For centuries, millet has been a highly valued crop in Africa, it is used in everything from bread to couscous, and as cereal grain.
Millets are tiny, spherical grains. These come in different colors like white, gray, yellow and even deep red. According to archaeologists, millet was first cultivated in East Asia as far as 10,000 years back.
Millet may not be the most common type of seed crop that you’re expecting on your table, but this group of highly variable seeded grasses are cultivated throughout the world, both for livestock feed and human consumption. Known as Gero/Dawa in hausa, Achara in Igbo, and Okababa in Yoruba, it remains one of Nigeria’s major sources of pap making.
As with most grains, millet is available in markets throughout the year and provides so many nutritional benefits.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of Millets
- Millets are rich in fiber, which help in easy digestion. It is considered as one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains.
- Millet contains the amino acid, tryptophan, which works as a natural relaxant.
- Millet is high in protein. It helps to meet the daily protein requirement from a complex carbohydrate than animal sources.
- Millets when consumed in large amounts helps decrease triglyceride levels in the body. It thins the blood to prevent blood platelet clumping, thereby reducing the risk of sunstroke and coronary artery disorder.
- The Vitamin B in millet helps to break down carbohydrates and fat more efficiently.
- Magnesium in millet relaxes the muscles that line the inside of the arterial wall, which helps to reduce blood pressure. It also reduces the severity of asthma and frequency of migraines.
- It prevents the premature ageing of the skin.
- Pregnant and lactating women are advised to consume millet, especially Ragi in high amounts to increase the production of breast milk in the body.
- Because of its high level of magnesium, millet is a great food for women who suffer from unbearable pain and cramps during their menstrual cycle.
- Phosphorus content in millet helps to structure the cells in the body. It is an essential component of numerous compounds including adenosine triphosphate or ATP, which enhances energy in the body.