Millet: Properties and Benefits

Millet (Panicum Miliaceum) is a very ancient grain belonging to the Gramineae family; its plant is native to Asia, can reach a height of 1.5 meters and produces small yellow seeds, round and smooth.

Major millet producing countries are India, China and Nigeria; in Europe the cultivation of millet was almost abandoned because of the problems resulting from its harvesting. The small seeds of millet were confused with other seeds of wild plants and made it problematic the harvesting.

Lately millet was rediscovered thanks to its delicate taste and the absence of gluten, which makes it a food recommended for people with celiac disease; its main use in Europe is intended to feed birds and poultry.

Millet: Properties and benefits
Millet is composed by 8 % water, 11 % protein, 3,50 % ash, 73,3 % carbohydrates, 4,2 % from fat; between minerals include potassium, phosphorus , magnesium, manganese, calcium, sodium, iron, zinc and selenium.

These the vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, E vitamin and K vitamin in small percentage.
Among the amino acids these major: glutamic acid, aspartic acid, alanine, arginine, cysteine, serine, valine, tryptophan, proline and isoleucine.

Curative Properties and Benefits of the Millet

Millet is a food with diuretic and energizing properties, it is a valuable aid against stress, depression and feelings of exhaustion; thanks to its high content of salicylic acid, millet produces benefits to the skin and its intake is recommended to pregnant women to prevent miscarriage; it is also useful to strengthen hair, nails and tooth enamel.

Millet is a cereal that is digested very easily and is therefore indicated in cases of stomach acid, in early childhood and in the states of convalescence; among cereal is one of the richest in minerals.

We still remember that millet is a cereal gluten-free and therefore particularly suitable for people affected by celiac disease.
Millet Curiosity
In Italy were found traces of millet in some tombs belonging to the Neolithic period.

Millet is sold in different forms: in hulled seeds, flour and flakes; the seeds for animal feed are not peeled.

Thanks to the fact that the millet plant is very resistant to drought, this is grown successfully even in poor and arid soil.

The proteins present in the millet are more complete and at the same time more similar to those found in other grains such as rice or wheat.

The millet is better suited to cooking because it requires less time than other cereals, and especially does not require soaking.

In the history of humanity millet has had considerable importance, especially due to its long period of conservation, it was stored for many long periods.

The harvest of millet is mechanized and not particularly difficult; as regards the decortication however, this must be well made, since the outside part contains gluten, and its presence it would prohibit the use for coeliacs.

From my personal experience I can say that those who try the millet for the first time is now "captured" by its pleasant and delicate taste and difficult to forget about it.

In Europe, and also in Italy, the most common variety is represented by white millet, while, in warmer countries with arid climate are more common qualities such as millet bicolor black.
Millet: Properties and benefits
Chemical Composition
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