There are many types of millet available in the market, and all of them have various health benefits. Nutritionists and dieticians around the globe vouch for the benefits that various types of millet add to your diet. These grains are also very versatile and can be used to make delicious dishes that you can experiment with and include in your daily diet. In this article, we will discuss the different types of millet, their health benefits, and easy everyday recipes to add to your diet.

Millets are small-seeded cereal crops grown primarily in South Asian and African countries. They are gluten-free and can survive in harsh environmental conditions. Millets rank as the sixth most important cereal and feed one-third of the total population.

Millets belong to the grass family and are one of the oldest cultivated crops in India. For a long time, pearl millet (Bajra) and finger millet (Ragi) have been the two major millets that account for most of the world’s millet production and trade. Different types of millets are also believed to have nutraceutical health benefits, such as:

  1. Supports the well-being of the digestive system
  2. Reduction in cholesterol
  3. Prevention of heart disease
  4. Protection against diabetes
  5. Lowering of cancer risks

Nutritionists worldwide endorse millets for their exceptional health benefits. However, many individuals are uncertain about which type of millet to select.

Exploring Different Types of Millets

Here is a list of millets commonly consumed around the world:

Finger Millet (Ragi)

Finger millet or Ragi is one of the oldest cultivated crops. Fitness enthusiasts suggest including millets in the regular diet because of their health benefits. Finger millet contains about 5-8% of protein. In addition, it also provides calcium, iron, and other minerals required for improving overall health.

Ragi can easily be included in your daily diet with healthy and easy recipes such as ragi dosa or ragi dhokla.

Pearl Millet (Bajra)

Bajra, also known as pearl millet, is one of the earliest crops cultivated by humans. It is similar to maize in terms of its protein profile. It contains a high level of essential amino acid balance that is necessary for building muscles and other tissues for improving immunity. Millets are a rich source of carbohydrates that help provide energy, fiber, and b complex vitamins. It is also loaded with fiber, which aids your gut health. You can include Bajra in your diet with recipes like bajra, dal khichdi and bajra chapati.

Sorghum Millet (Jowar)

Sorghum millet, also known as Jowar, is one of the most common types of millet. It contains iron, protein and fiber, along with policosanols, a component that can help control cholesterol levels. You can include Jowar in your diet with dishes like aloo jowar paratha, paneer jowar roti and chickpea jowar bhel.

Foxtail Millet (Kakum/Kangni)

Foxtail millet or Kakum/Kangni is also called a miracle grain. It has a sweet and nutty flavour and is packed with proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. It also has glucose-lowering properties, anti-carcinogenic and anti-oxidative properties. You can include this miracle grain in your diet with dishes like foxtail millet pulao and kangni salad.

Buckwheat Millet (Kuttu)

Kuttu, also known as buckwheat, is a popular millet in India that is commonly consumed during fasting. The millet is diabetic-friendly and may also be helpful in losing weight. You can include Kuttu in your diet with dishes likebuckwheat idli chaat,buckwheat paneer paratha and more.

Little Millet (Moraiyo/Kutki/Shavan/Sama)

Little millet contains vitamins and essential minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium. You can include this millet in your diet with dishes like little millet khichdi, little millet upma, Samai lemon rice, etc.

Barnyard Millet (Sanwa)

Barnyard millet or Sanwa is good for improving digestion and bowel movements. It also contains essential nutrients and minerals that are good for overall health. You can add it in your diet with dishes like barnyard millet roti, paratha etc.

Proso Millet or Chena

Porso millet or Chena is one of the earliest domesticated plants. The protein in it helps prevent liver injury and the fiber content  acts  as a  probiotic and  can help bring  about an effective reduction in the levels of glucose and insulin. It has a low glycemic index and is considered good for diabetes patients. You can include it in your diet with dishes like chena roti or chena paratha.

Kodo Millet

Kodo millet is easily digestible and contains high amounts of amino acids. The millet is gluten-free, making it ideal for gluten-intolerant people. Kodo millet can be used to prepare various dishes like upma, dosa, idli, and khichdi.

Amaranth Millet (Rajgira/Ramdana/Chola)

Amaranth millet is another common type of millet that contains protein and dietary fiber. The millet also has antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and antioxidant properties. You may try delicious recipes such asamaranth dosa with mint chutney,amaranth roti, andrajgeera banana porridge to add it to your diet.

Meal Type Dish
Breakfast Bajra Upma
  Ragi Idli
  Multigrain Millet Porridge
  Sesame Pumpkin Millet Paratha
  Ragi Dosa
Lunch/Dinner Bajra Dal Khichdi with Kadhi
  Bajra Chapati
  Coconut Ragi Soup
  Millet Paneer Zucchini Paratha Pizza
Snacks Millet Aloo Pockets
  Bajra Pancakes
  Veg Bajra Momos
  Bajra Vada
Desserts Ragi Apple Kheer
  Bajra Halwa
  Millet Mango Sheera
  Ragi Brownie Cookies
Beverages Minty Ragi Ambli


Millets can be a great addition to your daily meals if you want to break the monotony of your routine diet or shift to healthier eating habits. Using the above list of millets, you can experiment with different recipes and include them in your daily meals as suited to your dietary needs. They have numerous health benefits that make them a great choice for fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals. Start incorporating millets into your diet today and reap the benefits of these supergrains. However, if you are dealing with any specific health conditions, we advise you to consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet and lifestyle.