Recently, millet has started receiving more attention from researchers than in past years. The findings have been very encouraging. They’ve discovered many health benefits associated with the grain. It is high in many nutrients essential to our health. This is a summary of what those are and what they do in the well-oiled machine that is the human body (the percentages are based on the daily value for that nuterient and found in 1/2 cup uncooked millet):
- Magnesium (27.1%) – This is a key element in many of our body’s processes especially in the muscle and nervous systems. The proper amount of magnesium can reduce migraines and heart attacks.
- Antioxidants – All the research shows a lot of anti-oxidant activity. This is important because antioxidants curb the oxidation of cells that can eventually lead to cancer.
- Tryptophan – This is an amino acid that generates serotonin which elevates mood.
- Niacin (29.4%) – Also known as Vitamin B3, this nutrient gets rid of cholesterol.
- Protein (19.6-23.9%) – Millet contains about 11g/100g of protetin. This is obviously essential to overall health and makes millet great for anyone looking for more plant based protein sources.
- Phosphorus (22.8%) – This is a mineral that is needed for all of our cells and especially affects our energy production, genetic code, and nervous system.
In addition to these specific nutrients, millet as a complete package helps us to avoid some common problems.
- Diabetes and inflammation – The magnesium acts as a cofactor that helps regulate glucose and insulin levels.
- Constipation – Millet is alkaline (non-acidic) and so is easily digested.
- Childhood asthma – As with many whole grains, studies have shown that increasing the intake of millet can reduce cases of childhood asthma by a large percentage. A major study combined whole grains with fish to show that increasing the amounts of those foods in diets reduced the risk by 50%.
- Effects of food allergies – Millet is non-allergenic and gluten-free!
- Cancer – Millet contains vitamin B17 which has a big role in cancer prevention.
- Migraines – High in b vitamins and magnesium, which can help to control migraines.
- Heart Attacks – Again due to its high Magnesium content, millet has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack.