Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Now that winter has arrived in full force from the mid of this month, we end up having sips of coffee and cuddling up in our blankets.
While caffeine can give an instant high, why not consume rich food which provides warmth along with nourishment. During winters, we tend to feel hungrier and the body engine works more efficiently.
Based on scientific research and pieces of evidence, bajra has been linked to significant health benefits simply due to its status as a whole grain food.
Bajra is a nutrient-dense source of protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant chemicals.
Apart from being a perfectly satisfying meal, it is simply delicious and keeps you satiated for longer periods. Some of the potential health benefits associated with regularly eating bajra are mentioned below.
Here’s the average nutritional profile of 100 gms of pearl millet:
- 370 calories
- 5mg of sodium
- 196mg of potassium
- 4.2gm fat
- 11gm of protein
- 9gm of dietary fibre
In this blog, we will explore the health benefits of Bajra, and why you should totally stock up on this superfood this winter.
Improved diabetes management
This millet is very powerful in controlling diabetics since it has a low Glycemic Index than some refined grain products like white rice and white bread.
Its insoluble fibre aids in the slow absorption of carbohydrates into your system, delivering energy for a longer length of time and releasing glucose at a slower rate as compared to other foods.
This helps in regulating healthy blood sugar levels for a long period of time. What’s more, Bajra contains a significant level of magnesium, which aids in the management of glucose receptors in the body and the prevention of diabetes.
Good for the heart
Regularly eating bajra as part of your diet works on two levels: it’s high in magnesium, which benefits your cardiovascular system by decreasing blood pressure, lessening your risk of heart attack or stroke.
It’s high in potassium, which makes it an excellent vasodilator and helps lower overall blood pressure, and it’s high in fibre, which helps lower bad cholesterol.
Keeps cholesterol levels in check
It is an amazing source of phytic acid, a phytochemical that is thought to improve cholesterol metabolism.
Regularly eating bajra helps to keep the body’s cholesterol levels in check. Its high fibre content helps to lower harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
Regulates bowel movement
This millet is well packed with fibre. It bulks up the stool and facilitates more regular and healthier bowel motions and prevents constipation.
Detoxifies the body
Another advantage of bajra is that it is high in antioxidants, which accelerate the removal of free radicals from the body.
It also includes catechins like quercetin, which aid in the correct functioning of the kidneys and liver by removing toxins from the body.
A well-enriched meal
Vitamin B components abound in bajra. It is high in Vitamin B1 (niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate), B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, as well as minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and selenium, making it a complete meal.
This means it aids in the digestion of carbs and fats in your body.
It is devoid of vitamins A, C, D, and B12. It’s free of gluten and a suitable choice for people with celiac disease or those following a gluten-free diet.
Bajra affects your muscular system in a number of ways, one of which is that it causes your muscles to grow leaner and stronger over time.
Bajra is beneficial to both the body and the skin. It contains zinc, which helps to restore skin and delay the ageing process.
Ways to consume Bajra
Bajra may be enjoyed in a variety of ways throughout winter.
- You can use it as flour to make Bajra roti (flatbread), Bajra Khichdi or Bajra Fritters.
- Similar to many other cereal grains, it may be consumed in the form of porridge when pounded into a powder, mixed with water, and heated.
- Using coarsely powdered bajra you can make Upma or a sweet dessert by cooking it with yoghurt and water for hours on a low flame and seasoned with asafoetida (Hing) and fennel.
- Uttapams or Idlis, a nutritious south Indian variant, can be made with powdered Bajra mixed with rice paste fermented with sour curds.
Bajra is abundant in beneficial plant molecules such as antioxidants, polyphenols, and phytochemicals, all of which have been linked to improved human health in a variety of ways.
Yes, millets are a desi superfood, and now that winter has arrived, you should stock up on this small item rather than focusing on fad diets.
Besides, adding Bajra to your diet, you must also opt for preventive diagnostic tests to identify complications (if any) and take measures to protect your overall well-being.