Millets: The Indigenous Food Grains

Gyan Chand Kr. Morya, Vinita ., Mishra H.S., Shakya S., Raj Bahadur, Yadav K.N., (doi: 10.23953/cloud.ijaayush.328)


The present study aims to explore nutritional as well as the therapeutic potential of millets in perspectives of Ayurveda substantiated by modern scientific studies. The methodology adopted for the study includes field survey, review of literature starting from ancient Indian classics of Ayurveda, modern scientific and research-based publications including journals and periodicals. Millets are still used as supplementary food grains in tribal and relatively lesser developed parts of the country. Millets have been widely used in therapeutics in Ayurveda classics. Nutritional potential of millets may be well understood by the following facts- Pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides Burm.f.Stapf. & Habbard) is significantly rich in resistant starch, soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, minerals and antioxidants. It contains 2.8% crude fiber, 7.8% crude fat, 13.6% crude protein, and 63.2% starch. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica Linn. Beauv.) is rich in lysine. Finger millet (Eleusine coracana Linn.) has carbohydrate 81.5%, protein 9.8%, crude fiber 4.3% and minerals 2.7% which is higher than wheat and rice. Kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum Linn.) and little millet (Panicum miliare Lam.) also have 37.38% dietary fiber which is highest among cereals. In Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum Linn.) protein content found to be 11.6% of dry matter and is greater than wheat protein. Millets have a high nutritive value comparable to major cereal grains. Thus millet proteins are a good source of essential amino acids, micronutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and minerals. The presence of all required nutrients in millets makes them potential dietary supplements.


Antioxidants; Dietary supplement; Essential amino acids; Millets

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