Bajra. Photo: iStock
Bajra. Photo: iStock

3 reasons to include ‘bajra’ in your diet

Bajra contains phytic acid, tannins and phenols, all potent antioxidants which help in preventing ageing and metabolic diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer

Pearl millet, or bajra, is a gluten-free grain that was underrated till recently. Now that its health benefits have been acknowledged, however, it has become a much sought-after food. Here are some reasons you should add pearl millets to your diet:

High in fibre

Digestion is sluggish during the rainy season, so it helps to stick to high-fibre foods like bajra. It is loaded with insoluble fibre that provides bulk to the stool and keeps constipation, a common problem during this season, at bay.

Heart friendly

Bajra is rich in magnesium, which helps keep the heart healthy. It has potassium, which dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. This helps reduce overall blood pressure. Bajra also has fibre that helps reduce LDL, or bad, cholestrol. Magnesium helps control the glucose receptors in the body and keep diabetes at bay.

A detoxing agent

Bajra contains phytic acid, tannins and phenols, all antioxidants which help in preventing ageing and metabolic diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer. It also contains catechins like quercetin that help keep the kidney and liver functioning properly by excreting the toxins from the body.

—Experts: Ruhi Dewan, head clinical nutritionist, Max Hospital, Gurugram; Vibha Bajpaiee, senior nutritionist, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences,
Faridabad

Try this

Pearl millet and vegetable salad. Photo: iStock
Pearl millet and vegetable salad. Photo: iStock

Pearl millet and vegetable salad with honey mustard dressingServes 2

Ingredients

100g pearl millet

4-5 blanched broccoli florets

2 stalks asparagus

3 lychees, de-stoned

10g onions, sliced

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp kasundhi mustard

1 tsp salt

1 green chilli

2 blanched baby carrots

Pomegranate seeds (for garnishing)

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp sugar

Method

Soak the millets in water an hour before assembling the salad. Boil the millet till it is cooked, then drain and spread on a plate. Let it cool in a refrigerator.

Broccoli florets. Photo: iStock
Broccoli florets. Photo: iStock

Caramelize the onions in a little oil. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar. Then, slice the lychees and chop the green chilli, carrots, broccoli and asparagus. Mix these with the millets and caramelized onion. Then add salt, honey and kasundhi mustard.

Lychees: Photo: iStock
Lychees: Photo: iStock

Mix well and serve in a bowl. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

—Chef Anand Panwar, executive pastry chef, Roseate Hotels and Resorts, Delhi.

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