What is Barnyard Millet ?
The Barnyard millet (Echinochloa frumantacea) is a wild seed and not a grain, mainly grown in the hilly areas of Uttaranchal, India. This is the fastest growing crop, which can produce ripe grains within 45 days from the sowing time under optimal weather conditions.
The other names of barnyard are shyama in Bengali, moraiyo in Gujarati, sanwa in Hindi, oodalu in Kannada, kuthiraivolly in Tamil and udalu in Telugu.
These seeds have a hard cellulosic husk layer that humans cannot digest. After the removal of the husk layer the respective millets’ rice is attained. Small seeds of are processed on groats.
The barnyard millet is tiny, white, round grain, bigger in size than semolina (rawa) and smaller than sago (sabudana).
The barnyard is a wholesome grain over common cereal grains like rice, wheat. It is highly economical and makes a tasteful food for all age groups. The millet is nature’s gift to the modern diet and sedentary activities that can lead to lifestyle disorders. A serving of barnyard millets (25g, raw) gives 75 calories and 1.5g of protein.
1. Low in Calories.
Barnyard millet is a good source of highly digestible protein and at the same time is least caloric dense compared to all other cereals. It is a grain which makes one feel light and energetic after consumption.
2. Rich in Fiber.
It is an excellent source of dietary fiber with a good amount of both soluble and insoluble fractions. The grain encompasses the highest amount of fiber in comparison to other grains. Millets with a serve providing 2.4 grams of fiber.
According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, the dietary fiber content of barnyard millet was high (12.6%) including soluble (4.2%) and insoluble (8.4%) fractions.
The high fiber content helps in preventing constipation, excess gas, bloating and cramping.
3. Low Glycemic Index.
The carbohydrate content of barnyard is low and slowly digestible, making the barnyard millet a low glycemic index food.
The carbohydDelicious rates in these seeds show a high degree of retrogradation of amylase, which facilitate the formation of higher amounts of resistant starch. Hence, it can be potentially recommended for patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. In today’s scenario, this millet becomes one of the ideal foods for diabetics.
A study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology showed that supplementation of barnyard millets among diabetics for a period of one week can reduce blood sugar levels.
4. Gluten-Free Food.
Like all millets, the barnyard is gluten-free. It is an appropriate food for patients who are intolerant to gluten (those with celiac disease) or looking to follow a gluten free lifestyle which eliminates wheat, barley, rye-based foods. The millet is alternative to rice and wheat.
5. Good Source of Iron.
According to research some varieties of barnyard millet have shown to contain high amounts of iron (18.6 mg in 100g of raw millet) which was the richest amongst all millets and cereal grains.
Functional Foods with Barnyard Millet.
Barnyard seeds has relatively low carbohydrate content (58.56%) having slow digestibility. This health benefit was exploited in a research by Surekha , by preparing value-added low glycemic index noodles from barnyard millet.
Delicious Recipes :
You can prepare variety of dishes of millet with banana slices, almond and honey for drizzling on top. Mix ‘ragi’ and wholewheat flour and salt in a bowl. Add banana, eggs, vanilla extract, honey and milk. Heat a non-stick pan brushed with oil. Pour a ladle full of batter in the pan and cook on low heat until slightly set. Flip and cook on the other side. Top with banana slices, almonds and honey. Serve warm.