All about Millets !! Types and their Nutritive Value

Types of Millets we can use instead of Rice and its Nutritive Value

All about Millets !! Types and their Nutritive Value

Millets like Ragi, Bajra, Jowar are easily grown. These do not require much water supply. These grains are widely used in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. For some of us the notion that they are eaten by the poor. Although it is not tasty as wheat or rice its nutritional value is not low.

These Millets are easy to serve, easy to store and high nutrients like protein and other minerals and also in fibre and fully loaded with complex carbohydrates. For this reason, using these as a substitute for rice can help us to lose weight on regular basis. They are gluten-free grains and hence it can be consumed by everyone.

Let's know the Nutritive value of various millets 

Ragi/Finger Millet

It is mostly used by the people from Andhra Pradesh and  Karnataka region it is also used in Sri Lanka and other African Countries.

  • Ragi contains 12gm of protein and most of the carbs. Compared to other millets Ragi is rich in calcium. We need Calcium for strong teeth and bones. Rice is very poor in calcium. Using ragi on behalf of rice can give us a good amount of calcium to our body. The nutrients that rice lacks can be obtained through Ragi.
  • By increasing the cultivation of Ragi, the scarcity of rice can be reduced and calcium deficiency can be prevented.
  • Ragi also contains a mineral nutrient called Iodine, which is needed for healthy growth in children. Deficiency of Iodine can cause sore throat.
  • It is known in some research that the carbs in ragi are digested more slowly than the carbs in rice. 
  • Due to this slow digestion of carbs, the blood glucose doesn’t rise at once. So diabetics can take ragi instead of rice.


  • They are called Jonnalu in Telugu. Grown in Andhra Pradesh, Mysore, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
  • Although this crop doesn’t require much water, it grows well when well farmed with almost 10 gm of protein that means it is more nutritious than rice and the % of B vitamin also is more in Jowar.
  • According to research by the National Institute of Nutrition, those who have taken this millet as main meal continuously for a longer period, may suffer from a type of disease called pellagra, it is caused by the deficiency of Niacin (a type of B vitamin) which mainly affects our skin, it is like the presence of black smoke especially in areas exposed to high levels of sunlight.
  • In fact, Jowar contains enough B vitamins which our body needs. But why would we get this disease? According to the research, it is a variety of millets that causes fluctuations in the number of amino acids in the protein, which is not able to absorb enough B vitamins. So it is better to choose the variety of Jowar with enough protein sufficient to our body.
  • Jowar is low in minerals, so people who take Jowar instead of rice, should also take the milk and green leafy vegetables to balance their nutrition. Jowar has more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranate and also helps to improve our metabolism


Bajra is one of the millets used in most of the countries from Asia and Africa. There are many people from India who consume it in large amounts.

Bajra contains 12gm of protein. which is higher than Ragi and Rice. It is known that wheat which is high in protein can give the same nutrition value as Bajra. The amount of calcium is the same as it is in wheat and other grains.

Bajra contains Thiamine, Riboflavin, and other B vitamins. We get the required amount of B Vitamins by including Bajra in our diet. To reduce the scarcity of rice the intake of Ragi, Bajra, and other millets should be increased. This can increase the nutritional value of the food we eat.

Foxtail millet/Korralu

  • They are also known as Italian millet, 100gm of this contains 8gm of fibre,  12.39gm of protein, and 2.8mg of Iron.
  • It helps with the good functioning of the nervous system. Consuming them daily instead of rice can help in the proper functioning of the brain in Alzheimer’s patients, and also improves memory power and boosts your concentration.
  • They are rich in Vitamin B1, which helps to reduce your Joint pains and Lung Infections.
  • It is a superfood for patients who are suffering from Spondylitis and TB.
  • Because of its high Nutritive Value, it is called a Balanced Grain. and best grain for Pregnant Women.

Kodo Millet/Arikelu

  • 100gm of this grain contains 9gm of Fiber, with 8.3gm of protein.
  • It is a good source of energy, because of its high nutritive value and antioxidant property, it can prevent deadly diseases like Cancer. Replace it with rice and a combination of Legumes can give you enough nutritive value to your meal. Due to its high fibre content, it controls our blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Its flour used as a topcoat for Inflammation.

Little millet/Samalu

  • They are called African Millet because it can grow easily on drylands and it is the major African cultivation. It is the smallest in size compared to all other millets, but not in its Nutritive value
  • It contains 10 gm of fibre. Good for the reproductive system of women, it can do wonders for people who suffer from PCOS. They control Hormonal Imbalance and Thyroid related issues.
  • The recovery rate of patients with any Injuries or fractures, with these millets, will be reduced to half of the recovery time.
  • It also reduces Kidney related problems.

So replace your white polished rice with any of the above millets can help you to stay strong, builds your immunity, and keeps you away from Diabetes and other heart-related diseases.