Foxtail millet, the second-most widely planted millet, is a rich source of nutrients. The crop grows predominantly in tropical or temperate weather conditions and is mainly found in India in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.
This variety of millet is an excellent alternative to rice. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a protein in the bran of foxtail millet can control heart-related problems to some extent.
The main cause of heart disease is narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis. Foxtail millet bran peroxidase (FMBP), found in this crop, can bring down this growth. The millet also contains ample amounts of iron and calcium, which stabilizes the blood sugar level, as well as strengthens the immune system. Regular intake of this millet can even help in weight loss, due to the presence of dietary fiber.
Dr. P V Lakshmi, chief dietitian at Gleneagles Global Health City said, “Four months ago, a patient with extremely high blood sugar visited us. She was suggested foxtail millet in her diet and exercise. After a month, her blood sugar reduced drastically. It was a wonderful change. Her cholesterol level also improved due to the fiber content in the millet.”
She added that the consumption of 100 g of foxtail millet satisfies 25 percent of one’s daily requirement of magnesium. This can prevent a few types of cancer, regulate asthma attacks, and relieve hypertension.
Foxtail millet is gluten-free and can be consumed by anyone. It can also increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to be brittle.