Are you looking for healthy options to fill your plate? Cereals of different types can solve your confusion. One such marvel food is Bajra, a dietary cereal rich in fibers, micronutrients, vitamins, and amino acids.

Commonly categorized as millets, these grains possess numerous nutritional qualities and are good for consumption by all age groups of people including infants, elderly, pregnant, and nursing mothers. Other variants of millets are Sorghum (Jowar), Finger Millets (Ragi/Nachni), Proso Millets, Foxtail Millets, Little Millets (samai) that are used in various forms across the globe to enhance the nutritional value of regular meals.

What is Pearl Millet?

Pearl Millet, commonly known as bajra is a profoundly nutritious and easy to digest cereal grain. Being non-glutinous makes it a healthy option for people with a gluten allergy and celiac disease. They are power-packed with carbohydrates, essential amino acids, antioxidants, multiple vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, beta carotene, and minerals like iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.

Per 100 gm of Pearl Millet contains

  • Protein – 10.96 gm
  • Dietary fibres- 11.49 gm
  • Fat contents- 5.43 gm
  • Carbohydrates– 61.78 gm
  • Energy- 1456 KJ

Nutritional Health Benefits of Pearl Millet 

  1. Good for diabetic diet – Pearl millets contain carbohydrates that are digested slowly and maintain a stable glucose level for a long period. This makes them a healthy food option for diabetics.
  2. Beneficial for heart health – Rich in dietary fibres and cholesterol-lowering properties of these grains are good for heart patients.
  3. Perfect for Celiac disease and gluten intolerance – patients with celiac disease and gluten intolerance can opt for a pearl millet-based diet as it is gluten-free and easily tolerated by everyone
  4. Therapeutic for people with frequent acidity and stomach ulcers – Pearl millets are one of the few foods which reduce the acidity of the stomach thereby limiting ulcer formation and discomfort due to frequent bouts of acidity.
  5. Prevents Constipation- Benefits of bajra include promoting good gut health. In simpler terms, consuming the pearl millets will make sure you keep constipation at a distance. The reason behind this is the presence of insoluble fibre in bajra.
  6. Provides protein to vegetarians- Those who are vegetarians cannot get the needed protein from meat and fish products. This is where pearl millets come in. The health benefits of bajra include its ability to provide the required protein to vegetarians as well. Bajra flour becomes complete when it is combined with seeds like rajma, moong dal, chana dal, etc.
  7. Lowers Blood pressure- Bajra is known for its richness in potassium which is needed for those with high blood pressure. Consuming more foods rich in potassium will help flush out sodium from your body, which in turn will reduce blood pressure.
  8. Makes bone stronger – The high phosphorus content of bajra helps in making your bones stronger.
  9. Helps in relieving constipation – A good amount of dietary fibres aid in the bulk formation and provide relief from constipation.
  10. Lowers cholesterol- Pearl millets contain an adequate amount of good fat which is the desired quality of food for high cholesterol patients.
  11. Nutritious baby food – Pearl millets are easily digested and well tolerated by little ones which make them a mandatory ingredient for baby food preparations during the weaning period and even later on.
  12. Rich in antioxidants – Lessens free radical damage in the body and prevents early ageing, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, cardiovascular diseases, and aids in wound healing.
  13.  Ideal for weight management and obesity.
  14.  Reduces the risk of colon cancers – It makes the stomach pH alkaline, and thus reduces the risk of colon cancers.
  15.  A healthy choice of food for pregnant women and nursing mothers due to iron and folic acid contents.

How to consume Pearl Millets

Pearl millets or Bajra can be found in various forms for daily consumption. You can use it as flour to make flatbreads or dosa, grains to make porridge, processed grains as poha or upma for breakfast, and ready to eat snacks like millet or multigrain cookies. The enormous health benefits of bajra make it a perfect superfood, optimum for regular consumption by all.

You can combine your favourite millet recipe with protein-rich dishes containing lentils, cottage cheese, soya chunks, and some fresh fruits, and a vegetable smoothie or salsa to make a perfect platter of the recommended balanced diet.

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