The Defense Ministry and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have collaborated to encourage the adoption of millets and promote healthy eating habits among armed forces personnel, according to officials.
In a signing ceremony attended by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was formalised. The two ministers unveiled a book titled "Healthy Recipes for Defence," which highlights the consumption of 'Shree Anna' (millets) and its associated health benefits.
The aim of the MoU is to advocate for the use of millets and foster healthy eating practices within the armed forces, ensuring the availability of safe and nutritious food for the personnel. Let’s find out the unique advantages they offer to our well-being.
Millets encompass a wide variety of grains, including sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet, foxtail millet, and many more. Despite their small size, these tiny grains pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are excellent sources of fibre, protein, vitamins (such as niacin, thiamin, and folate), minerals (including calcium, iron, and magnesium), and antioxidants. Incorporating millets into your diet can help meet your daily nutrient requirements while promoting overall health.
Promotes Heart Health
According to Frontiers In Nutrition, consuming millets can significantly contribute to maintaining a healthy heart. These grains are naturally low in cholesterol and sodium, making them heart-friendly options. Furthermore, the high fibre content aids in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Millets also contain essential compounds like magnesium and potassium, known to regulate blood pressure, further promoting heart health.
Good For Managing Diabetes And Blood Sugar level
“For people with diabetes or those aiming to regulate blood sugar levels, millets offer a favourable solution. The complex carbohydrates present in millets are digested slowly, leading to a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream”, says Ms Ruchika Jain, Chief Dietician, Fortis, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.
This slow-release characteristic helps stabilise blood sugar levels, preventing sudden spikes. Additionally, millets have a low glycemic index, making them suitable for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
Proper Digestive Health
According to Ms Jain, the high fibre content in millets plays a vital role in weight management and maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fibre promotes satiety, keeping you fuller for longer and curbing excessive calorie intake. It also aids in preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements, thus supporting digestive health.
Millets serve as a great gluten-free alternative for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. These grains are naturally gluten-free, making them safe to consume while providing essential nutrients. Millets can be used in various gluten-free recipes, ranging from bread and pancakes to porridge and salads, expanding the dietary options for those with gluten restrictions.
In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, maintaining a robust immune system has become a top priority. Millets, with their rich nutrient profile, contribute to bolstering the body's defence mechanisms. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in millets support immune function and help protect against infections and diseases.
The abundant nutritional composition of millets coupled with numerous health benefits, makes them a valuable addition to our diets. From promoting heart health and aiding in weight management to managing diabetes and boosting immunity, millets have earned their reputation as a nutritional powerhouse.
So, let us embrace these ancient grains and rediscover the forgotten treasures that lie within them, fostering a healthier and more sustainable future for ourselves and the planet.