Planning to make millets part of diet? Try one at a time, say nutritionists

According to Google Year In Search 2020, ‘how to increase immunity’ is the second most trending Google search. Apart from including immunity-boosting drinks and food in the diet, many have started following a millet-based diet plan.
Ragi ribbon pakoda and gulab jamun made by Krishnakumari Jayakumar
Ragi ribbon pakoda and gulab jamun made by Krishnakumari Jayakumar


Nutritionists say that different types of millets can help boost your immunity. Krishnakumari Jayakumar, who specialises in millet and traditional rice recipes, has been having millets twice a day (for breakfast and dinner) for the past eight years. “Though millets have a lot of nutritional properties, many don’t like their taste. Millet idli, dosa, appam, puttu, idiyappam, paniyaram and rotis are the most preferred millet-based dishes. A well-prepared chicken or mutton gravy or paneer butter masala or vegetable sabzi goes well with millet rotis. Though some suggest millets can be a part of the daily diet, I would advise taking it slow. Some people have mentioned about indigestion – not just millets, whatever new cereal you start, begin with smaller portions and then add it your regular diet,” Krishnakumari Jayakumar starts the conversation. 
The food expert suggests having one variety of millet dishes thrice a week instead of making multi-millet dishes. “There are various types of millets and some are allergic to certain millets. To find it out, it is advised to take one type of millet three times a week. You will get to know if that particular variety suits you and the family or not. Also, don’t mix millets. Each millet has a different flavour, texture and taste. Millets are rich in micronutrients, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, and the amount will be different from one millet to other. So, you have to first understand which millet is best for you and the family and then make dishes accordingly,” she adds. It is suggested to soak millets for 6-7 hours before cooking. This will make the grain more digestible and you will get all the nutrients. 
Nutritionist Shiny Surendran tells us that including millets in the diet is one of the best ways to have dietary fibre. “If it is a healthy food, there is a general tendency to eat more. But it is wrong. Everything in moderate quantity will be helpful to your body. This applies to millets as well — you shouldn’t overeat any millet dishes. If you are new to millets, firstly, figure out which millet variety is suitable for your body,” says Shiny Surendran.

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