A Future of Millet Seeds and the Gluten-Free Diet
Millet seeds are one of the essential staple grains that are largely cultivated in Africa and Southeast Asia. These grains are rich in nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers and offer several health benefits. These seeds are more beneficial for people with celiac disease since they consist of some antinutrient compounds.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, including our diet habits. Most people either started indulging in various diets to stay fit and healthy or gave high-quality plant-based eating a shot. With such trending health diets doing the rounds, there has been an upsurge in the global millet seeds market which is estimated to garner $5,51,469.70 million in the 2021-2028 timeframe at a stable CAGR of 6.0%, as per a report by Research Dive.
Millet, the oldest staple grain cultivated around the world, pushes many health-conscious fanatics to switch to weight loss and healthy food trends. It is because these grains contain high amounts of proteins, minerals, vitamins, fibers, and magnesium, thus acting like a mini powerhouse that also provides many other health benefits.
What are Millet Seeds and Why are They Necessary?
As stated above, millet seeds are one of the many staple grains cultivated across the world, especially throughout Africa and Southeast Asia. It is considered an ancient grain that is used for both human consumption and feeding livestock and birds. As compared to other crops, millet seeds have multiple advantages and can also survive in harsh environments and less fertile soil easily.
Millet seeds also offer many health benefits some of which are mentioned below.
- Regulate blood glucose levels.
When compared to wheat and maize, millets are rich in nutrients, gluten-free, and have a lower glycemic index. Additionally, the presence of dietary fibers, protein, and amino acids effectively help in stabilizing blood sugar levels, especially in diabetic patients.
- Reduce cholesterol.
Millet consists of soluble fibers that easily trap fats and help in reducing cholesterol levels. Adiponectin, a hormone with anti-inflammatory effects, supports heart health and activates fatty acid oxidation.
- Improve digestive health.
As mentioned above, millets are high in dietary fibers, both soluble and insoluble. The prebiotic, or the insoluble fiber, promotes the growth of good bacteria in the digestive systems. This type of fiber also adds bulk to stools, thus preventing the chances of colon cancer.
- Ideal in gluten-free diet.
If you have celiac disease or prefer a gluten-free diet, then millet seeds are a viable choice for you. Gluten is a type of protein that is naturally present in wheat, barley, rye, etc. except millets. Gluten triggers harmful digestive symptoms like nutrient malabsorption and diarrhea, and so, people with celiac disease must switch to certified gluten-free millets.
Is a Gluten-Free Diet Recommended to All?
For most people, gluten is not a terrible protein to consume and doctors too insist one shouldn’t avoid gluten just to be part of a trend. If you’re sensitive to gluten, then excluding it from your diet is necessary, but if not, then you might want to know some downsides of going gluten-free.
- Frequent constipation
- A sudden increase in appetite, making you feel hungrier
- Nausea, leg cramps, headaches, fatigue, and other withdrawal symptoms
- Increases risk of type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain
- Lack of important vitamins, minerals, and fibers
Are Millet Seeds Beneficial For Everyone?
Despite the grain’s multiple health benefits, millet seeds also contain some antinutrient compounds that reduce your body’s absorption levels for other nutrients, which may lead to deficiencies. Phytic acid is a compound present in millets that interferes with calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium levels. Moreover, goitrogenic polyphenols may impair thyroid function and cause goiter.
To limit millet’s antinutrient content, soak the seeds overnight at room temperature and rinse them before consuming.
The Bottom Line
Millet seeds are a great powerhouse of essential nutrients and boost weight loss. Generally, people diagnosed with celiac disease are advised to go gluten-free and switch to increased millet seeds intakes. In addition, doctors also recommend replacing millet seeds with a suitable alternative grain to maintain nutrient levels in your body.
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