A nutrition-rich diet contributes to your health as well as appearance. On the contrary, a plate full of white rice and tangy lentils seems like the most satiating meal ever! But apart from loading carbohydrates into your body, the nutritive value added to your body with this meal is negligible. Millets are little powerhouses of energy that are gluten-free, healthy whole grains that can practically take over rice and wheat in your kitchen. Bajra or pearl millet is perhaps the most popular of all healthy grains as it is exceptionally low in calories and one of the best choices of grain, when you aim, is to shed kilos.
Nutritional information of Bajra-
This healthy whole grain is packed with carbohydrates, essential amino acids, antioxidants, multiple vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, beta carotene, and minerals like iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.
- Per 100 gm of cooked Bajra contains
- Protein – 10.96 gm
- Dietary fibers- 11.49 gm
- Fat- 5.43 gm
- Carbohydrates– 61.78 gm
- Energy- 1456 KJ
How can Bajra improve your health?
- Helps manage diabetes – Pearl millets contain carbohydrates that burn slowly and help maintain a stable glucose level in the blood for a longer period. This makes it a healthy food option for those with diabetes.
- Good for cardiac health- Food made with Bajra is rich in dietary fiber and helps lower cholesterol which makes it ideal for those with heart ailments. Regular intake of Pearl millet or bajra helps reduce bad or LDL cholesterol thus preventing blocks in the arteries, as this wonder millet is also rich in Omega – 3 fatty acids.
- Easier on the stomach- Healthy gut is an indication of overall health and Bajra aids in proper digestion preventing constipation. It is a gluten-free cereal and is, therefore, also ideal for those suffering from celiac disease. It can reduce the acidity of the stomach thereby limiting ulcer formation and discomfort caused.
- Natural Detoxifier- Bajra or Pearl Millet is a mix of amazing components and antioxidants including phenols, tannins, and phytic acid all of which are known to prevent stroke, cardiovascular problems, and cancer. It also helps cleanse the liver, kidney, detoxifies the body thus helping obtain beautiful glowing skin.
- Strengthening bones- This phosphorous-rich millet along with calcium strengthens bones, prevents joint pains, and also averts the risk of chronic conditions caused due to calcium deficiency such as osteoporosis.
- Good during pregnancy and for infants – Bajra is rich in Vitamin B9 or folic acid; Folate is crucial for forming DNA and RNA and is key for producing red blood cells, and helps accelerate the growth rate of the foetus. On the other hand, this healthy grain can be easily digested by infants and can be used during the weaning period and even later on.
- Helps in weight management and obesity- Bajra is rich in protein and it helps in building, strengthening the muscles, and repairing tissue. It is an ideal food choice for vegetarians who want to cut down on carb intake and manage their weight.
Healthy diet recipes with Bajra.
- Bajra is a hard millet and needs to soak for 7 to 8 hours before it is pressure cooked. Add enough water and cook for 4 to 5 whistles to get sticky rice consistency, sauté and add in some veggies and spices, put in a dollop of ghee and your power-packed khichdi is ready!
- Make Bajra flour (you may need to take the grains to a nearby flour mill), add a little whole wheat flour, salt to taste, and warm water to knead into a dough. Roll them into rotis and consume. Use your imagination, play around with methi/boiled potato/palak and turn them into parathas!
- Craving a dessert? Kids around at home? Finely chop up 150 gms of jaggery, take 250 gms of Bajra flour, a spoon or two of white till seeds. Knead well for 10 minutes using warm water. Roll them into small puris and deep fry.
- It can also be used in snacks like murukkus, chaklis. Combine Bajra flour, whole wheat flour, garlic, green chilli paste, sesame seeds, and salt in a deep bowl and crumb the flour. It must resemble bread crumbs, now add some curd and knead into a soft dough with a little water. Pass this through the chakli/ murukku press, deep fry till they are golden brown.