The earliest Ayurvedic scriptures begin with stories of medical knowledge being passed down from gods to sages, and then to human doctors. Throughout two millennia, Ayurvedic medications have changed and evolved. Manual therapies, herbal medicines, lifestyle, medication, yoga, and purification techniques are all used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Although ayurvedic techniques are frequently employed to treat many diseases in our bodies and keep us healthy, little comprehensive data on their effectiveness in comparison to mainstream care is available here. Let’s see how Ayurvedic care is significant for having a healthy diet by consuming Millets…!
What are Millets
Millets are also called ‘coarse grain’ or ‘poor people’s crop’. They are small-seeded, round in shape and can be stored for years, require less water, and are resistant to pests and diseases. India is the world’s second-largest diabetes capital, which has resulted in a boom in millet consumption. Millets play an important role in preventing and curing many health issues. These are a rich source of fiber, minerals like magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, calcium, and potassium.
Millets include a significant amount of starch and proteins, which can be advantageous if consumed on a regular basis. Millets are not only nutritious, but they also have a distinct flavor that can enhance the flavor of any dish. Millets help to improve heart health and can reduce coronary blockage and are enriched with magnesium, which can effectively reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Millets are gluten-free small-seeded cereal. They are a good source of antioxidants and improve respiratory functions, detoxify the body, immunity prevents degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, cardiac disease, cancer, etc. A research study has mentioned that consuming millet grains 6 days a week is considered a wholesome diet for postmenopausal women with high blood pressure, cholesterol, or cardiovascular disease. Millets are also used to prepare beverages, bread, and snack foods.
Benefits of millets
- Diabetes: Millets are high in magnesium, which aids in the stimulation of insulin, the efficiency of glucose receptors in the body, and the maintenance of a good sugar balance in the body. These also help to reduce the chances of diabetes type 2.
- Obesity: Consuming high dietary fiber food can lead to the prevention of obesity. It helps to reduce the cholesterol level due to the Vitamin B3 contention millets.
- Cardiovascular diseases: Millets are high in vitamin B3, which helps to lower cholesterol and stave off heart disease. Millet’s magnesium content aids in reducing migraine and heart attack frequency.
- Inflammation: Everyone always likes to look young. The high amount of antioxidants in millets opposes the radicals in the body that slows down the aging process and stimulate wound healing. This prevents tissue damage and pre-aging symptoms.
- Celiac disease: It is a digestive illness induced by eating gluten-containing foods that damage the small intestine. Gluten is a protein found in rice, wheat, and many other grains. They are gluten-free and are used to treat gluten intolerance.
- Cancers: Millet comprises fiber, phenolic content, and phytonutrients and it prevents the risk of developing cancer. Phenolic compounds are specifically obtained to prevent tumor growth.
- Gastric disorders: Digestive system fixing gives rise to the maintenance of nutrients and lowering the severe gastrointestinal situations such as colon cancer, gallbladder stones, gastric ulcers. Millet has a high fiber content as well as anti-acid characteristics, which helps to prevent gastric ulcers chiefly.
- Asthma in Childhood: A good diet is an important part of your inclusive asthma treatment. A healthy good diet is good for everyone just like regular exercise is. Millets have been shown to reduce the risk of asthma in children by 50%.
- Hypothyroidism: Millets help prevent obesity, which is common with hypothyroidism. However, there was a rumor that millets included cruciferous vegetable particles that absorb iodine absorption, but this was later debunked. Millet has a lesser Glycemic Index (GI) than rice. As a result, millets can help to lower the risk of diabetes, which is linked to hypothyroidism.
Millets are called ‘Trinadhanya’ in Sanskrit and belong to the ‘Trina Dhanya Varga’ category (type of grain generated by grass plants). Its qualities include rasa as madhura rasa (sweet), and kashaya rasa (astringent); vipaka in katu rasa (pungent); virya as kinchith ushna (slightly hot). They’re vatakruth (a steady increase of Vata dosha), Pitta-Rakta-Kaphahara (equilibrates pitta dosha, blood, tissue, and kapha dosha).
Varieties of Millets
1. Pearl Millet
(Cenchrus americanus ) It’s one of the most popular millet. It’s very beneficial to health and is prepared in different forms like khichdi and roti. Bajra consists of protein, fiber, iron, and minerals like magnesium and calcium. This is the reason why we should consume to have a daily balanced diet.
2. Finger Millet
(Eleusine coracana) it’s also called ‘ragi’ in India. An annual herbaceous plant is grown widely as a cereal crop. It has the goodness of protein and amino acids, so is the best healthy substitute for wheat and rice. As it is gluten-free it can be given to kids for brain development. In Ayurveda, finger millet is called ‘Madhulika’. The wine prepared using Madhulika is heavy (guru) to digest and as a result, kapha dosha aggravates and causes bloating.
3. Kodo Millet
(Paspalum scrobiculatum) An annual crop. As it contains higher amounts of lecithin it is easily digestible. It helps in strengthening the nervous system. It’s a source of Vitamin B and minerals like potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
4. Proso Millet
(Panicum miliaceum), is called ‘Chena’ in India and is used as a bird feeder. This crop has an extremely short lifecycle, also it has low water requirements. As it has a low glycemic index, it’s good for balancing blood sugar levels. In Ayurveda, proso millet is called ‘Chinaka’. Consuming chinaka along with curd, milk, oil, buttermilk etc can lead to eka- kushta (psoriasis). Chinaka is a variety of karpura (camphor) and is known as artificial camphor.
5. Foxtail Millet
(Setaria italica) The second-most widely planted Millet species. It is beneficial for heart and sugar patients as it is a good source of blood sugar balancing carbohydrates. It consists of a great source of iron and calcium and can boost immunity. Kangu (in Ayurveda) is completely contradictory along with milk. Indigestion caused due to kangu can be treated by mantha (churned curd). It decreases kapha dosha and increases vata dosha. As it is heavy and dry, it alleviates kapha dosha.
6. Little Millet
(Panicum sumatrense) The blades of this annual herbaceous plant can be straight or folded. It is rich in minerals like zinc, calcium, potassium, calcium and Vitamin B. It can be used instead of rice and used in many traditional dishes of South India.
7. Barnyard Millet
(Echinochloa esculenta) It has high nutritional value and high fiber content. It helps us to lose weight if we are adding it into our daily diet. It is loaded with phosphorus and calcium and helps in bone building. In Ayurveda, it’s called ‘Shyamaka’. As it is laghu, it’s easy to digest. It increases vata dosha and balances kapha and pitta dosha. It can be used as a treatment for Atibrimhanam (over nourishment).
(Sorghum bicolor) it is also called great millet. It is the fifth-most important cereal crop of the world. Organic Jowar is loaded with high content of fiber, protein and iron. It contains policosanols and helps in lowering cholesterol levels.
The balance of three basic doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) in your body results in your good health. Therefore, millet being vatakrth ( increases vata dosha), pitta rakta kaphaapaham ( balances pitta dosha, blood tissue and kapha dosha) increases dhatu pushti, and hence it’s always a better choice to choose millet over any other grains and spices in your food chart. In case of any query kindly visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com . For more queries, you can send your queries to our email id firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.