Here are a few Qs a friend shared in one of the closed groups I am part of. My short answers immediately follow these and further below is a longer answer to the best of my knowledge.
But first, the disclaimer: please note that I am not a trained doctor or dietitian. Please use my advise only AFTER you have understood and discussed it with your medical advisor / nutritionist / dietitian / doctor and please exercise the precautionary principle – try changes in moderation; observe how your body responds; continue changes only after being convinced your body has benefited from the change in diet.
1. Are millets good for people with uric acid? or any info on millets for uric acid will be beneficial….. ( This was asked my my ex-colleague)
They most likely are, but certain cautions need to be exercised. Definitely consult your medical advisor / nutritionist / dietitian / doctor. and please exercise the precautionary principle. The longer answer below will throw some light on the matter.
2. Some one wrote a note to me – “it is said that millets contain goitrogens which causes hypothyroidism IS THIS TRUE” – Do you have any details?.
There are 9 different millets, studies have looked at just one of them (may be two, if we relax the reviewing standards). And even for the one millet (pearl / sajje / bajra) the study did not look at the effect of including the particular millet as part of a wholesome diet.
My advise would be to please discuss it with your medical advisor / nutritionist / dietitian / doctor and please exercise the precautionary principle.
3. Is there any millet specific for gall stone?
Not that I know of. There might be. Please use the nutritional chart of millets ( https://dwiddly.files.wordpress.com/…/…/nutritionaltable.png ) and consult a nutritionist / dietitian / doctor with to see which of the millets would be most beneficial. There are also a few seasoned practitioners using millets to cure diseases and conditions. Seek their advise in an one on one consultation, rather than in a public setting. Discuss their advise with your medical advisor / nutritionist / dietitian / doctor before changing your diet and always remember to practice the precautionary principle.
Now to the long answer / background …
A few general points to understand millets : Millets are high fiber, high mineral cereal grains. In their unpolished (bran still on) form they are extremely nutritious. Once the bran layer is removed (i.e. polished) their nutritional content is severely compromised, the degree being dependent on how much of the bran layer is lost.
The human body (and most animal bodies too, I suspect) seeks a sufficient quantity of water to digest millets, just as it would for any other high fiber, high mineral foods.
Reduced water intake is one of the primary aggravating factors for lower GI diseases/disorders/complications. I am guessing this is the primary motivation for quite a few dietitians and doctors (including some who practice ayurvedic principles) to outright reject millets saying they are not good for so and so patients.
If an individual is sufficiently in touch with their body and is able to identify their thirst signals and satiate the body’s request for water, or if they are able to prepare these millets as dishes that allow for sufficient/a little excess of water, or if they are able to keep reminding themselves and drink sufficient quantities of water, including millets in their diet may not be an issue.
But please remember to practice the precautionary principle and discuss it with your medical advisor / nutritionist / dietitian / doctor before changing your diet.
Hi Shalini, we are starting to hear this concern more often. It is not something we are able to find good scientific publications for. We do know that various communities in different parts of the world, not just India, have lived on millet based diets for not just centuries but millenia. There are atleast 15 to 20 families in our own friend circle, including my own, that have been eating millets regularly for more than 3 years now. In our houses rice doesn’t just mean paddy rice, it could be little millet rice, foxtail millet rice, kodo millet rice, proso millet rice, barnyard millet rice, etc.
As I have been mentioning in other comments, one needs to practice two things when making changes in one’s food – (i) please try anything new in moderation and (ii) observe your body and discuss with your medical advisor/dietician/doctor to understand what is happening.
First the disclaimer: One needs to understand the individual’s constitution and work on their diet seeing how their body responds to changes. So please consult a medical adviser / dietician / doctor regularly to get the most informed answer.
From the way communities have included these grains in their diets and cuisines, we can see that pearl millet (bajra/kambu/sajje/sadda/…) is a food for winters -i.e. it warms up the body. Foxtail millet also warms up the body, many communities eat it with lot of butter milk and in some communities a small quantity of butter milk is added when cooking !
So one thing we can recognize from this is that what we eat it with, and how we cook it, has a lot of bearing on how the body receives it. Hope this helps.
Thanks for useful information about millets. Please inform which is the most useful millet and why. Please give few recipes for each millet for adults. Is it better to take millets in the form of porridge or solid form. Which millets are useful for controlling blood sugar level and cholesterol.
Thank you Vijayendran sir. There is no magic cereal. Each grain offers a bouquet of nutrients. It is for us to choose which ones we eat and which ones we don’t based on our dietary requirements, taste, cost, availability, etc. We advocate for diversification of the cereals one eats rather than seeking a magic bullet.
You will find different millet recipes on this blog and on other websites. Almost all millets help control blood sugar levels and cholestrol. But please note that a millet based diet cannot cure one of these conditions. Please do consult a dietician or your doctor before drastically changing your diet.
We cook millet (pro so or foxtail) along with brown rice and it tastes just as good. With extra fibre and nutrients it improves digestion dramatically and very healthy. My recipe for plain rice substitute is as under
Take half cup of rice preferably brown) add foxtail or proso millet for the other half. Clean and add 1:2.5 x water and cook in rice cooker. Tastes just like rice along with sambar, rasam or you can also cook it as pasta substitute for Italian dishes. My family likes it so am sure you will like it and feel healthy.
Note: millets are not expensive as mentioned in one of the post.for e.g rice I buy (organic brown is Rs 85 and organic millet is 60 for 500 g.
IT is a very useful information on millets but we would like to know the various recipes that can be prepared with each millet.And also which is the best millet of all those mentioned here, with less fat nutrient.
Thank you Vijayendran! There are a few recipes for each of the millets on this blog itself under the Recipes tab. You can also find many more recipes for millet based dishes online. Please search for these using any search engine/website like google, bing, yahoo, duck duck go etc.
The nutrient profile of the different millets do come across as having considerable fat content. Please note that the fat in millets are of a totally different kind when compared to the fat from animal sources or even the fat/oil from oil seeds. The fat content in cereals such as millets are very sought after component of many diets.
There is no one grain which is ‘the best’. Each millet has a nutrient profile that has certain beneficial aspects. For a healthy diet, please maintain a diversity in the cereals you consume – just as it is advisable to eat different vegetables, pulses, fruits, oil seeds, etc. There is no magic bullet.
Millets are getting popular and hence costlier. People who are used to rice find it easy to adopt some of the millets compared to wheat. South Indian rasam goes well with some of the millets just as rice.
It is best to have diversity in the food – we suggest that you increase the millets proportion in the food and avoid eating of White paddy rice. Change to unpolished paddy rice and when you use wheat for Chapathi add other millets grain to wheat and use. Gradually you can bring down the proportion of Paddy and wheat and shift to more millets based diet.
Hi, I see that the fat in rice is much much lesser when compared to millets and wheat!! Of course carbohydrates content is high (high in wheat as well) and fibre is really low. But please, if fat is less in rice why not eat rice instead?
the paddy rice contains in its whole form(unpolished) contains fat, the rice bran oil that we are all using today is the product of processing the Paddy rice bran. India produce over 7 million tonnes of Rice bran from the rice mills present in the country, from this 9 lakh tonnes of rice bran is produced every year in our oil mills. The rice bran oil comes from the fat present in the rice bran. When you analyse the polished paddy rice it shows no fat. Remember these fat are natural part of any whole grain food and are very essential for our body to keep us healthy.