Millets and their potential to improve cardiac health !!

Staff Reporter

Indulging in millet can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body, according to Dr. Shrey Srivastav, MD, Sharda Hospital. The year 2023 marks the International Year of Millet, highlighting the various facets of the grain and its variety. Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India     (FSSAI) tweeted outlining the benefits of foxtail millets and their potential to improve cardiac health. Foxtail millets are also known as Kangni or Kakum.

It is a non-gluten, high-protein, low-carb grain that helps in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which transmits signals between muscles and neurons. It has a lower glycemic index than other grains, implying that consuming foxtail won't cause blood sugar to increase and thereby help prevent insulin resistance, which is directly related to cardiac health.

Dr. Srivastav claims that Foxtail millet bran peroxidase (FMBP) decreases the uptake of lipids by both cell types and decreases the migration of smooth muscle cells, which thins the blood to prevent blood platelet clumps, atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries due to plaque formation), and coronary artery disease. Dr. Subhendu Mohanty, an interventional cardiologist at Sharda Hospital, agrees that the high PUFA content in it makes it excellent for the heart and that it has the highest protein level of any grain.

Other significant benefits

  1. Appropriate functioning of the nervous system: fox millets are rich in vitamin B1 and keep neurological diseases at bay. 
  2. Preserving healthy bones and muscles: Enriched with iron and calcium, these help in maintaining stronger bones and muscles.
  3. Boosts immunity: The grain helps in     increasing stamina and boosting immunity, fighting against infections.
  4. Enhances skin and hair growth: Foxtail millets are loaded with  Vitamin B12, which maintains a healthy heart, is good for skin and hair, and promotes smooth functioning of     the nervous system.
  5. Foxtail millet can be consumed in various ways. You can savour them as dosas, pulao, upma, porridge, poha, and other delicious recipes.

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