Benefits of Millets for Child's Growth
Fitterfly - Team Nutrition
- Posted On November 29, 2017
Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses grown as cereal crops/ grains. Each millet is nutritionally superior to rice and wheat in terms of proteins, minerals and vitamins.
Some common millets used in India for children are:
- Pearl millet – Bajara
- Finger millet – Nachani
- Foxtail millet – Kangni
- Koda millet – koden
- Little millet – bhagar
- Branyard millet – Jhangora
- Shorgum – Jowar
Millets are rich in Vitamin B complex, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, also gluten-free and has low-GI (Glycemic index) thus millets are suitable for kids allergic/ intolerant to wheat.
BENEFITS OF MILLETS IN CHILDREN
- Millets are high in protein. The protein is not lost due to cooking, which happens in quinoa. Hence millets are helpful for muscle growth and development.
- Millet has smart carbohydrates with lots of fibre and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycaemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice. This prevents the risk of obesity in children.
- Millets are rich in fibre and hydrates the colon, which prevents constipation in children.
- Millet is rich in prebiotics which helps to keep gut healthy.
- Millets are also rich in magnesium which is necessary for proper neuromuscular function. It also helps in normal contraction of muscles. It is required for the formation of bones and teeth.
- Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet helps to lower cholesterol which would reduce the risk of heart diseases in future and is co-enzyme for oxidative reaction.
- All millet varieties show high antioxidant activity.
- Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic, hence can be used in celiac disease/ gulten insensitivity.
- Millets are alkaline and easily digestible for infants and toddlers.
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