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6 Benefits of Bajra/Pearl Millet You Need to Know About

The traditional Hindi name for the Pennisetum glaucum crop, also known as pearl millet, is bajra. Other names for it include dukn, cumbu, gero, sanio, kambu, babala, and bulrush millet. The grain is primarily grown in Africa and India, where it is a valuable source of nutrition. However, it is grown and consumed in many other parts of the world. They come in white, yellow, grey, brown, and bluish-purple hues. The seeds are usually cooked as cereal grains or finely ground and used as flour.
It is known to have very high fiber. Pearl millets are an excellent source of micronutrients like iron and zinc. It also has certain antinutrient factors and inhibitors like phytic acid, and polyphenols due to which the bioaccessibility of iron and zinc is very low in pearl millet.
It contains 9 to 13 percent protein. It is rich in B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. It is a gluten-free grain. It is very high in calories it greatly helps growing children and pregnant women. [1]

Health Benefits of Bajra / Pearl Millets

Help Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, including whole grain foods with low-calorie density, such as bajra, may help. A food’s calorie density measures its calorie content in relation to its weight (in grams) or volume (in mL).
Low-calorie density foods keep you fuller for fewer calories. Foods with a calorie density of more than 2.3 are considered high.

Helps in weight Loss

The calorie density of bajra is 1.2. As a result, foods with a low-calorie density, such as bajra, may aid in weight loss.

Help Diabetes Control
Overall, most millet varieties are regarded as a healthy grain option for diabetics. Fiber-rich foods, particularly cereal fibers like bajra, have also been linked to better outcomes in the management of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Further more, millet has a lower GI than refined grain products such as white rice and white bread. Preliminary research in animals and humans suggests that millet proteins may help to improve blood sugar levels. 

Good for Diabetes

Improves Healthy Hair & Skin
Although Bajra is beneficial to your hair, the millet itself has not been studied as a hair treatment. However, bajra contains a variety of nutrients known to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails, including protein, vitamin C, and iron. Eating bajra on a regular basis as part of your diet may help prevent deficiencies in these nutrients. However, due to a lack of research, bajra and other millets cannot currently be said to directly improve hair, skin, or nail health.

Healthy Hair & Skin

Rich in Antioxidants
Millets contain a high concentration of phenolic compounds, particularly ferulic acid and catechins. These molecules function as antioxidants, shielding your body from potentially harmful oxidative stress. Ferulic acid has been linked to faster wound healing, skin protection, and anti-inflammatory properties in mice studies. While all millet varieties contain antioxidants, those with a darker colour, such as a finger, proso, and foxtail millet, have a higher concentration than their white or yellow counterparts.

Rich-in-antioxidants

Control Blood Sugar
Millets are high in fiber and non-starchy polysaccharides, two types of indigestible carbohydrates that aid in blood sugar control. Additionally, this cereal has a low glycemic index (GI), making blood sugar spikes unlikely. As a result, millet is regarded as an ideal grain for diabetics. It happens when your body stops responding to the hormone insulin, which aids in high blood sugar regulation.

Good for Diabetes

Helps in Lower Cholesterol:

Millets contain soluble fiber, which creates a viscous substance in your digestive tract. Fats are trapped as a result, and cholesterol levels are reduced. Adiponectin is an anti-inflammatory hormone that promotes heart health and increases fatty acid oxidation.
Its levels are typically lower in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes. When compared to the control group, this resulted in a decrease in triglyceride levels and a significant increase in adiponectin and HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Helps in lower cholesterol

Bajra or bajra flour can be used to make laddus, Papdi, Tikki, biscuits, and Pua. Also can prepare healthy breakfast and lunch options such as bajra upma, bajra khichdi, bajra dosa, bajra idis, bajra malt etc.

References:

  • Santosh, K., Pattanashetti, Kothapally and Narsimha Reddy. Genetic and Genomic Resources for Grain Cereals Improvement. 2016.
  • Begg, J.E. The growth and development of a crop of bulrush millet (Pennisetumtypohoides S&H). Ind. J. Agri. Sci. 1965.
  • A. Kumari, “Development, sensory and nutritional evaluation of Bajra mix products,” Food Sci. Res. J, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 175–179, 2018.
Dr. Manju Rani
Dr. Manju Rani
I'm a culinary nutritionist at MintBagg and expertise in the field of food and nutrition for the past five years. Holding a valuable experience of PGIMER Chandigarh she has been working on weight loss management for the past 2 years underlying various chronic conditions and holds a great interest in writing a research paper. Manju, also with great taste and love for cooking helps her clients with her.
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