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With the increase of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) around the world, awareness on shifting to ideal food to manage health is on research nowadays. The pandemic has taught us all a great lesson about having healthier lives and strong immunity. While there are many options for healthy food, Kodo millet is a magical millet that stands high in choice, says Manjula Sridhar M.Sc, CDE, CRN, PgDPN, Apollo Clinics.
There are different types of millets, the ones that are commonly grown in India include Jowar (sorghum), Bajra (pearl millet), ragi (finger millet), Jhangora (barnyard millet), Kangni (foxtail/ Italian millet), and Kodo Millet. Today, we will be talking about Kodo millet (also called cow grass, rice grass, ditch millet, Indian cow grass) is known as a magical millet.
Here, Manjula Sridhar tells us about the nutritional value of Kodo millet, its health benefits and uses.
Kodo millet, is an annual grain that is grown primarily in Nepal and also in India, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and in West Africa from where it originated. It is estimated to have domesticated in India 300 years ago and is grown as a major food source on the Deccan plateau. It is a monocot and an annual grass that grows to approximately four feet. Every 100 gms of Kodo millet are stuffed with 66.6 gm of carbohydrates, 11 gms of protein and 10 gms of dietary fibers.
Studies have shown that Kodo millets lower blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol levels like TGL and total cholesterol. It also simultaneously improves HDL levels, thus lowering blood pressure as well. It has antibacterial, antioxidants and anti-allergic properties. They have a low glycemic index. Hence, they are ideal for diabetes.
They reduce the risk of cancer and its progression. They are highly nutritious due to the presence of protein, fibers, vitamins like B1, B6, Niacin, riboflavin, folic acid and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. They are rich in antioxidants and phenolic compounds like polyphenols, vanillic acid, gallic acid, ferulic acid etc. They help to manage micronutrient related malnutrition.
Their intake may show drastic improvement in the case of malnutrition. They may also help in irregular menstrual cycles and cramps. The collagen's presence increases the elasticity of the skin and helps in reducing wrinkles. It aids in weight loss, helps shed fat in and around the waist, abdomen and hip region. Fights against metabolic syndromes particularly in adolescents. It contains lecithin, which is excellent for strengthening the nervous system. It is suitable for gluten-sensitive people as they are gluten free. It has microbial properties that heal wounds, alleviate pain and accelerates the healing process.
There are many ways to use Kodo millets for health benefits. They are added with idli dosa batter, in cakes, muffins and bread. It can be a good alternative to polished white rice. Roti and chapati can also be made with Kodo millets. It can also be used to make tasty kheer. In India, it is commonly ground into flour and used to make pudding. There are several recipes wherein Kodo millets are used for making diabetic patient friendly food as well. Given the many benefits it provides, it is truly a magical millet.