Foxtail millet benefits
Millets have been a part of the human diet for more than 8000 years. Find out why foxtail millet benefits are only part of why it is a perfect staple food.
There are many different forms of millets cultivated, and the foxtail millet is one of the oldest and healthiest of all cultivated millets.
This staple food is mainly used in south Indian states, but it also gained popularity in other countries due to its health benefits.
As we all want to become fit, we rush toward whatever “superfood” is trending, without knowing what changes it will bring and how it will affect our diet.
In today’s world with growing pollution in the air, you cannot say that food you bought to improve your health contain their goodness, as these can be chemical sprayed.
The best thing you can do here is to add locally grown seasonal grains into your diet, which can increase your immunity and help your body fight against diseases. Foxtail millet is one of the local grains you must add to your diet.
What is millet?
Foxtail millet is scientifically known as Setaria italica. It is a warm-season crop which grows annually and is about 2-5 feet tall.
The stem of foxtail millet is different from other millets as these are more coarse, leafy and slender than those. This plant is yellowish and purplish in color.
This plant can form more than one high shoot. The seed grains of this plant can be of a variety of colors. The seed heads are bristly.
The foxtail millet plant is grown in cooler weather compared to other millets. It is widely grown in most parts of China, Africa, the United States, Russia and India.
This plant can quickly grow in sandy soil with a pH of 5.5-7. It has a shallow root system which is not easily recovered from the drought.
History of millet:
Foxtail millet is the oldest millet from all of its cultivated forms. Some of the records show that foxtail millet originated from China, while the other millet varieties arrived in China from Africa.
Foxtail millet was found in the archaeological sites of China almost 4000 years ago. From China, it spread to Europe.
Foxtail millet nutritional value:
Foxtail millet contains a higher amount of nutrients needed by our body. 100g of Foxtail millet contains:
- Calories: 351
- Protein: 11.2g
- Fiber: 6.7g
- Carbs: 63.2g
- Tryptophan: 103g
- Leucine: 1764g
- Isoleucine: 803g
- Calcium: 31g
- Riboflavin: 0.1mg
- Threonine: 328g
- Iron: 2.8g
- Lysine: 233g
- Thiamine: 0.6g
Foxtail millet contains a higher amount of antioxidants which protects the body from diseases by killing the free radicals. The presence of minerals like calcium and iron makes it a good option to add to the diet.
Health benefits of foxtail millet:
It has gained popularity worldwide in a few years because of its high nutritional value. It contains a higher amount of fiber, and protein and is low in fat.
Foxtail millet has also been famous for reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes and obesity. Millet grains have a strong taste and are used to make porridge and bread.
1. Stronger bones:
Foxtail millet contains a large amount of calcium and iron, which play an essential role in maintaining the health of both muscles and bones.
There are a lot of people, especially women and children, who have iron deficiency. This iron deficiency can be a cause of many dangerous diseases like muscle spasms, anemia and weaker muscles, but Foxtail millet can help in reducing these issues.
According to some resources (Balakrishnan, 2018), adding highly nutritious staple food like foxtail millet into the diet can help the body fight against brittle bones, inflammation, and other bone-related medical conditions. This is because of the higher calcium and phosphorus content in foxtail millet.
2. Strengthen nervous system:
Nutritionists recommend adding foxtail millet into the diet to reduce the risk of neurological disorders. This is because of the presence of vitamin B1 in these gluten-free cereals. This vitamin is present in a very high amount in foxtail millet, almost 0.59mg in every 100mg.
According to one study (Krishna, 2019), eating a nutritional cereal like foxtail millet will reduce the risk of some significant neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It also has a positive effect on the nervous system.
The high amount of iron present in foxtail millet helps in improving brain health by providing more oxygenation to the brain.
3. Improve cardiovascular health:
Millets are generally very popular for improving heart health. Foxtail millet also has this power, as it is gluten-free, rich in protein and less in fats and carbs. Due to all of these nutrients, this staple food can reduce the risk of many heart diseases.
This is all due to its power to increase the formation of neurotransmitters acetylcholine which transfers messages between nerves and muscles to protect the heart function. Add foxtail millet into your daily routine to get all of these advantages.
4. Helps in managing diabetes:
Due to the high carb content present in rice, it is not usually recommended for diabetic patients in any form.
Foxtail millet can be a great option in this case as it works as a substitute for rice, which makes you feel full for a longer time.
When cooked as a whole grain and eaten as part of a healthy high fiber meal, it is usually a better option than rice.
5. Lower bad cholesterol levels:
Foxtail millet has also been shown to be very effective in reducing the bad cholesterol level and increasing the level of good cholesterol. This is all due to some essential amino acids in it.
Foxtail millet contains Lecithin and Methionine, two amino acids which play an important role in reducing excess fat in life and decreasing cholesterol.
Threonine, another amino acid that prevents fatty liver risk, is also present in foxtail millet in higher amounts. This amino acid also plays an important role in reducing bad cholesterol levels.
6. Helps with weight loss:
One of the most common reasons for gaining weight in adults and teens is the high use of refined-based cereals and packaged food high in salt and sugar.
This problem of obesity and overweight is increasing day by day. Foxtail millet can help in reducing weight due to the present high dietary fibers in it.
Foxtail millet also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can slow down digestion. It makes you feel full for a longer time and prevents you from eating excess food, and therefore calories.
7. Increased immunity:
There is nothing more important than robust immunity, as you need to have a strong immune system in order to fight against harmful diseases. In this case, a diet full of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients from foods such as foxtail millet can be very helpful.
Foxtail millet can improve the immune system and help your body in fighting against certain diseases. If you have fallen ill due to any viral or bacterial infection, then adding foxtail millet can provide you strength to fight against it.
8. Improves digestion:
An unhealthy digestive system can be a risk of many issues, such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore it is very important to maintain your gut health as well.
Foxtail millet can be a very good option for improving gut health, especially for those who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Also, make sure to eat it with lots of vegetables get your fiber in, since fiber leads to better gut health.
9. Promotes anti-aging:
Foxtail millet grains have anti-aging properties as well. It can provide smooth and youthful skin due to lysine and methionine in it.
These two amino acids help in the formation of collagen. This formation of collagen can slow down the appearance of wrinkles.
Foxtail millet is also very popular because of its ability to inhibit collagen cross-links. This cross-linking happens when molecules form cross-links between the collagen molecules in the skin, blood vessels and tendons. This cross-linking helps keep skin firm and tight, making you look younger.
10. High in calcium:
Foxtail millet contains minerals in higher amounts, and calcium is one of them. This is very important for bone health and making them strong. Foxtail millet also has vitamin D, which is part of why it can help in improving bone health.
Adding foxtail millet into a diet can also promote the development of bones in adults. Sprouted foxtail millet has shown to be very effective in fighting against bone diseases like osteoporosis and fracture risk.
11. Naturally gluten-free:
Many people cannot take food with gluten because of their gluten intolerance or celiac disease. A gluten-free diet can be the best option for those with gluten intolerance and for everyone, as it is suitable for overall health, as it improves digestion, increases energy level, and reduces bad cholesterol levels.
Foxtail millet can provide many vitamins and minerals, and it is naturally gluten-free while still being highly nutritious.
12. Can help prevent cancer:
Research has shown that by eating 30g of fiber regularly, women can reduce the chance of breast cancer up to 50%. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, which can be fatal for any woman.
Foxtail millet contains a higher content of fiber which makes it a very good option to add to the diet. Moreover, it can help in reducing extra fats, which can also cause many hormonal abnormalities in women.
13. Used to help iron-deficiency anemia:
Due to the high content of phosphorus, magnesium and iron present in foxtail millet, these are used with other herbs to make medicines to treat anemia. It also contains a higher content of calcium, more than rice or wheat.
Foxtail millet has a very high glycemic index. That’s why high fiber food and high-quality, high-quality oil are used while cooking to lessen its glycemic index.
How to use foxtail millet?
Many households are using foxtail millet in their daily diet routine these days. This is due to the high fiber and protein content of this food. Foxtail millet is very easy to cook and can be used in many Indian dishes as well.
The most common way to cook foxtail millet is to cook it as porridge and have it for breakfast. This can help make your breakfast super healthy and nutritious. However, there are many other ways to add these little grains into your diet.
- Add raw millet into muffins or bread
- Use millet in making granola bars
- Add it into soup to increase the thickness
- Add some cooked millet to your salad
- It can be eaten with a main dish
- It can be used as a substitute for rice
By adding foxtail millet into your diet and recipes, you will not only increase the taste of your food, but will make it super delicious and healthy.
Bottom line on the benefits of foxtail millet:
Foxtail millet is one of the oldest and healthiest forms of millet, which originated in China. It soon became popular worldwide due to its high nutritional value.
The presence of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other essential nutrients make these little grains very beneficial for health.
Moreover, foxtail millet is naturally gluten-free, which increases its beneficial value. Foxtail millet not only helps in improving health but also helps in losing weight.
It can easily be added to the diet. To get your foxtail millet benefits, adopt a healthy lifestyle and add more fiber into your diet.
Other related articles:
- What Is Fonio?
- Sorghum Nutrition
- 11 Amazing Benefits Of Oatmeal
- Is Buckwheat Gluten Free?
- Is Quinoa Gluten Free?
- Are Garbanzos Good For You?
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