It’s fascinating to us that foods can be trendy. Millet is a staple food in much of the world, but here in the U.S., it’s become “the new quinoa” in recent years. It is very healthy, and it may help blood sugar. It could be a great addition to your diet, but the hype is still a little silly.
When compared to other grains, it’s easy to see why people get excited. It’s high in antioxidants, fiber, minerals, protein and vitamins. It’s also gluten-free. And, compared to most grains, it has a low GI. While white rice has a GI of 71.7, millet has a GI of 52.7. It raises blood sugar much more slowly.
A new study found that people with blood sugar concerns who ate millet daily saw a 12 to 15 percent drop in their fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels.
Millet is a whole grain, with all of its fiber included, so it makes sense that it could slow spikes, but this added control is more surprising. However, in addition to fiber, millet is an excellent source of protein that can increase insulin sensitivity. “All of this together make millet an effective food for managing blood glucose levels in the long run,” said Dr. Seetha Anitha, a senior scientist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.
The researchers drew from the results of 80 published studies from 11 countries with approximately 1,000 participants. That gave them the largest pool of research on millet ever. “No one knew there were so many scientific studies undertaken on millet's effect… these benefits were often contested. This systematic review of the studies published in scientific journals has proven that millet can keep blood glucose levels in check. It has also shown just how well these smart foods do it,” said Dr. Anitha.
The great thing about millet becoming so trendy is that it is now so widely available. You don’t have to go to a health food store. You can buy it in Walmart! And it’s very versatile. You can use it to make a breakfast porridge just like wheat. You can have it as a side like rice. Use it to stuff a chicken or peppers, or get millet flour to bake with! This could become a go-to ingredient in your kitchen as soon as you buy a bag. It’s easy to incorporate into your diet and is both delicious and nutritious.