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Do Millets Cause Your Body to Overheat?

A resurgence of interest in traditional grains such as ragi, jowar, and bajra, has started conversations about their purported health benefits. But do they come with heating effects? Know more.

Sarbani Bhattacharjee
Do Millets Cause Your Body to Overheat? (This image has been created with MidJourney)
Do Millets Cause Your Body to Overheat? (This image has been created with MidJourney)

Amidst the enthusiasm surrounding millets, questions arise about their potential heating effect on the body. The attention around millets in recent times belies their longstanding presence in the Indian context. Often known as nutritional powerhouses, these grains have multiple health benefits.

Regular consumption of millets may help in combating heart diseases, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and providing fiber to individuals suffering from gallstones. Some millets are gluten-free and are rich in fiber, making them a favorable dietary inclusion for those with gluten sensitivities. However, other millets may suit some individuals who may experience adverse effects such as acidity or bloating, especially when incorporating them into their diet for the first time.

It is important to recognize that millets may not be universally suitable for everyone. An important consideration is the individual's response to millet consumption, with careful monitoring of any gastrointestinal discomfort. In addition to this, the cooking method plays a crucial role, as excessive water usage may be required, making dishes like kichadi or roti optimal choices.

While millets offer a versatile dietary option, individuals with hypothyroidism should exercise caution, as excessive consumption may lead to thyroid enlargement. This caution stems from the presence of goitrogens in millets, compounds that can potentially interfere with iodine absorption and thyroid function.

Moreover, the choice of millet may vary according to seasonal considerations. Certain millets possess cooling properties, making them ideal for consumption during the summer months. Examples include jowar, ragi, foxtail millet, barnyard millet, and kodo millet. Whereas, millets such as ragi, foxtail millet, bajra, and barnyard millet exhibit heating properties, rendering them suitable for consumption during winter.

The cultivation practices of millets further elucidate their adaptability to diverse environmental conditions. For instance, rain-fed crops like jowar thrive in regions with minimal irrigation requirements.

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