Millets | 10 Types of Millet for a best Healthy Diet



Millets are warm-weather, annual, small-grained cereals that are related to the grass family. They have a similar nutrient profile to other significant grains and are highly resilient to drought and other adverse weather conditions. Every dietician and nutritionist attests to millets' amazing health benefits for people. They can improve your health and aid in weight loss in addition to being gluten-free. It might be easier to incorporate organic millets into your diet in multiple ways if you are someone who enjoys eating rice and wheat for every meal. However, a lot of people are unaware of the different varieties of millets available, as well as the nutrients and calories they contain.

What are Millets?

Millets comes from a diverse genus of small-seeded grass type plants that are commonly cultivated as cereal crops or grains for human and animal nourishment all over the world since ancient times. The majority of the species of that are commonly referred to as millets. Millets are members of the Paniceae tribe, but some millets are also members of other groups.

With more than 90% of millet production occurring in developing countries, millets are most significant crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa, particularly in India, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger. This crop is preferred because of its yield and brief growth season in hot, dry circumstances with very little rain.

Many regions of the world are growing millets. Sorghum and pearl millets, which are important crops in India and parts of Africa, are the most widely grown millets. Other significant crop species widely grown include finger millet, proso millet, and foxtail millet.

Millets may have been consumed by people for around 7,000 years and may have played a crucial role in the development of settled farming societies and multi-crop agriculture.

The nutritional value of them is really high. The nutritional value of each millet is three to five times more than that of rice and wheat in terms of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Millets are free of gluten and rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and other nutrients. Millets are perfect food for anyone with wheat allergy or intolerance. Millet hve have a low GI than wheat. Diabetics patient might use millets for weight loss.

Types of Millets

We are going to learn about the 10 most popular and widely consumed varieties of millet across the world:

1. Foxtail Millet (Kakum/Kangni)

Foxtail Millet
Foxtail Millet

Foxtail Millet, also known as Kakum/Kangni in India, is usually available in Semolina or rice flour form.

The vitamin B12 included in foxtail millet is important for maintaining a healthy heart, ensuring that the neurological system is running smoothly, and generally promoting the growth of skin and hair. In Type-2 diabetes patients, a diet including Foxtail Millet may enhance glycemic management and lower insulin, cholesterol, and fasting glucose levels.

A good source of fibre, magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins is foxtail millet. It is a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans because it also has a high protein content. That's not all, though. Foxtail millet is a fantastic choice for those who are sensitive to gluten because it is also gluten-free.

2. Finger Millet (Ragi)

Finger Millet
Finger Millet

The common name for finger millet is ragi. Health conscious people frequently eat finger millet as an alternative to rice and wheat as it has low carbohydrate & high in fibre content. Finger Millet is gluten-free and high in proteins and amino acids.

Finger millet can be made into cakes, puddings, or porridge after being ground into flour. In Nepal and many parts of Africa, the flour is converted into a fermented beverage (or beer). Animal feed is made from finger millet straw.

Finger Millet Nutrition

11% water, 7% protein, 54% carbs, and 2% fat make up finger millet (table). Finger millet has 305 calories per 100 grammes (3.5 oz) of reference material, as well as a significant amount of dietary fibre (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV), as well as a number of dietary minerals, most notably iron (87% DV).

Finger millet has high fibre content which helps to reduce bad cholesterol, which can lead to heart conditions including atherosclerosis. Consuming millet regular basis may help maintain your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol levels because cholesterol levels are one of the major risk factors for heart related disease.

In addition to helping with blood sugar regulation and weight management, finger millets are healthy for the digestive system.

3. Pearl Millet (Bajra)

Pearl Millet
Pearl Millet

Pearl millet or Bajra is one of the most common types of millets used widely across the world.  It has numerous health advantages and may be consumed in different ways, including with roti, Dalia and khichdi. Bajra contains minerals like calcium and magnesium as well as iron, fibre, and protein. Regular consumption of pearl millet can be ideal for health, including helping in type II diabetes and other deseases.

The common name for pearl millet (Cenchrus americanus) is Pennisetum glaucum, but it is also known as Bajra in Hindi, Sajje in Kannada, Kambu in Tamil, Bajeer in Kumaoni, Maiwa in Hausa, and Mexoeira in Mozambique. The millet variety I is the most popular. It has been growing in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since ancient times.

Pearl millet (Bajra) is packed with multiple nutrients and vitamins, it also called a superfood for it's high nutrients content. Loaded with insoluble fiber that helps you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and lower blood sugar levels. If you are trying to lose weight, adding low-calorie density whole foods to your diet can be beneficial.

4. Sorghum Millet (Jowar)

Sorghum Millet (Jowar)
Sorghum Millet (Jowar)

Jowar is a big plant that can reach heights of over six feet, although many other commonly grown types are dwarf breeds that make harvesting them easier.  It is used to prepare a variety of delicious cuisine, including roti, couscous, bread, cakes, cookies, and malted beverages. The most convenient and healthy food is jowar porridge/Kheer which is cooked with milk and water.

Because Jawar contains policosanols, it is a good source of iron, protein, and fibre which are best for decrease cholesterol levels. Jowar is a better option for those people who are allergic to wheat. Jowar is high in calories and macronutrients and has more antioxidants than blueberries, pomegranates and other cereals.

5. Buckwheat Millet (Kuttu)
Buckwheat Millet
Buckwheat Millet ( Kuttu)

One of the most popular varieties of millet used in India, buckwheat is also known as kuttu in India and is frequently consumed during the Navratra festival fasting period. It lowers the blood pressure and is blood sugar.  It is helpful  for cardiovascular health, and should include it in your diet if you wish to lose weight. Additionally, buckwheat helps to prevent gallstones, asthma in children, and breast cancer.

Buckwheat also regard as a superfood because of its high level of nutrition and vitamins. Buckwheat may help manage diabetes, helps in weight loss, better heart health and helps to prevent deseases.

Buckwheat is rich in protein, fibre and other important nutrients. Buckwheat and buckwheat flour are ideal dietary for persons with celiac disease or gluten intolerance because it is gluten free.

6. Amaranth Millet (Rajgira/Ramdana)

Amaranth Millet
Amaranth Millet (Rajgira/Ramdana)

Amarnath Oats has numerous health benefits, it is consumed since ancient times. Amarnath, also known as Rajgira, Ramdana, and Chola (in India), is a types of Millets. It is excellent for a balanced diet. Amaranth millet helps in preventing hair loss and greying. Amaranth also helps in reducing cholesterol levels and prevent in developing cardiovascular disease. It is rich in calcium, vitamins, and other nutrients.

In the past, the Aztecs used amaranth as a main diet. Due to their numerous health advantages, the leaves and seeds of this plant, which are also known as Kiwicha seeds in Peruvian, are becoming well-known "superfoods." The plant's seeds and leaves are both free of gluten and loaded with protein, fibre, minerals, and other vitamins and nutrients. Gluten-free is the umbrella term for the protein present in grains like wheat, barley, and rye that some people may not be able to tolerate due to illnesses like celiac disease or gluten allergies.

7. Little Millet (Moraiyo/Shavan/Sama)

Little Finger Millet
Little Finger Millet (Sama)

Little Millet is most common Millets which is also known as Moraiyo, Kutki, Shavan, Sama, Sama chawal. It is very rich in vital minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and vitamin B. Little millet used in several traditional cuisines in India.

Magnesium percentage is very high in little millet, which helps in cardiovascular health. Niacin, which helps decrease cholesterol, is also abundant in Little Millet. It promotes healthy weight control, heart health, and disease prevention.

Little Millet Nutritional Value

The nutritional values of Little Millet Per 100g are Carbohydrates-60.9 gm, Fat-5.2 gm, Iron-9.3 gm, Phosphorus-220 mg, Iron-9.3 mg, Calcium-17 mg, Calories-329 kcal,  magnesium-114 mg and Protein 9.7 gm.

8. Barnyard Millet

Barnyard Millet
Barnyard Millet

Barnyard millet is also known as sanwa. It is rich in dietary fibre, which helps with digestion and promotes weight loss. It also rich in calcium and phosphorus content, it helps increase bone density.

The calories in barnyard millet are minimal. It is the least calorically dense cereal when compared to other cereals and a good source of readily digested protein.

Barnyard Millet Nutritional Value 

For people on a diet, a serving of raw barnyard millets (25 g) provides 75 calories, 1.5 g of protein, 68% carbohydrate, and less than 400 kcal/100 g. And no, Barnyard millet isn't just for fasting; it's healthy enough to be consumed regularly by everyone.

9. Broomcorn Millet (Chena)

Broomcorn Millet
Broomcorn Millet

Proso millet, broomcorn millet, common millet, hog millet, Kashfi millet, red millet, and white millet are some of the common names for the grain plant Panicum miliaceum.

Because broomcorn has a low glycemic index, it helps regulate blood sugar levels. It is a very good option to include broomcorn in a diabetic person's daily diet.

Broomcorn Millets contain 4.5% of the total starch in the japonica varieties, with 3.6% of that being fat. They also contain beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamins B1, B2, and B6, as well as a variety of other vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and copper.

10. Kodo Millet

Kodo Millet
Kodo Millet

Kodo millet, also known as Kodon millet, is a digestible kind with a higher lecithin content. As a result, the neurological system is greatly enhanced. Kodo is particularly high in niacin, folic acid, and other B vitamins as well as other vitamins and minerals. Calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc are among the minerals present. Being a gluten-free millet, it is ideal for those who are gluten-sensitive. It can be used by postmenopausal women to treat cardiovascular issues like high cholesterol and blood pressure when used regularly.


One of the wisest choices you can make is incorporating millet into your diet. They offer your body the energy it needs to get through the day and have a number of positive health effects. You can select from a variety of millets and prepare recipes that are astounding, healthy, and delicious. Every variety of millet has a distinctive flavour and health advantages, and they are all packed with vital nutrients. Knowing about the many millets will make it simpler for you to select the best one for you and your family.

A major part of millet's association with drought-prone human populations' food security will endure. Due to the harshness of the environment and the strain that population increase has placed on traditional land-extensive fallow systems, productivity has lagged, especially in Africa.

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