From 2023 onwards, the international year of millet will be celebrated, with the aim of informing the world population of the benefits that this cereal can bring to our lives, as well as increasing its production and sustainable consumption.
WHAT IS MILLET?
Millet is the fruit of the plant known as Panicum Miliaceum, one of the many vegetables derived from the cereal group. It has shiny grains 2-3 millimeters in diameter. Depending on the varieties of the cereal, it has different colors such as white, yellow, red or black. One of the curiosities surrounding this fruit is that it is considered to be one of the oldest human foods.
It comes from Central Africa, but it began to spread to India and China and, later, to Asia Minor and Northern Europe.
PROPERTIES AND BENEFITS OF MILLET
Millet is a cereal that has a very delicate flavor, but one of its advantages is that it is gluten-free, making it a key food for the coeliac community. You can eat millet without being afraid of the side effects it can have on your body.
It also has very good properties such as being rich in iron and magnesium, it has complex carbohydrates and is recommended for people suffering from diabetes. It is rich in fiber, which helps to maintain the intestinal flora, and has a high vitamin content. Specifically, it contains vitamins B1, B2 and B9, which is three times more than other cereals, making it suitable for the nervous system and for women during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Because of all these properties, we can say that millet is a cereal that has many benefits. Some of them are:
– As it is rich in iron, it is recommended in cases of physical weakness, fatigue and anemia.
– It helps a lot in cell regeneration and, in relation to this, it is recommended for hair growth and skin improvement.
– It is very suitable for sportsmen and women, as it has a high magnesium content and many minerals are lost through sweating.
– It is effective in coping with stress and nervous irritability. It helps to reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines.
– And, as we have already mentioned, it is one of the few cereals that is gluten-free, which makes it very interesting for people with coeliac disease.
WHY IS IT THE YEAR OF MILLET?
2023 is the year of millet, approved by the United Nations General Assembly on 3 March 2021. The declaration of this year has a number of objectives. Some of them are:
– To recognise millet’s contribution to cultivation in adverse climatic environments.
– To raise awareness of the climate resilience and nutritional benefits of millet.
– To raise awareness of the history of millet.
– To stimulate and show the benefits of the cereal.
– Recognise millet’s ability to adapt the environments in which it’s produced.
WHY IS THERE A CEREAL SHORTAGE?
The current context in Ukraine has some direct bearing on the world of grain, and in this case millet. After this tension between countries began, it gave way to a food war in which Ukraine, one of the world’s largest exporters, is running out of grain.
World leaders fear a grain shortage, which will result in skyrocketing prices.
Ukraine’s grain exports have resumed, but we are still approaching the lowest level of grain stocks in years. According to the Ukrainian National Information Agency (Ukrinform), the International Grains Council forecasts world maize stocks at the end of the year to be 28% lower than 5 years ago.
In the Nutty Scientists workshops on nutrition we teach in a fun and interactive way how important it is to have good habits and how you can achieve them.