Millets have earned more reputation in recent times owing to their impressive nutritional qualities and health-benefiting properties. Once such wonder millet is Bajra, also known as pearl millet, which abounds with nutrients and serves as a healthy alternative for refined carbohydrates. It is also known as dukn, cumbi, gero,sanio, kambu, babala, or bulrush millet. This grain is widely cultivated in Africa and India that goes with the scientific name Cenchrus americanus. Tracing its roots, the cultivation of bajra dates back to 2000 BC and was first grown in the Hallur district of Karnataka.
Bajra supplies all the vital nutrients and is good for meeting the nutrient needs of all age groups of people including children, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly. It is the edible seeds of pearl millet plants and grown in different colours of white, yellow, grey, brown, and bluish purple. The seeds are finely ground and used as flour to make a variety of delicacies or cooked as such and consumed. Other popular varieties of millets are sorghum, finger millets, proso, foxtail, and little millets can be incorporated into your regular diet for a healthy life.
Bajra is a gluten-free grain and nutrient powerhouse making it a healthy option for people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. It is packed with a wealth of nutrients including carbohydrates, essential amino acids, and antioxidants that promote growth and development. While it also contains immense amounts of vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, beta carotene, and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc that promote overall health and well-being.
What Is Bajra Good For?
Bajra comprises complex carbohydrates and protein that delays gastric emptying time, keeps you satiated and offers a steady supply of energy. Adding bajra to the diet regimen helps in building muscle mass, repairs tissue and shed excess fat. While it also helps you to cut down overall calorie intake and reduce unwanted bingeing.
Being a gluten-free grain, bajra is a good alternative for people with gluten intolerance, irritable bowel disease and celiac disease. While people with constipation should add this grain into their diet regimen, as the insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and regularizes bowel movements.
Bajra is the best grain for controlling diabetes, due to the presence of fibre and good carbohydrates. Several studies have shown that bajra has a positive effect on diabetes because it contains slowly digestible starch and ample amounts of insoluble fibre, which can regulate glucose and also lower the risk of diabetes related- complications.
Augments Heart Health
The goodness of magnesium and potassium in bajra plays a key role in dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow. Adding pearl millet as part of a regular diet assists in diminishing bad cholesterol, prevents deposits of plaque in the arteries, and averts the risk of cardiovascular disease. Aside from this, bajra is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and plant lignans that optimize cardiac health and function.
The treasure trove of polyphenols and flavonoids present in bajra have shown to exhibit anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor activities. Adding pearl millet may prevent the formation of tumour cell growth and lower the risk of breast cancer. In addition, potent antioxidants in bajra boost immunity, combat free radical damage, improve overall health, and offer protection against metabolic disorders.