Kodo millet, also known as “Varagu” or “Arikelu,” is a nutritious grain that belongs to the millet family. It has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous health benefits. Here are some of the benefits associated with consuming Kodo millet.
Kodo Millet Benefits
Kodo millet is a good source of essential nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, vitamins (particularly B vitamins), and minerals (including calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc). It provides a well-rounded nutritional profile, supporting overall health and well-being.
Kodo millet is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent grain alternative for individuals with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or those following a gluten-free diet. It can be used as a substitute for wheat and other grains in various recipes.
High in fiber
Kodo millet is rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble forms. Fiber promotes healthy digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and aids in maintaining a healthy weight. It also contributes to a feeling of fullness and reduces the risk of constipation.
Low glycemic index
Kodo millet has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slower rate compared to high-GI foods. This property is beneficial for individuals with diabetes as it helps stabilize blood sugar levels and prevents sudden spikes.
The presence of antioxidants and fiber in kodo millet contributes to cardiovascular health. It helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure, and decreases the risk of developing heart diseases.
Kodo millet is a wholesome grain that provides sustained energy and promotes satiety. The high fiber content aids in weight management by controlling appetite, reducing overeating, and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Kodo millet contains essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are crucial for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Regular consumption of kodo millet can help prevent the risk of osteoporosis and bone-related disorders.
Kodo millet contains antioxidants such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and tannins, which help protect the body against oxidative stress, inflammation, and certain chronic diseases.
The fiber content in kodo millet promotes healthy digestion by preventing constipation, regulating bowel movements, and supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Easy to digest
Kodo millet is considered easier to digest compared to some other grains, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues.
It’s worth noting that while kodo millet offers several health benefits, it’s always best to consume a varied and balanced diet that includes a wide range of grains, fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods to ensure overall nutritional adequacy.
Kodo Millet Nutrition
Kodo millet, scientifically known as Paspalum scrobiculatum, is a nutritious grain that offers various essential nutrients. Here is the approximate nutritional composition of kodo millet per 100 grams:
- Calories: 353 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 65 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 9 grams
- Sugars: 0 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Saturated Fat: 0.6 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: 1.2 grams
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 grams
- Protein: 8 grams
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 0.37 mg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.14 mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 1.5 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.23 mg
- Folate: 34 mcg
- Calcium: 27 mg
- Iron: 1.7 mg
- Magnesium: 96 mg
- Phosphorus: 283 mg
- Potassium: 195 mg
- Zinc: 1.2 mg
Kodo millet is also a good source of antioxidants, including phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and tannins, which provide additional health benefits.
The nutritional content of kodo millet may vary slightly depending on factors such as the growing conditions, processing, and cooking methods. However, it is generally recognized as a nutritious grain that contributes to a well-balanced diet.
Side Effects Of Kodo Millet
Kodo millet is generally considered safe for consumption and does not pose any significant side effects for most people. However, it’s important to note that individual sensitivities or allergies can vary, and some people may experience adverse reactions. Here are a few points to consider:
Some individuals may be allergic to millets, including kodo millet. If you have a known allergy to millets or grains in general, it’s best to avoid consuming kodo millet to prevent allergic reactions such as itching, rashes, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any adverse symptoms after consuming kodo millet, discontinue its use and consult a healthcare professional.
Millets, including kodo millet, are high in dietary fiber, which can cause digestive discomfort or gastrointestinal issues in some people. If you have a sensitive digestive system or are not accustomed to consuming high-fiber foods, it’s advisable to introduce kodo millet gradually into your diet and drink plenty of water to aid digestion.
Kodo millet, like other grains, contains phytic acid or phytates, which are naturally occurring compounds. Phytates can bind to minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium, potentially inhibiting their absorption in the body. However, this effect can be minimized by soaking, fermenting, or cooking the millet, which helps reduce phytate levels and enhance mineral bioavailability.
Millets, including kodo millet, contain compounds known as goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid function in some individuals. However, the goitrogenic effects are generally minimal and pose a concern only when consumed excessively or in large amounts. If you have an existing thyroid condition, it’s advisable to consult your healthcare provider regarding the consumption of kodo millet.
As with any food, it’s recommended to consume kodo millet in moderation as part of a balanced diet. If you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs.