Kodo Millet

Kodo Millet is a monocot tufted annual or perennial grass that grows up to 150 cm tall. The plant typically occurs in seasonally flooded areas and wet depressions, often association with cultivation and settlements, such as along roadsides, ditches, and waste ground and rice fields. The plant has wide adaptability to different soil from very poor to very fertile and can tolerate a certain degree of alkalinity. Best soils are alluvial, loamy and sandy soil with good drainage. Kodo millet can be grown in gravelly and stony soil such as in the hilly region. The plant has shallow root system which may be ideal for intercropping. Stems are rather stout, not or sparingly branched, glabrous or thinly furnished with rather long hairs. Blades are 15-40 cm long, 5-12 mm wide, pale green. Leaf sheaths and leaves are glabrous. Flower is unisexual, sessile; with 5 mucronate tepals 2-3 mm long; male flowers with 5 stamens c. 1 mm long; female flowers with superior, 1-celled ovary crowned by 3 stigmas. The seeds it produces are very small and ellipsoidal, being approximately 1.5 mm in width and 2 mm in length; they vary in color from being light brown to a dark grey.

Health Benefits of Kodo millet

Kodo millet is a good substitute to rice or wheat. Protein, fiber, and mineral content are much higher than the major cereals like rice. It can be cooked just like rice or ground into flour. It provides balanced nutrition, unlike polished white rice. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of Kodo Millet

1. Anti-diabetic

Kodo millet intake is found to reduce fasting blood glucose level and promotes significant increase in serum insulin level. Anti-diabetic compounds in Kodo are quercetin, ferulic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid and syringic acid. Thus regular use is recommended for diabetic patients.

2. Antioxidant and anti-microbial activity

Kodo millet grains consist of polyphenols and antioxidants. The polyphenols possess antimicrobial action against certain bacterias (Staphylococcus aureus, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Bacillus cereus and Enterococcus faecalis).

3. Anti-obesity

Kodo is high in fiber and prevents gain in weight. It also helps to prevent rise in cholesterol and triglyceride levels and is a functional food to manage weight and promotes weight loss.

4. Anti-cholesterol and anti-hypertension

Kodo is very beneficial for post-menopausal women suffering from signs of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Hence, regular consumption of Kodo millets is recommended for all.

5. Helps in weight management

Kodo millet consists of low fat content and fiber content is higher and makes to feel fuller after consuming less quantity itself, therefore it avoids over eating and lessens the weight, thereby controls obesity. An obese person should include this cereal in their diet and see the difference on their weight.

6. Cholesterol reduction

Regular consumption of Kodo millet helps to lower the triglycerides and C-reactive protein, thus it lowers the bad cholesterol and ideal for your heart. Thus heart protective food too.

Traditional uses and benefits of Kodo Millet

  • Regular consumption of kodo millet is very beneficial for postmenopausal women suffering from signs of cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
  • Kodo Millet helps hydrate your colon to keep your system regular and keep you from being constipated.
  • Kodo Millet helps in controlling Blood sugar and Cholesterol.
  • It is easy to digest, contains a high amount of lecithin and is excellent for strengthening the nervous system.
  • It is rich in photo chemicals, phytate that helps in reduction of cancer risks.
  • It helps to reduce the body weight and beneficial for postmenopausal women.
  • It is good for those suffering from signs of cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
  • Also, it is good for diabetics, its anti – diabetic compounds like quercetin, ferulic acid, p – hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillic acid and syringic acid from Varagu prevents obesity.
  • Kodo millets contain no gluten and are good for people who are gluten intolerant.
  • Kodo millets can be used for traditional as well as novel foods.
  • Unprocessed or processed grain can be cooked whole or decorticated and if necessary ground to flour by traditional or industrial methods.
  • In tribal sectors, it is cooked as rice also and out of flour tribal population prepares different recipes.
  • Traditionally the grains of Paspalum scrobiculatum are used in the management of diabetes mellitus.
  • Grains are also useful in the treatment of inflammation, hemorrhages and general debility.