Jower To Bajra: 6 Millets For A Healthy Summer Diet

Millets are a type of grain with tiny seeds that are grown for their nutritional content and adaptability in the kitchen. Because of their rich nutrient profile, high fibre content, and cooling qualities, millets are a valuable addition to our diet throughout the summer months. They promote digestive health, help maintain proper body temperature, and guard against dehydration. 

Millets are excellent for people with gluten sensitivity because they are also free of gluten. They also include high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all of which support immunity and general health, as known from the study published in the article by the National Institute of Health

Millets can be used to make a variety of dishes like idly, dosa, bread, cookies, pongal, porridge, ragi malt health drink, khichdi, upma and more. Adding millets to summer meals, such as foxtail millet, tiny millet, and pearl millet, can help with hydration, nutrition, and long-term energy.

Here is a list of different types of millet to have in the summer season:

1. Sorghum Millet (Jower): 

Jowar, a summer millet blessed with incredible nutrition, is believed to be the best grain for summers due to its ability to grow in arid and hot areas and its heat resistance. One can include it in their daily diet as roti or bhakri, for instance, flatbreads, cooked porridges, salad, soup or baked foods with jower seed flour. The just-right jowar is a detoxed, high-fibre, gluten-free grain that can be a part of your diet during the summer.

2. Finger Millet (Ragi): 

Finger millet, also known as ragi, is a summer product due to its high mineral value and cooling properties. In hot weather, it can help control the body temperature by releasing energy, and promoting hydration, resulting in overall wellbeing.

Preparing ragi porridge, dosa, rotis, and ragi powder in smoothies, soups, and baked products is one of the ideal ways to introduce ragi into meals. Besides that, these preparations serve well not only for savoury but also have necessary nutrients like antioxidants, fibre, calcium, and iron.

3. Foxtail Millet (Korra): 

Foxtail millet, also known as Korra, is prized for its high nutritional value and cooling properties, making it a popular choice during the summer months. Beyond its ability to cool the body, foxtail millet aids in energy management, hydration, and temperature regulation, particularly in hot climates.

This versatile grain can be incorporated into various dishes, such as pulao, upma, or porridge, offering a range of culinary possibilities. Additionally, foxtail millet can be creatively included in soups, salads, and desserts, further diversifying meal options. By adding this antioxidant-rich millet to their diet, individuals can enjoy both a refreshing and nutritious summer meal.

4. Kodo Millet (Arikalu): 

Kodo millet, also known as Arikalu in some areas, is thought of as a summer millet because of its cooling qualities and adaptability to hot temperatures. Being high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, it's a wholesome option for the summer. Kodo millet can be incorporated into a diet by cooking it similar to rice or by substituting it for rice in a variety of foods, including porridges, salads, upmas, and idlis. It is a healthy addition to summer dishes because of its light and nutty flavour.

5. Barnyard Millet: 

Barley millet earns the title of a summer staple due to its ability to withstand heat while retaining coolness. During the hot season, it helps regulate body temperature and prevent dehydration. Barnyard millet seamlessly blends with rice-based dishes or can stand alone as salads, porridge, pilafs, and upmas. Furthermore, it can be ground into flour for making rotis or used as a supplement in soups and stews.

6. Pearl Millet (Bajra): 

Because it can grow in hot and dry conditions, pearl millet, also known as bajra, is regarded as a summer millet. It's great to eat in the summer because it's cooling and full of nutrients like iron, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins. Pearl millet can be incorporated into a diet by preparing salads, khichdi, porridge, and rotis (flatbreads). For added nutritional benefits, pearl millet flour can also be used in baking or as a thickening agent in soups and stews.