Health-conscious people around the world are warming up to the wonderful benefits of Indian superfoods – from the fat-burning properties of ghee to finding out about the thermogenic effects of turmeric, and now to the “nutrition powerhouses” called millets. While quinoa is a weight loss superstar, millets are no less. Millets are hugely popular in traditional Indian cooking, and if one variety of millet is popular in the northern part of the country, the other one is a staple down south. For example, Barnyard millet (samvat ke chawal), is used extensively in the Himalayan region and hilly areas of the country whereas ragi (finger millet) is popular all across India from Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, to Uttarakand. Indian millets have loads of protein and fiber, and a host of other micronutrients that provide rich nutrition to the body along with having a positive impact on health. Their importance can be gauged from the fact that some of them are exclusively used during fasting and Navratri season! Above all, some of these millets are great for weight loss too. Millets are considered superfoods because they bundle up a lot of nutrition in just a few calories. When it comes to weight loss – these are particularly great because they do not cause sharp insulin spikes, have high protein and fiber content, and contain minerals that help with the fat-burning process. In this post, we will particularly talk about 6 millets that are hugely beneficial for weight loss.
Do Millets Fit in a Weight Loss Diet?
Millets are rich in protein, have immense fiber content, and hence great for weight loss. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet because it helps to maintain a healthy digestive system, clears constipation, regulate blood sugar levels, thus reduces the chance of extra calories getting stored up as fat in the body. Fiber helps in getting rid of belly fat, and thus helps with weight loss too. Fiber reduces appetite to a great extent by regulating the production of hunger hormone “ghrelin.” Protein content in millets also keeps you satiated and full for long, along with being a thermogenic macronutrient that burns more calories. Most of these millets are also good sources of iron, calcium, magnesium, minerals, potassium, vitamin E, B complex vitamins, and phosphorous, and trace minerals, and since they have complex carbs, they do not cause rapid rise in insulin levels, and release energy slowly. So, millets fit into every type of weight loss diet easily without taking your calorie count too high. If any diet asks you to eliminate millets from your diet, get off that kind of weight loss program asap. Millets are great to make rotis, khichdi, porridges, in multigrain breads, upma, idli, dosa, just about everything. You can find different ways to use millet for weight loss on the Rati Beauty app, download on your phone for more info.
Health Benefits of Millet:
1. Reduces cholesterol.
2. Can prevent gallstones.
3. Helps with weight loss.
4. Rich source of nutrients including protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, magnesium, potassium, iron, etc.
5. Helps to decrease high blood pressure.
6. Controls diabetes, regulates blood sugar levels.
7. Good source of antioxidants.
8. Good source of protein, whole carbs.
Why Millets are Better Than White Rice?
White rice is a staple food for most Indians and consumed on a daily basis in a majority of households all over the world, so it’s hard to imagine life without white rice (not exaggerating at all!). But many health experts consider white rice to be “not okay” for your weight loss goals and it’s not just about the calories or carb content. White rice is a refined food, ripped off most of its fiber content during the refining and polishing process and what you get is a large chunk of carbs that can get your weight up, when you consume it without any sort of portion control and with complete lack of physical activity. White rice is one food item (the other being “refined sugar” of course) that people are often advised to give up if they want to lose weight because white rice (polished one) causes rapid spike in insulin level which leads to conversion of carbs into glucose, raising your blood sugar eventually. When extra blood sugar accumulates, insulin converts sugar into fat and decides to store them up for future use, and most often, it’s around the belly area! Since refined grains such as white rice go through the digestion process quickly with their low fiber content, rapid insulin spike takes place, and insulin creates new fat cells, which eventually leads to weight gain and obesity. In this post, we list out 11 Healthy Alternatives for White Rice for Weight Loss.
6 Millets that Boost Weight Loss:
1. Little Millet (Kutki, Sava, Gajro, Samai, Samalu). It is also called vari in some regions of the country. It is rich in iron, protein, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins. It’s also great for weight loss because of its healthy fat content along with fiber value. Calories per 100 gm – 207 kcal.
2. Finger millet (Nachni/Ragi): It’s the most popular millet in India and widely used in cuisine across India, particularly south India. Ragi halwa, upma, laddoo, instant dosa, nachni roti, poori, idli, vada, kheer, pancakes, ragi mudde, ragi malt porridge – the list of healthy dishes that one can make with ragi is endless. This millet is quite popular to feed growing children because of its rich protein and mineral content, ditto with diabetics who want to regulate their blood sugar levels. Calories per 100 gm – 336 kcals.
3. Barnyard Millet – Also called samvat ke chawal, it has the highest fiber content among millets and that makes it ideal for people who want to lose weight through a healthy diet. It is also rich in calcium and other minerals. Calories per 100 gm – 342 kcal.
4. Foxtail millet (Kangni, Kaon dana, Navane, Thina, Kang, Rala, Korralu). It is hugely popular among people who want to lose weight as well as control their blood sugar levels. It is also considered as the best replacement for rice. It is rich in fiber, low in carbs, with minerals such as copper and iron. Calories per 100 gm – 473 kcal.
5. Kodo (Kodro, Kodua, Kodra, Varagu, Arikelu): It is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. These also have protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Calories per 100 gm – 309 kcal.
6. Proso millet (Cheena, Pani Varagu, Variga): – It’s also called barri or chena in Hindi. This high-protein millet is also a great source of B vitamins like thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, niacin along with vitamin E, and oh, not to forget dietary fiber. Minerals are also there in this millet, such as phosphorus, manganese, iron and potassium. Calories per 100 gm – 378 calories.
Find different ways to use these nutritious millet in your diet and lose weight at the same time on Rati Beauty app.