What is millet?

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Millets refer to seeded grasses that are very small. They are cultivated for their seeds which can be used as a food source for both humans and animals. For human consumption, millet seeds are classified as cereal grains. For animal consumption, the seeds are dried to become food for cattle or birds for example. Millet plantations can be found across different countries in Asia and Africa. Various types of millet seeds or plants are cultivated in many countries around the world and these include pearl millet, foxtail millet, and proso millet among many others. In developed countries, most millet seeds are harvested as food for animals. In developing countries however, millet is harvested as a cereal grain for human consumption.

As a cereal grain or seed, preparation of millet also involves cooking and heating similar to having brown rice or oatmeal. Millets have increasingly become popular across the world because of its health benefits being a rich source of fiber. Millet seeds are also gluten-free making them ideal for people who have high sensitivities to this ingredient. People with celiac disease for example are sensitive to the gluten content in various cereal or wheat-related products. Millet cereals are gluten-free and this simply means that people with allergic concerns should not have any worries about these grains.

Millet seeds are very high in fiber which is a great help for better digestion. People with concerns on their weight will also benefit from the extra fiber from these seeds because they will literally feel fuller longer with millet-filled dishes compared to having processed carbohydrates for example. The fiber in millet cereals will also help control blood sugar levels especially in people with Type 2 diabetes. Millet also contains a significant amount of magnesium which is a great mineral for people who want to have a healthy heart and those who want to prevent high blood pressure. Millets are also great source of other minerals like phosphorus and potassium which are essential for various body processes.

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