Know Your Millet

Millets, the small, unassuming grains are slowly regaining their popularity around the world. These ancient grains go as far back as 10,000 years, especially in the Asian and African continents. Millets have been an integral part of our ancestors’ food and lifestyle for ages. With the popularity of white rice, we have almost forgotten the humble yet nutrient rich millets. As diabetes, cholesterol and other ailments are on the rise among Indian population, we are once again in the search for healthy, traditional food and thus have rediscovered millets.

Millets are a powerhouse of nutrients with countless health benefits. They are rich in B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Little millet has rich calcium content (10 times more than rice/wheat) and is even given to babies. Millets are also rich in fiber, protein, starch, antioxidants, and are free from gluten.

Millets help reduce the risk of heart disease, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. They improve our overall digestive health and helps in detoxifying our body.

There are numerous varieties of millet. We know some of the popular millets like sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), and finger millet (ragi).

Here are some popular millets used across India with their regional names:

Finger Millet:
(Hindi: Nachani/Mundua) (Tamil: Kezhvaragu) (Kannada: Ragi) (Telugu: Ragula) (Malayalam: Panji Pullu)

“Creative Commons Ragi ” by Thamizhpparithi Maari is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Kodo Millet:
(Hindi: Koden/Kodra) (Tamil: Varagu) (Kannada: Harka) (Telugu: Arikelu) (Malayalam: Koovaragu)

“Creative Commons Kodo Millet” by Thamizhpparithi Maari is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Foxtail Millet:
(Hindi: Kangni/Rala) (Tamil: Thinai) (Kannada: Navane) (Telugu: Korra) (Malayalam: Thina)

“Creative Commons Foxtail Millet ” by Thamizhpparithi Maari is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Little Millet:
(Hindi: Kutki) (Tamil: Saamai) (Kannada: Saame) (Telugu: Sama) (Malayalam: Chama)

“Creative Commons Little Millet ” by Thamizhpparithi Maari is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Pearl Millet:
(Hindi: Bajra) (Tamil: Kambu) (Kannada: Sajje) (Telugu: Sajjalu) (Malayalam: Kambam)

“Creative Commons Pearl Millet” by J Wilson is licensed under CC BY 3.0

(Hindi: Jowar) (Tamil: Cholam) (Kannada: Jola) (Telugu: Jonna) (Malayalam: Cholam)

Millets can be used as a healthier alternative and here are some easy ideas to include in your daily diet.


So, why wait to start eating healthy? Do you have a special millet recipe of your own? Share it with us in the Comments section.   


  1. Millets are very good for health and use for many diseases. It should be used as a regular diet.


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