Millet, a Gluten-free Grain

millet gluten free grainMillet is one of the oldest foods dating back to the Stone Age where it was found with the lake dweller of Switzerland. It is mentioned in the Bible. It currently helps to sustain 1/3 of the world’s population. It is eaten mainly in Africa and Asia.

Millet is a small-seeded grass and comes in a wide number of varieties. The main one consumed by humans is the pearl millet. It comes in a wide variety of colors including: white, yellow, brown, gray, slate blue, and purple.

In Russia, Germany, and China Millet is mainly eaten in traditional porridge dishes. In India it is used mainly in flat breads and cereals. In Africa it is eaten as a cereal mainly. It can also be sprouted and used in salads, which is a newer form of consumption in more trendy restaurants.

Millet grows well in dry climates and can grow to maturity in as little as 65 days. Because of this, it is a wonderful crop in poorer nations. It must be hulled before it can be eaten because of the hardness of the hull. It will maintain all of its nutritional values when hulled because the bran remains. It is a gluten free grain and is good for those with celiac disease.

Millet is predominately a starch like wheat and maze. It is rich in iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It is a good source of B vitamins and very high in fiber. It may be harder for those sensitive to fiber to digest easily. It is also high in protein and contains no sugars. It does have high carbohydrate content and contains the amino acid methionine.

It is considered one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains because it is not acid forming in the stomach. It is also considered a warming grain because it helps to heat the body.

It is good for heart health because of the magnesium and some recent research suggests it can reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes along with other whole grains.

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