As people are reading and acquiring more knowledge, they become more aware of the perils of unregulated and unsupervised eating habits and the wrath that it can bring down on one’s body given time. A gluten-friendly diet is one such diet that must be avoided. Today, we shall learn about the reason behind it being shunned and why experts believe millets can be a great alternative to it.
What is a Gluten-Free Diet?
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes food that contains the protein gluten. For example, a gluten-free diet would normally exclude food items like rye, barley and wheat. Gluten is a kind of protein that is found on wheat, barley, rye and even spelt. The name ‘gluten’ has been derived from the word ‘glue’ because it has a sticky consistency that becomes obvious when mixed with water.
Why should we stay away from Gluten?
A large number of people (including some experts) will ask you to stay away from a diet that contains gluten but if you ask them why not a lot of people will be able to clear your doubt or answer your question with accuracy.
People who have celiac diseases need to abstain from a gluten-friendly diet because when they consume gluten, the immune system of their body, attacks the inner lining of their intestine, thereby causing extensive damage to it. Once or twice maybe pardoned by the body but if it is repeated or made a habit out of, then the body becomes less able when it comes to absorbing necessary nutrients for nourishment. Complications and conditions like infertility, nutritional deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, anaemia, weight loss, etc. are common. Other than these, a gluten-friendly diet can also cause joint pain, headaches, and numbness.
Why should you replace a gluten-free diet with millets?
Let’s fact facts – it is difficult to conform to a gluten-free diet because so many of our staple food items fall in that category. However, studies and research have led us to a solution that is both healthier and tastier – Millets. Now before you go and buy millets online, you must learn why people choose millets over other items. Here is why opting for millets instead of a gluten-free diet is a smart move:
1. Regulates the blood sugar levels – High-Glycemic Index (High-GI) foods can lead to anomalies in blood sugar levels that can precipitate several health and heart conditions, sometimes even fatal. However, Millets are low-GI food items, which means they do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. It has a low concentration of simple carbohydrates and is rich in complex carbohydrates and hence, it takes longer to be digested.
2. Refines and improves the digestive system – Millets are rich sources of dietary fibre and they contain both insoluble and soluble fibres. The insoluble fibres are beneficial for the human body as they support good bacteria that live in our digestive tract. Also, it reduces the risk of colon cancer.
3. Improves heart health and protects it – As mentioned before, Millets contain soluble and insoluble fibres. Now we have already discussed how insoluble fibres help us stay healthy. The soluble fibres reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in our body which keeps our heart healthy. Further studies showed that consuming millets regularly can improve heart conditions because it increases the level of good cholesterol and reduces the level of triglycerides.
4. Complete nutritional package – Wouldn’t it be better if there was just one food that could give us all or the majority of the nourishment that our boy needs? Well, millets do just that. They are rich in Potassium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Calcium, Iron, Fibre, Antioxidants, etc. and that is why consuming millets on a regular when on a gluten-free diet is a great idea.
5. Expedite weight loss – Most of you have noticed that people who are watching their weights or trying to lose some kilos, opt for millets as their staple. The reason behind this is that they accelerate weight loss. Being rich in fibre and taking longer to be digested, millets keep you full for longer, thereby lowering the frequency of hunger pangs.
What are the kinds of millets that you can try? Know them all, try them all!
Now that we have established that millets are true, healthy options for a gluten-free diet, let us look at some of the most sought-after and popular millet types that people prefer but before we do that, one point needs to be made abundantly clear. There are two broad categories when it comes to millets; husked grains (the ones that contain the indigestible seed coat) and naked grains (the ones that do not contain the seed coats). Let us move forward with the detailed classifications of different types of millets:
1. Foxtail Millets – Foxtail millets are loaded with protein, iron, calcium and complex carbohydrates. They are tremendously healthy and help in lowering bad cholesterol and pushing up the levels of good cholesterol in the body.
2. Finger Millets – This is probably the more popular millet type of the lot and is commonly addressed as ragi. It is a great alternative to rice and wheat and is a really rich source of protein and essential amino acids, making it great for people of all ages to consume it.
3. Little Millet – Also known as kutki, this is another healthy option that you can avail of if you are struggling with your gluten-free diet. It boosts fat metabolism rate, helps in tissue repair, and much more. It is rich in potassium, zinc, Vitamin B3, calcium and fibre and is easily one of the best millets to opt for.
4. Pearl Millet – Also known as bajra, pearl millet is brimming with essential minerals. It contains protein, iron, magnesium, calcium and dietary fibres.
You are not the only one to be struggling for a better and healthier lifestyle. If you are pursuing your goal and want to make the most of your gluten-free diet, switch to varieties of Millets and see the results for yourself.