Millets - Our Future Bread
With the changing climatic conditions and rainfall pattern we need to shift our focus towards climate resilient crops.Hence Millets are seen as an alternative to rice and wheat as they are not only climate resilient but also offers high nutritional value. Millets are grown worldwide and we can see them as 'Our Future Bread'.
Millets are small grained cereal grasses which are grown in almost every state and region.The most popular millets are Bajra(pearl millet), Sorghum, Jowar, Ragi etc.They are tiny in size and round in shape. Millets are specially known as climate change compliant crops as they can withstand extreme climatic conditions such as heat regime, erratic rainfall as contrary to wheat which is thermal sensitive and rice which needs heavy rainfall. Millets are the oldest grains known to the mankind.The evidence of their cultivation dates back to 3000 B.C.in Indus Valley Civilization. They are called as miracle grains for their high nutritional content.They are low water consuming crops,they need 25% less rainfall than wheat and banana and 30% less than that of rice.Hence with the increasing irregularities in climatic pattern and erratic rainfall leading to water crisis and drought, Millets can be seen as better alternative.
Benefits of Millets to Human Body:
- It is a good source of protein , dietary fibers, vitamin B and minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc etc.
- 100 gram of raw millet provides 378 calories
- Consuming Millets provide protection against cardiac diseases and improve diabetic condition.
- It lowers the level of bad cholesterol in your body.
- It is an alkaline food grain and hence can be easily digested.
- It detoxifies the body and is found to be effective in lowering blood pressure.
- It is extremely beneficial in curing digestion related problems.It offers great relief in constipation,excess gas, bloating and cramping.
- It helps to optimize liver, kidney and immune system.
- It also helps in weight loss.
- Pearl millet is especially given to lactating mother to increase the secretion of breast milk.
- It prevents the onset of breast cancer.
- Ragi or finger millet is called as wonder grain as it has the highest mineral and calcium content as compared to whole-grains.
- Kodo millet help to regulate irregular menstrual cycle in women.
Growing millets would help countries to solve the issue of food security. If Indian Government distribute millets through Public Distribution System to Below Poverty Line Families then it will enhance their nutritional standard and prevent the malnutrition in children. Even Midday Meal Scheme can include millets in they meal.They can prove to be boon in drought prone areas as Millets require very less water.It can be grown in low quality soil such as acidic and saline soil.In Rajasthan pearl millets are grown in sandy soil.and it is pest resistant so it offers less chance of crop failure and hence poor farmers can see them as good source of income.
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