There is a growing importance of balanced nutrition as a foundation for healthy living today. The global population is currently very conscious about fitness and well-being to combat metabolic disorders and lifestyle diseases. Consumption of nourishing food is crucial to the process of aging well. This is so because seniors need more nutrition due to cell degeneration. A nutritious diet helps them to be energetic and prevents loss of muscle mass and bone density. Besides, a balanced diet can treat chronic conditions. For this, the inclusion of millions in the diet is essential.
Millets are one of the oldest foods known to mankind. They continue to be the staple food source for one-third of the world’s population. The most commonly used millets include Sorghum (Jowar), Little millet (Sama), Finger millet(Ragi), Foxtail millet (Korra), Pearl millet(Bajra) and Prose millet(Variga).
Nutritional Value of Millet
Millets can be counted as a reliable source for essential nutrition in many developing nations worldwide. They provide high energy and are low in fat content. Millets provide protein, fiber, vitamins B, E, niacin, thiamin and riboflavin and minerals like iron, calcium, copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Being highly alkaline makes millet foods easily digestible and soothing to the stomach. Additionally, millets also have essential amino acids like methionine and lecithin. They are also rich in certain phytochemicals, like phytic acid which reduces cholesterol and phytate, which is known to lower the risk of cancer.
Health Benefits of Millets
Protects the heart – Millets are rich in magnesium which helps in relaxing the muscles lining the interior arterial wall. This reduces blood pressure and risk of cardiac attacks. Millets also reduce the triglyceride levels and aid in thinning the blood lowering the risk of sunstrokes and Coronary Artery Disorder. They also lessen the frequency of migraine attacks and lower the severity of asthma attacks.
Promotes weight loss – Millets contain an important amino acid called tryptophan which reduces appetite and helps in better weight management. Being rich in fiber, they satiate hunger quickly and prevent the temptation of overeating.
Lowers the risk of many cancers – Millets are endowed with fibers and phytonutrients which reduces the probability of colon and breast cancer.
Prevents celiac disease and gallbladder stones – Celiac Disease results in the damage of the small intestine thereby inhibiting food absorption and causing gluten-intolerance. Millet being gluten-free can be a perfect food option for such people. Millets are also rich in insoluble fibers which prevent the formation of gallbladder stones.
Aids better diabetes management – Since millets have low Glycemic Index(GI), they help in maintaining the sugar levels. Millets also enhance the insulin sensitivity of diabetic patients and control blood sugar in healthy people preventing Type 2 diabetes.
Have high antioxidant properties – The high number of antioxidants in millets combats the free radicals existent in the human body and reduces the aging process.
Reduces muscle degradation and aids tissue repair – The presence of proteins and amino acid lysine in millets aids in building lean muscles and slows down the process of muscle degradation. Phosphorus present in millets aids in mineral matrix formation of bones and fat metabolism.
Enhances better sleep patterns – Millets contain tryptophan which increases the levels of serotonin in the body. This substantially reduces stress and promotes sound and peaceful sleeping.
Acts as an anti-aging agent – The amino acids L-lysine and L-proline present in millet help in creating collagen responsible for structuring the skin tissue. Millet consumption increases the skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles thereby preventing aging.
Senior Care options like Senior Independent Homes and Assisted Living, therefore, incorporate millet foods into the menu. The dining experience in Assisted Living is specifically a boon for seniors who can savor a variety of tasty nutritious foods for healthier and happier living!