(Brassica napus and Brassica campestris)
Millet is a cereal crop plant belonging to the grass family, Graminae, cultivated for their small edible seeds. Millet grains are high in carbohydrates, with protein content varying from 6 to 11 percent and fat varying from 1.5 to 5 percent.
Millets are typically annuals and range in height from 30 to 130 cm (1 to 4 feet), with the exception of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), which has stalks 1.5 to 3 metres (5 to 10 feet) tall and about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick.
The typical seed (kernel) of pearl millet is a caryopsis similar in structural components to sorghum. Kernel shape, size and appearance (color) vary significantly among pearl millet varieties, and within a sample, kernels vary significantly in size and shape.
They are 3-4 mm long and 2.25 mm wide, usually yellowish-grey or steel-grey in color, but varieties are known which have pearly-white or yellow grains. Millets are small-seeded cereals that retain excellent nutritional qualities; superior to certain highly consumed cereals such as rice and wheat.
The inflorescences may be spikes or racemes, in which the flowers are borne on stalks of about equal length along an elongated axis, or panicles with dense clusters of small florets. With the exception of pearl millet, seeds remain enclosed in hulls after threshing. Hulled seeds are usually creamy white. They are somewhat strong in taste and are mainly consumed in flatbreads and porridges or prepared and eaten much like rice.
Growing number of diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias etc. Millets have high content of proteins and minerals such as calcium, iron etc. that can help in avoiding such diseases. Millets contains calcium, iron and fibers which helps to fortify essential nutrients for the healthy growth in children. The usage of millets in infant food and nutrition products is increasing.
They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. They contain high amounts of dietary fibre, B-complex vitamins, essential amino and fatty acids and vitamin E. They are particularly high in minerals, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and release lesser percentage of glucose over a longer period of time causing satiety which lowers the risk of diabetes. These grains are high in carbohydrates, with protein content varying from 6 to11 percent and fat varying from 1.5 to5 percent.
Pearl Millet, called Bajra in India, is suited to soils of low fertility and limited moisture and is a popular food crop in India. Nutritionally superior to rice and wheat, pearl millet is commonly used to make unleavened bread, thin or thick porridge or may be cooked like rice.
Pearl millet is gluten less and fat free food compared to other staples. It cures ulcer, improves digestion and increases immunity. Pearl millet is high in iron and it is a remedy for anaemia. It helps to improve bowel movements & prevents constipation. It is an exact remedy for the lifestyle diseases prevailing in our world.
Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana), known as Ragi in India, is another important staple food in India. It has a slightly higher water requirement than most other millets and is found in cooler. The plant carries several spikes or "fingers" at the top of the stem. The grain is small (1-2 mm in diameter). Ragi has the highest mineral & calcium content when compared to all whole grains & minerals. It is called as wonder grain as it is a powerhouse of protein & amino acids. It helps to reduce the heat of the body and also helps to heal ulcers & anemia.
Foxtail Millet is grown there for both food and feed. It is high in carbohydrates and rich in dietary fibre and minerals such as copper & iron. It helps to control blood sugar & cholesterol levels.
Kodo Millet is basically digestion friendly millet. It is rich in phytochemicals, Phytate that helps in reduction of cancer risks. It helps to reduce the body weight and helps overcome irregular period problems in women.
Barnyard Millet has 6 times high fiber content when compared to wheat. It is a gluten-free millet with high calcium, phosphorous & fibre. It is high in carbohydrates & fat too. It helps to maintain the body temperature and acts as a good anti-oxidant too.
Little Millet helps to prevent constipation & heals all the problems related to stomach. It improves the semen count of men. It also helps for women with irregular periods problems. It is high in fibre and helps to reduce the fat depositions in the body.