Kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum) is an indigenous cereal or millet in varied tropical regions. Kodo can be cultivated in extreme dry and drought lands and stony soils as well as saline lands. It is also known as kodra, varagu, arikelu, harka, and kodoa. Kodo or varagu is a popular fast or upvas food in some parts of India. The millet is definitely superior to rice, gluten free and rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Kodo has good protein content (11%), its low in fat (4.2%) and very high in fibre content (14.3%). Some varieties of kodo millet were found to contain 37 to 38% dietary fibre which is highest among cereals. It contains a high amount of lecithin that helps to strengthen the nervous system. It is rich in B vitamins especially niacin, B6 and folic acid, and contains minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
Health Benefits of Kodo millet
Kodu millet intake is found to reduce fasting blood glucose level and promotes significant increase in serum insulin level. The anti-diabetic compounds in Kodo are quercetin, ferulic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid and syringic acid.
Antioxidant and anti-microbial activity
Kodo millet grains contain polyphenols and antioxidants. The polyphenols possess antimicrobial action against certain bacterias (Staphylococcus aureus, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Bacillus cereus and Enterococcus faecalis).
Kodo is high in fibre and prevents gain in weight. It also helps to prevent rise in cholesterol and triglyceride levels and is a functional food to manage weight and promotes weight loss.
Anti-cholesterol and anti-hypertension:
Kodo is very beneficial for post menopausal women suffering from signs of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Hence, regular consumption of Kodo millets is recommended for all.
How to incorporate Kodo millet in our daily meals:
Kodo millet cooks very fast. It is a fantastic substitute for rice and can be used to make a variety of dishes. It can be consumed at every meal-breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here are some delicious recipes that can be made with Kodo millet-
- Breakfast: Upma with vegetables, dosa, idli, adai
- Lunch/Dinner: Kodo millet coriander rice/methi rice, Kodo millet pulao, mixed millet chapatti
- Dessert: Kodo millet payasam, Sheera
- Snacks: Kodo millet chakli, murukkus, biscuits
Considering the several health benefits, it’s time we start incorporating millets in our daily diets.