Here’s why Organic Millet is one of the healthiest grains on Earth

Here’s why Organic Millet is one of the healthiest grains on Earth

A healthy diet should include a variety of nutritious foods, such as organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, half of all the grains in your diet should be whole grains. [1] Some common examples of whole grains include oats, wheat, barley, corn, quinoa, rice and millet.

Unfortunately, despite being highly nutritious and full of excellent health benefits, most Americans don’t eat enough whole grains as part of their diet. Although some people eat rice from time to time, the highly processed white rice remains the most widely consumed rice variety in the United States. Compared to the minimally processed brown rice, white rice contains considerably less nutrients due to the refining process the grains undergo. [2]

While minimally processed rice is a healthy staple and a good source of nutrition, there are other, less-popular whole grains that offer more in terms of nutrients and benefits than the most nutritious rice varieties. Millet, for instance, boasts higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and protein than brown rice. It also has a lower glycemic index, which is good news for people who are trying to watch their blood sugar levels. [3]

Another great thing about millet is it is naturally gluten-free, making it a wonderful, nutrient-dense alternative for people who suffer from wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity. [4] As a culinary ingredient, millet is exceptionally versatile and can be used as a replacement for other grains. Millet can be ground into a flour that you can use for baking, it can be added to salads, served as a simple side dish or used to make porridge for breakfast. You can even ferment millet to make boza, a traditional probiotic drink that has been consumed in Turkey for thousands of years. [5] 

Get to know Millet, one of the healthiest grains on the planet 

The millet humans consume refers to the small seeds obtained from cultivated grasses, or cereals. Like rice, there are many different varieties of millet in existence. Pennisetum glaucum, or pearl millet, is the most extensively grown type of millet in the United States. Livestock producers prefer using pearl millet for grazing, silage, hay and green chop over other warm-season millets. The seeds of pearl millet are also an excellent food source for birds and are often used in birdseed mixes. [6]

In India and Africa, a type of pearl millet known as bajra is cultivated mainly for human consumption. The seeds of this grain, which come in brown, bluish-purple, gray, white or yellow, are low in calories but high in nutrients and are often cooked as a cereal or finely ground into a flour. Aside from carbohydrates, protein and fiber, bajra is a great source of B vitamins (e.g., B1, B3, B6, B9 and B12), magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, antioxidants and other health-supporting phytonutrients. [7]

Panicum miliaceum, or proso millet, is another highly nutritious, warm-season grass that’s grown for human and animal consumption. Its relatively short growing season, low moisture requirement and high tolerance to summer temperatures make it a very easy crop to grow for farmers. In the U.S., the states of Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota are the largest producers of proso millet. [8]

Proso millet is believed to be one of the earliest grains cultivated by humans – likely even earlier than wheat, which was first cultivated around 10,000 BC. [9] Historians place the first domestication of proso millet in certain regions of China, as well as in what is now modern Turkey and southern Europe. But the word “proso” is also an ancient Slavic name used in Russia and Poland, suggesting that proso millet has been widely distributed since ancient times.

As food for humans, proso millet is a great gluten-free alternative to wheat and even has a comparable protein content. It is especially high in vitamins B6 and B9 and provides more vitamin B2 than wheat. Proso millet also contains plenty of minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. [10] In Russia, proso millet is traditionally eaten sweet (with milk and sugar) or added to savory meat dishes and vegetables stews. In China, it is often paired with beans, sweet potatoes or different types of squash. In Germany, proso millet is boiled with apples and sweetened with honey afterward. Proso millet is also brewed to make millet beer in Taiwan and is the base ingredient for making rakshi, a type of distilled liquor in Nepal.

Setaria italica, or foxtail millet, is the second-most widely grown variety of millet and is believed to have been cultivated in China before 2,500 BC. First introduced to North America in 1849, foxtail millet can be found in all six states that comprise New England. [11] Like proso millet, foxtail millet is also a fast-growing crop and grown for its edible seeds, which can be eaten sweet and used similarly to rice. When allowed to sprout, the seeds of foxtail millet naturally develop a sweeter flavor. [12]

Consuming foxtail millet is highly recommended for the elderly and pregnant women because it is highly nutritious. This whole grain is packed with antioxidants, carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, vitamins A, B3, B9 and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. [13] According to a study published in the journal Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering, foxtail millet contains more protein than other grains like rice, maize and sorghum. [14] It also has 8 of the 9 essential amino acids you can only get from your diet. In fact, foxtail millet has the highest methionine and tryptophan content among cereal crops.

In addition, foxtail millet contains healthy unsaturated fatty acids, which make up 84 to 88% of its total fatty acid content. The main unsaturated fatty acids in foxtail millet are the omega-3 linolenic acid, the omega-6 linoleic acid and the omega-9 oleic acid. Analysis of the chemical components of foxtail millet also revealed that it contains a wide variety of antioxidant compounds, such as flavonoids, phenolics and tannins, as well as the antioxidant mineral selenium. [15]

Eleusine coracana, or finger millet, is another type of millet that is widely grown in Africa and India, where it is locally known as ragi. Historical records suggest that domestication of finger millet first occurred in the highlands of eastern Africa and then spread to India and southern Africa until it reached Southeast Asia. As a grass crop, finger millet is known for its high yield potential and its extraordinary resistance to drought, pests and pathogens. [16]

Among millets, finger millet has the lowest protein and fat content. But it makes up for this with its higher fiber and total phenol (antioxidants) content. In fact, finger millet even beats other grains like wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, barley, oats and rye when it comes to % of total dietary fiber and total polyphenol content per gram. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, almost 60% of the health-supporting polyphenols in finger millet reside in its seed coat tissue, with ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, gallic acid, quercetin, kaempferol and proanthocyanidins being some of the most abundant antioxidants present. [17]

In addition to antioxidants, finger millet contains healthy fats, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. [18] It also provides decent amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3, as well as healthy fatty acids like linoleic acid, linolenic acid and oleic acid. [19] Like other millets, you can ground finger millet grains into a flour and use it for baking. You can also make a nutritious porridge using finger millet or use it as a replacement for rice in various recipes.

Eragrostis tef, or simply teff, is an annual cereal grass also known as Williams lovegrass. This millet is native to the Horn of Africa and is considered an important grain in Ethiopia because it is the backbone of Ethiopian cuisine. In 2006, the Ethiopian government banned the export of teff flour and grain for fear that outside demand would increase local prices. [20] Aside from its versatility as a culinary ingredient, teff flour contains more protein, dietary fiber and minerals than the all-purpose flour commonly sold in groceries, making it a far healthier alternative. Fortunately, the Ethiopian government relaxed its export ban on teff in 2015 so teff flour is now available in many health food stores and online stores.

What makes teff seeds incredibly nutritious is the fact that they don’t undergo processing because of their small size. [21] This allows the seeds to retain all their nutrients, which include protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, healthy fats, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. [22] Teff also distinguishes itself from other grains through its high lysine content. [23] An essential amino acid your body needs to produce proteins like collagen and elastin, lysine is often lacking in other grains. 

Health benefits of Organic Millet 

No matter which type of millet you choose to add to your diet, you’re sure to enjoy incredible health benefits. After all, the different varieties of millet share similar nutrient profiles, although some tend to have more of certain nutrients than others.

Here are 6 amazing health benefits of incorporating organic millet into a healthy diet: [24]

  • Abundant source of antioxidants – Numerous studies have shown that the different varieties of millet contain an abundance of phenolic compounds, which are known for their potent antioxidant properties. According to a review published in the journal Separations, the phenolic compounds in millet can protect against oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals and chelating toxic metals. [25] These actions are very important for maintaining healthy cells as free radicals, if allowed to accumulate, can damage cell membranes and important cell components, such as proteins and DNA, by stealing their electrons via a process known as oxidation. [26]
  • Supports optimal metabolic health – Whole grains like millet are packed with complex carbohydrates, which are starches that contain longer saccharide chains. Because they are bulkier than simple carbohydrates, it takes your body a long time to digest them, which dampens their impact on your blood sugar levels. [27] This is why millet has a low glycemic index and is a great food for supporting optimal metabolic health. In a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, researchers reported that replacing rice with millet is an excellent way to support healthy blood sugar levels that already within the normal range. [28] Similarly, including high-fiber foods like millet in your diet has been shown to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range. [29]
  • Supports a healthy cardiovascular system – The key to a healthy cardiovascular system is maintaining healthy blood vessels. [30] According to studies, foods that are rich in soluble fiber can support healthy blood cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. [31] Because millet is one such food, adding it to your diet is an excellent way to keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy. In an animal study published in the journal Nutrition Research, researchers found that a diet that includes foxtail or proso millet can help maintain healthy blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels that are already within the normal range. [32]
  • Supports a healthy digestive system – Aside from cardiovascular benefits, the dietary fiber in millet also provides significant support for your digestive system. For instance, soluble fiber can act as a prebiotic and feed the good microbes in your gut. [33] This can help you maintain a balanced gut microflora, which is important for a healthy digestive system as well as a strong immune system. Meanwhile, the insoluble fiber in millet can support healthy digestion and bowel regularity by adding bulk to your stool and helping food pass through your digestive tract more quickly. [34]
  • Supports sensible weight management plans – Because millet is rich in both fiber and protein, incorporating this whole grain into a well-balanced diet can help you achieve sensible weight management goals, especially if you exercise regularly. Studies show that foods high in soluble fiber and protein have a satiating effect that can leave you feeling full for longer. [35][36] This effect can not only help you avoid unhealthy snacking between meals, but it can also help you reduce your food intake.
  • Supports a positive mood – As a good source of essential amino acids, particularly tryptophan, millet can naturally help uplift your mood. This is because tryptophan is used by your body to produce the brain chemical serotonin, which is also known as the “feel-good hormone.” [37] Serotonin helps regulate feelings of happiness and anxiety, and healthy levels of serotonin have been shown to support a positive mood. [38][39] 

Where to get clean, lab-verified Organic Millet 

Nutritious and loaded with potent antioxidants, organic millet is one of the healthiest grains that you can add to your diet. This whole grain can do more for your cardiovascular, digestive and metabolic health than more popular grains like rice or wheat. Being naturally gluten-free, millet is also the perfect alternative for people who follow a gluten-free diet.

Because organic millet offers incredible health benefits, the Health Ranger Store wants to give you the opportunity to experience these benefits for yourself. This is why we’re offering Health Ranger Select Organic Millet 12 oz and Health Ranger Select Mega Bucket Organic Millet (10LB, 4535 g) for people who wish to stock up on this nutritious grain.

Each pack of Health Ranger Select Organic Millet 12 oz contains clean, high-quality organic proso millet, which has a delicious nutty flavor and a slightly crunchy texture that you’ll surely enjoy. A versatile ingredient, you can replace rice with organic proso millet in any recipe or use it to make a nutritious and energizing porridge for breakfast. Organic millet can even be ground into a flour that you can use to make bread, pastries and all kinds of healthy desserts.

Health Ranger Select Organic Millet 12 oz is vegan, non-GMO, China-free and certified Kosher and organic. It is also extensively lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology so you can be sure of our product’s cleanliness and safety. For people looking to add this nutritious grain to their food stockpile, our Health Ranger Select Mega Bucket Organic Millet (10LB, 4535 g) contains carefully vacuum-sealed organic proso millet and is perfect for long-term storage.

Boost your nutrient intake and support healthy cardiovascular, digestive and metabolic health with organic millet, one of the healthiest whole grains on the planet!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.