Nutrional Benifits of Millets

One cup (174 grams) of cooked millet packs

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What Is Millet? Nutrition, Benefits, and More

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Millet is a cereal grain that belongs to the Poaceae family, commonly known as the grass family (1).

It’s widely consumed in developing countries throughout Africa and Asia. While it may look like a seed, millet’s nutritional profile is similar to that of sorghum and other cereals (2Trusted Source).

Millet has gained popularity in the West because it’s gluten-free and boasts high protein, fiber, and antioxidant contents (3Trusted Source).

This article reviews everything you need to know about millet, including its nutrients, benefits, and downsides.

various types of millet

Attributes and types of millet

Millet is a small, round whole grain grown in India, Nigeria, and other Asian and African countries. Considered an ancient grain, it’s used both for human consumption and livestock and bird feed (45Trusted Source).

It has multiple advantages over other crops, including drought and pest resistance. It’s also able to survive in harsh environments and less fertile soil. These benefits stem from its genetic composition and physical structure — for example, its small size and hardness (45Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

Although all millet varieties belong to the Poaceae family, they differ in color, appearance, and species.

This crop is also divided into two categories — major and minor millets, with major millets being the most popular or commonly cultivated varieties (4).

Major millets include:

  • pearl
  • foxtail
  • proso (or white)
  • finger (or ragi)

Minor millets include:

  • Kodo
  • barnyard
  • little
  • Guinea
  • browntop
  • fonio
  • adlay (or Job’s tears)

Pearl millet is the most widely produced variety intended for human consumption. Still, all types are renowned for their high nutritional value and health benefits.


Millet is a small cereal grain that belongs to the grass family. Resilient in harsh environments, it’s commonly cultivated in Asian and African countries.

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Nutritional profile

Like most cereals, millet is a starchy grain — meaning that it’s rich in carbs. Notably, it also packs several vitamins and minerals (4).

One cup (174 grams) of cooked millet packs (7Trusted Source):

Calories: 207

Carbs: 41 grams

Fiber: 2.2 grams

Protein: 6 grams

Fat: 1.7 grams

Phosphorus: 25% of the Daily Value (DV)

Magnesium: 19% of the DV

Folate: 8% of the DV

Iron: 6% of the DV

Millet provides more essential amino acids than most other cereals. These compounds are the building blocks of protein

What’s more, finger millet boasts the highest calcium content of all cereal grains, providing 13% of the DV per 1 cooked cup (100 grams)

Calcium is necessary to ensure bone health, blood vessel and muscular contractions, and proper nerve function


Millet is a starchy, protein-rich grain. It provides plenty of phosphorus and magnesium — and finger millet packs more calcium than any other cereal.

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