Bajra or pearl millet health benefits are aplenty. It is one of the most popular food items in the West Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. In fact, Rajasthan is where it is primarily cultivated because of its high tolerance to extreme climates.
Bajra is mostly consumed in the form of flour. It is grey in colour and tastes nutty. It is a great substitute for rice and wheat and can also be consumed in combination with rice and wheat flour for optimum health benefits.
Nutritional Value of Bajra
Here are some actual nutritional benefits of bajra per 100 grams:
|Total Fat||4.2 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||73 g|
10 Amazing Benefits of Bajra
Bajra is loaded with health benefits. You can have bajra for weight loss. Bajra benefits diabetics too. We have listed the top 10 benefits below:
1. Keeps the Heart Healthy
Like all other grains, bajra is good for the heart because it has good amounts of Omega-3 fats, magnesium, potassium, fibre, and plant lignans. Omega-3 oils help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and also regulates heart rhythm and artery health. Magnesium helps lower blood pressure that protects against heart attack or stroke. Potassium helps to reduce BP because it is a good vasodilator. Fibre lowers bad cholesterol and hence protects the heart.
2. Controls Diabetes
If you have diabetes, the only way to lead a healthy life is to know the ways to control and manage it. Bajra is rich in magnesium and helps to control the glucose receptors in our body, and lowers insulin resistance.
3. Safe for Gluten Intolerant People
Bajra is an ideal food for people who are gluten intolerant because it doesn’t have gluten. Intolerance to gluten is called Celiac disease. In fact, bajra roti is healthier than most other types of roti.
4. Relieves Constipation
Bajra is loaded with insoluble fibre that aids the digestive process and bowel movement. This type of fibre does not dissolve in water. Hence, it passes unprocessed through the stomach and aids other foods to move through the digestive system easily and be eliminated out of the body. It works as a prebiotic to our digestive system.
5. Helps to Detox
Bajra has many antioxidant properties because it contains flavonoids. This helps us fight against infection, anti-ageing process, and promotes good skin and eye health. It also improves metabolism and health of the bones. It helps to detox by eliminating free radicals from the body.
6. Controls Anaemia
Bajra is rich in iron that helps prevent and control anaemia. Iron also improves memory and cognitive abilities.
7. Prevents Cancer and Tumours
Studies suggest that the food items full of fibre help to prevent breast cancer and tumours because it is rich in phytochemicals. There has been conclusive evidence that women can minimize their propensity to breast cancer by as much as 50% if they are consuming at least 30 grams of bajra per day.
8. Alleviates Asthma
Bajra is highly beneficial for people who have chronic asthma because it contains Omega-3 oils that have anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Prevents Gall Bladder Stones
Bajra is rich in insoluble fibre that reduces the secretion of excess bile in our body. This makes you less prone to gall bladder stones.
10. Promotes Weight Loss
Bajra contains complex carbohydrates and is slowly absorbed into the body. This causes a sense of fullness for a longer time period and a consistent flow of energy. This, in turn, helps control binging between meals and helps weight loss.
Are There Any Side Effects to Consuming Bajra?
Bajra, if consumed in moderate amounts has very little chances of side effects. If you are prone to allergies, it is always wise to consult a doctor and also preferably perform a patch allergy test before you consume bajra.
Bajra is a heat-producing food, and some people complain of heat retention in their body when they eat it. Some also complain of hair loss. People who have gout should consume it with caution because bajra releases uric acid in the body that aggravates gouty pain. Some have also shown allergic reactions like acidity and stomach pain after eating bajra. You should consult a doctor if you witness any of these after eating bajra.
Bajra is considered beneficial and safe for diabetics but the amount to be consumed should be determined by your doctor. Bajra combined with chana flour is ideal for diabetic patients.
It is ideal to consume bajra in combination with other types of flour like wheat and rice flour. You can have different types of flours on different days of the week, or you may combine it in equal proportions to cook up an item every day like a roti or porridge. The proportion of bajra that is ideal for you depends on your health issues. As a thumb rule, bajra should not be consumed in excess.
5 Healthy Bajra Food Ideas
Bajra can be made into many food items. It can be consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It can be easily blended in a mixer to create the flour at home itself and make some easy, healthy and quick recipes. Here we have the top 5 recipes that you can make at home for different meals of the day. Do not cook and consume all of them on a single day.
1. Bajra Roti
Bajra flour is very beneficial when made into bajra roti. It can be eaten with any Indian curry or just a combination of onions, fresh green chilli and an Indian garlic dip or sauce (lehsun chutney or achar).
2. Bajra-Methi Khakra
Bajra-methi khakra is a light Indian snack or breakfast bite. It will give you loads of energy. It is crispy and even easy to eat on-the-go.
3. Multigrain Dosa
Dosa is an all-time favourite of many. When made with rice, it has a high glycemic index. Rather, if made with a combination of flours like bajra, wheat, and jowar, it is healthier. This type of dosa is very good for diabetics. When uthappa is made with a mix of bajra, carrot and onions, it becomes a superfood. Coriander and lemon juice can be added to this. This crispy item can be consumed with any type of chutney.
4. Bajra Burfi
Bajra burfi is a sweet item. It is made with millet flour or bajre ka atta, grated palm jaggery, mawa (grated khoya) and ghee. It is a perfect and power-packed dessert.
5. Bajra Khichdi
You can prepare the common Indian khichdi (porridge) with bajra instead of rice and dal. Along with bajra, you can use split green gram, turmeric powder, ghee, cumin seeds and asafoetida for cooking up this yummy and healthy food item. It is easy to eat and very healthy for kids and old people.
Now that you are aware of bajra grain advantages, make sure it is a part of your meal plan.