crop in your diet is a sure-shot and an inexpensive way to lose weight.
Millets are a traditional staple food of the dry land regions of the world. In India, millets form 10% of the country's food grain basket. These nutrient-rich cereals contain protein, essential fatty acids, dietary fibre, vitamin B, minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium. And what's more, they are gluten-free. Let's take a look at the ways in which millets can aid weight loss:
* Regular millet consumption reduces the incidence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, which in most cases is one of the side effects of obesity.
* Millets can easily fill you up and keep hunger at bay, thereby reducing the risk of obesity.
* Sorghum and pearl millet play the role of a binding agent for cholesterol. They increase transit time and delay the absorption of carbohydrates, thus preventing and managing the lifestyle diseases like obesity, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Today, millets have been diversified into different products, which can be a easy replacement for rice and wheat.
Here are some other health benefits of different types of millets:
* Can increase insulin sensitivity, good for diabetics (sorghum, pearl millet foxtail, kodo and barnyard millet).
* Act as anti-cancer agent (finger millet, pearl millet, kodo, barnyard and proso).
* Help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (sorghum, finger millet, foxtail and proso millet).
* Control hypertension (sorghum, finger millet, foxtail and proso millet).

(The author is principal scientist at Indian Institute of Millets Research)


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