Millets: Types, Benefits and Recipes

Millets are one of the oldest foods known to mankind. They are the powerhouse of nutrition and also they are a superfood.

Over the last few years they have gained popularity in health food world due to their countless health benefits and nutrition.

In this article I have covered types of millets, their health benefits and some delicious recipes.

What are Millets?

Millets are the small edible seeds belong to Poaceae family, which are widely used in African and Asian countries. They need less water to grow and can stored for years, as they have a long self life.

They are rich in multiple nutrients like, carbohydrates, protein, iron, calcium, fiber and many other important nutrients.

These natural gluten-free tiny grains play an important role in preventing and curing many health issues.

Types of Millets

Millets are classified into two categories, one is the major category and another is minor category. Major millets include pearl millet and sorghum.

Whereas minor millets include kodo millet, finger millet, little millet, barnyard millet, foxtail millet and proso millet.

  1. Major millets: Major millets like pearl millets contain a high amount of insoluble fibre, which aid in better digestion.

This whole grain also contain soluble fibre, which helps in reducing cholesterol level. They also have anti-cancer properties.

In India pearl millets are known as bajra, and traditionally used to make khichdi.

Sorghum is commonly known as jowar in India. It is a gluten-free grain which is used to make flat breads. Sorghum is useful for the people who are wheat intolerance or suffering from celiac diseases.

2. Minor millets: Minor millets contain a high amount of calcium and iron and also they help in boosting immunity.

  • Finger Millet: Finger millet is a healthy substitute for wheat and rice. It is gluten-free and also rich in many essential nutrients like calcium, protein and amino acids.
  • Little Millet: Little millet is loaded with vitamin B and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. It is also a good option for rice replacement.
  • Barnyard Millet: This is packed with multiple nutrients and contain a high amount of fiber, which can effectively help in weight loss. It is also loaded with phosphorus and calcium.
  • Foxtail Millet: Foxtail millet is a good source of calcium and iron, which help in boosting immunity. It contain healthy blood sugar balancing carbohydrates.
  • Proso Millet: Proso millet may effectively aid in balancing blood sugar level.

Health Benefits:

  • Promote digestion: Millets are rich in fiber, which may help in digestion and may relieve bowel problems. It may aid in liver and kidney diseases. It can ease in lowering the risk of colon cancer.
  • Aids in detoxification: Millets contain the components like ellagic acid, curcumin, quercetin and catechins, which help in removing free radicles and balance the enzymatic reactions in our body.
  • May balance sugar level: Magnesium present in millets may help stimulate insulin levels, which further ease in maintaining sugar level. It also help in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • May help improve heart health: Millets are loaded with many important nutrients, which help improve heart health and can lower coronary blockage.

They are also rich in magnesium which may help reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attack.


Millets are not only good for our health but at the same time they have a unique taste. Millets are used to prepare many delicious dishes such as Millets khichdi, Millets idli, Millets dosa, Millets flatbreads, Millets cookies and many more.

Here I am going to share some delicious millets recipes.

Millets Khichdi:

Millets khichdi is a wholesome gluten-free one pot comfort meal prepared with millets, yellow lentils, some mixed vegetables such as carrot, beans, tomato, onion, capsicum and some herbs and spices.

It gets ready within 30 minutes and can be a good option for breakfast lunch or dinner. It keep you full for longer.

Millets Cookies:

This delicious gluten-free millets cookies is very easy to make with few simple ingredients such as millet flour, clarified butter, sugar and cardamom.

This light crisp and tasty cookies goes well with a hot cup of coffee or tea. It is also perfect for your kids snack box.

Finger Millet (Ragi) Malt:

This delicious and nutritious drink is made with finger millet flour and milk or water. It is quite famous in southern part of India.

This healthy beverage can be taken in breakfast, which keep you full and energize for longer. This drink is also very good for babies.

Millets Porridge:

This creamy gluten-free millet porridge is perfect for breakfast. It is prepared with just 5 simple ingredients, such as millet, milk, water, vanilla extract, maple syrup and cinnamon.

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