Skid through the grocery list of a “healthy-eating” person and you are likely to find many fascinating names contrasting the nachos, donuts and sodas on a fast-food junkie’s shopping list.

Now, these fascinating names typically are of a certain type of wonder food, called millets. Rich in nutrition and serving the mankind since times immemorial, here’s what you need to know about them.

What are millets?

Millets are cereal crops or small seeded grasses that are widely grown around the world, especially across Africa and Asia.

Renowned for their nutritional value and productivity, millets are largely preferred as human food and fodder.

Historical significance in India

Millets have occupied prime significance in the history of Indian food since the ancient ages. Mentioned in some of the oldest surviving Yajurveda texts, millets were widely consumed, pre-dating to the Indian Bronze Age (4500 BC).

The cereals continued to serve as the major staple for many sections in India for numerous centuries until the Green Revolution took over.

The advent of high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat during the 1970s took the market by storm, side-lining the production of millets in the country.

In fact, as per a report by the Millet Network of India, between 1966 and 2006, 44% of millet cultivation areas were occupied by other crops.

In addition, lack of awareness and the largely prevalent notions that perceived millets just as fodder and “poor man’s food”, didn’t help the cause either.

The scenario now

Over the years, mass consumption of polished rice and wheat, coupled with sedentary lifestyles, has led to worrying trends of health complications among the urban population.

With metropolitan areas turning into a commonplace for obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases, the quest for alternate gluten-free diet once again shed light on millets.

Growing awareness and the willingness to switch to healthier lifestyles has once again brought millets to the reckoning.

The nutrient-rich indigenous foods are now being sought-after in modern India’s pursuit of a healthier tomorrow.

Millet varieties

Indian nameEnglish nameRich in
JowarSorghumIron, protein, fibre
RagiFinger milletProtein, amino acids
BajraPearl milletIron, protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium
SanwaBanyard milletFibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus
BarriPorso milletProtein, fibre, niacin, fatty acids
SamaLittle milletB-vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium
KorraFoxtail milletBlood sugar balancing carbohydrates, iron, calcium
ArkeKodo milletProtein, fibre, iron


Benefits of millets

Millets, as aforementioned, are repositories of nutrition. From helping in weight-loss to preventing the risk of certain cancers, these wonder grains are a boon to mankind.

Here are the multiple health benefits offered by the different varieties of millets.

Jowar (Sorghum)

  • Helps in weight loss
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Curbs the risk of high blood pressure
  • Boosts the immunity and keep ailments at bay
  • Helpful to those suffering from gluten-intolerance

Ragi (Finger millet)

  • Helps in weight loss
  • Helps in controlling diabetes
  • Develops healthy bones
  • Maintains healthy skin
  • Battles Anemia
  • Battles depression, anxiety, and insomnia

Bajra (Pearl millet)

  • Helps in controlling diabetes
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Prevents cancer
  • Aids digestion

Sanwa (Banyard millet)

  • Helps in weight loss
  • Builds stronger bones
  • Prevents constipation, bloating and excess gas
  • Advisable for diabetic patients
  • Helpful to those suffering from gluten-intolerance

Barri (Porso millet)

  • Helps in weight loss
  • Controls blood sugar levels
  • Beneficial for nervous system
  • Strengthens bones
  • Maintains healthy skin
  • Helpful to those suffering from gluten-intolerance

Sama (Little millet)

  • Helps in weight loss
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Helps in digestion
  • Boosts immunity
  • Regulates blood sugar levels

Korra (Foxtail millet)

  • Boosts immunity
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Lowers the risk of diabetes
  • Prevents breast cancer and heart diseases
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Helpful to those suffering from gluten-intolerance

Arke (Kodo millet)

  • Helps in preventing diabetes
  • Prevents weight-gain
  • Fights cholesterol and is also ant-hypertension
  • Advisable to those suffering from cardiovascular diseases

So, what are you waiting for? Visit Sattva Naturals along with your list of millets and set your health right from today!