Has someone ever told you that you need to eat plenty of superfoods? If so, you may be wondering what foods are classified as superfoods.
Millet is a food that is often celebrated as a superfood. But is it really deserving of this title? Let’s find out!
What Is Millet?
Millet is a type of grain that comes from Poaceae, a grass family. It is particularly popular in India, where it is widely grown.
In India, millet is considered a staple food. Millet is also popular in other Asian countries, as well as throughout Africa.
With its mild taste, millet is a versatile food that makes an amazing side dish for a range of different meals. It has a somewhat sweet flavor that’s paired with nutty and somewhat bitter notes.
What Is A Superfood?
The word “superfood” is tossed around all the time. Superfoods are simply foods that offer a large number of nutritional benefits.
These superfoods tend to be low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals, thus offering lots of advantages to the people that consume them.
Among some of the foods that are considered superfoods are kale, beans, blueberries, garlic, avocados, bananas, and broccoli.
But the truth is that there are no clear stipulations for superfoods, so everyone’s idea of what a superfood is will differ.
Is Millet Really A Superfood?
Yes, millet is widely considered to be a superfood. The reason for this is that it’s filled with macronutrients, namely protein.
Moreover, it contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals, which can benefit the human body.
What Is Millet Rich In?
Now that you know that millet is considered a superfood, you may be wondering how it has earned this reputation.
As mentioned, millet is a superb source of multiple vitamins and minerals. Namely, it’s high in:
A serving of millet contains roughly 6 grams of protein. Though this may not be as high as other protein-rich foods, such as chicken and yogurt, millet can nonetheless help you attain your daily protein requirements.
Protein is a particularly vital macronutrient for athletes. Made from amino acids, protein helps people to build muscles, the development of which will help athletic performance.
So if you are looking for a vegan and low-fat method for increasing your protein intake, millet is a fantastic option. After all, many protein sources, such as eggs and chicken, aren’t vegan.
Protein isn’t just essential for athletes. It is required for your body to grow and heal cells. Furthermore, protein is also a building block for skin and cartilage.
Millet is a sensational source of antioxidants. Specifically, it’s rich in lipophilic antioxidants. These antioxidants include carotenoids, phenolic acids, and vitamin E.
Just bear in mind that different types of millet can contain different antioxidants, which is partially due to the processing method.
Foxtail and finger millet tend to be especially high in antioxidants, making them valuable options if you wish to boost your antioxidant intake.
It’s essential to get plenty of antioxidants in your diet. The reason for this is that antioxidants fend off free radicals, which can cause cell damage.
Not to mention, antioxidants have been found to improve immune response and reduce the risk of developing certain diseases, such as heart disease.
Additionally, millet is considered a decent source of dietary fiber. While it may not be as rich in fiber as other grains, including barley, millet is nonetheless a good way of increasing your fiber content.
It’s important to consume plenty of fiber. This is because it’s crucial for good bowel health, given that fiber helps to regulate and maintain normal bowel movements. In addition, fiber can help you to lose weight healthily.
Certain types of millet are higher in fiber than others. Pearl millet is considered a good source of fiber, as a serving of this grain contains around 3g of soluble dietary fibers and 5g of insoluble fibers.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Millet?
Millet isn’t just a popular food because of its mild taste and nutritional benefits. There are also other advantages to adding this grain to your diet, including.
Because it does not contain any animal products, millet is completely vegan. As a result, it’s ideal for anyone who is following a vegan or vegetarian diet, particularly if you’re searching for an ethically-sourced protein.
It’s Gluten Free
An additional benefit of millet is that it’s gluten-free. Unlike other grains, millet is suitable for people who are following a gluten-free diet.
As a result, people with celiac disease and gluten intolerances can continue to eat millet.
When buying millet, it’s best to check for a gluten-free label. This is because some millet products may include additional ingredients, which may not be suitable for people with gluten intolerance.
What Are The Advantages Of Millet?
Thanks to this impressive nutrient content, millet can provide numerous benefits to anyone who consumes it. These are just some of the advantages that this grain can provide:
- It can help people to lose weight. This is mainly because it contains tryptophan. This amino acid can improve the quality of sleep and, most importantly, it can reduce your appetite. As a result, it’s easier to lose weight.
- It has been found to reduce blood pressure. In particular, foxtail millet can help to control blood pressure.
- Millet might reduce cholesterol. Namely, it helps to reduce triglycerides, which are a form of fat. If you have high cholesterol, you could suffer from artery disease. Thus, it’s best to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Millet?
Though millet has earned its status as a superfood, some people claim that millet is not worthy of this title.
They claim that the potential disadvantages of this grain prevent it from being an effective superfood. Here are some of the potential downsides to this food:
- Millet contains phytic acid. As a food inhibitor, this acid limits the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
- If you consume too much millet, this grain can interfere with the thyroid gland.
- If you suffer from intestinal issues, millet may not be the best option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Eat Millet Daily?
Like most foods, it is not recommended that you eat millet every day. This is because you will begin to experience some of the aforementioned disadvantages of this grain.
Despite this, millet should become a regular part of your diet if you wish to feel its benefits. You can safely consume 3 portions of millet a week, as the key is moderation.
Is Millet Healthier Than Rice?
Yes, millet is widely considered to be healthier than rice (for more rice vs millet facts, read here). The main reason for this is that it’s slightly higher in fiber.
Not to mention, millet has a superior nutritional value thanks to its higher phosphorus, calcium, and iron content.
Millet is widely considered to be a sensational superfood that’s packed with nutrients.
As a result, you can massively benefit from adding millet to your diet. As a versatile side dish, millet will pair nicely with a range of different foods.
This means that you can easily experience all of the nutritional benefits that millet has to offer!