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Have you Discovered the Health Benefits of Millet?

Even though it's well known that millet is a main ingredient in bird food, it should not be ignored because millet contains a long list of benefits for human health. Millet is similar to the corn plant and can grow to be about fifteen feet tall; however, it can survive in climates wheat and barley cannot. Millet is a small, round grain that ranges in color from white to gray to yellow or even a have_you_discovered_the_health_benefits_of_millet_picslightly red color. It’s particularly nice because it’s a low allergy (hypoallergenic) grain, making it a great wheat and corn alternative. Millet’s also a great grain for gluten-sensitive individuals because it’s naturally gluten free and does not contain any wheat.

Millet has been around for centuries. It was used heavily in Northern Africa, and was a staple food for many Indians, Africans, Chinese, and Russians. The ancient Egyptians used to make a pita-like bread from millet until an accident occured and one of their brewed beers was added to the bread dough, creating a fluffy bread. After this happened, they used beer instead of water to make their millet bread. European people made significant use of the grain until major cultivation of potatoes and corn began. Today, the majority of millet comes from India, China, and Nigeria, producing about ninety percent of the world's supply of millet.

Because it's high in magnesium, millet can be a great food for women, especially those who have particularly high levels of “monthly discomfort.” Magnesium is a very important mineral that plays a role in more body functions than almost any other single nutrient in our body. Magnesium regulates the heartbeat, helps with nerve functioning, and keeps bones healthy and strong. Furthermore, magnesium can help relieve PMS discomfort. Studies indicate that women who deal with PMS tend to have low levels of magnesium, which can worsen the symptoms. So eating more magnesium rich foods such as millet, avocados, spinach, bananas, or tofu can help relieve women of the emotions and other symptoms associated with the monthly cycle.

Millet contains a high amount of protein for a grain and, in fact, is higher in protein content than wheat, corn, and rice. This is good news for those who don't eat meat or animal products. Having adequate amounts of quality protein is important because the body uses protein for building and repairing muscles, connective tissue, and other body tissues. health_benefits_of_millet_picSo getting enough protein is vitally important for optimum health and becomes increasingly so after experiencing a cut, burn, or other injury as the body needs more protein to rebuild and heal these tissues. The protein in millet is a great source because it doesn't contain the extra saturated fat and other unhealthy additions that animal products contain.

This grain is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, and the B vitamins, especially thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and B6. Millet is also a great source of dietary fiber. Because millet is so high in fiber, it’s a great food for both heart health and digestive health, as well as for those who are trying to lose weight. Fiber helps to bind to cholesterol in the digestive tract, and because fiber is not absorbed by the body and is excreted, the cholesterol is excreted along with it, thus helping to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol. In turn, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels keeps the heart healthy and helps reduce the risk for developing heart disease, currently the number one cause of death in America.

Fiber also maintains a healthy digestive system. Since fiber is not absorbed by the body and is excreted, it helps to push waste products along and out of the digestive system, and adds bulk to stools. These actions aid in the prevention of constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and other digestive issues, as well as help prevent colon cancer, which is one of the top cancer killers in America.

Lastly, when fiber is consumed, it helps to create a feeling of fullness so less food will likely be eaten. Additionally, the fiber content helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar, and thus insulin, thereby helping to maintain a healthy weight because insulin removes the excess sugar from the blood and stores it as fat. These actions make millet a great weight loss friendly food!

As with most other grains, it is important when buying millet to make sure there is no moisture in the package, and then when buying it in bulk that the bins are completely covered. Millet is best when kept in an airtight container and stored in a dry, cool place where it can last for several months.

Tomato, Basil and Millet Salad


  • 1 cup uncooked millet, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Get the full recipe at!rn"

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