Millet is one of the most unknown cereals , although it is increasingly used in the preparation of meals as it is highly energetic and suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Now, a new study led by the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has shown that consumption of millet can lower total cholesterol, triglycerides and Body Mass Index (BMI).
The results of the research, which have been published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Nutrition ‘, showed that the intake of this cereal for short periods of 21 days to four months reduced these levels , so it would be beneficial to prevent the development of hypertension and / or cardiovascular diseases in the future.
Its consumption is associated with a reduction in blood pressure
In this sense, experts recommend including millet in diets as a staple food, especially to combat the prevalence of obesity and overweight . Specifically, the team analyzed data from 19 studies with about 900 people and showed that their intake reduced total cholesterol by 8%. Likewise, eating millet lowered blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5%.
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“We were very surprised how many human studies had been conducted on the impact of millet on elements that affect cardiovascular disease, and this is the first time that all these studies have been compiled to prove the importance of this impact,” explains Dr. S Anitha, lead author of the study and a senior nutritionist at ICRISAT.
BMI was reduced by 7% in overweight and obese people.
On the other hand, BMI was reduced by 7% in overweight and obese people who had consumed 50 to 200 grams of millet per day for a period between 21 days and three months. “These findings are influenced by comparisons showing that millet is much higher in unsaturated fatty acids, with levels 2 to 10 times higher than refined wheat and milled rice, as well as being much higher than whole wheat.” , highlights the statement issued by ICRISAT .
A smart and weather resistant food
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, accounting for 30% of deaths. The role of blood lipids play a fundamental role in this situation.
It is a beneficial food for the body and the environment
This cereal is recognized as smart foods because it is good for health, for the planet and for crops . Therefore, it is a basic nutritional food that plays “a crucial role in the control of blood lipid levels, the management of metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia, and the reduction of the potential risk of developing CVD,” he details. this meta-analysis.
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This review reinforces the evidence that ingesting millet contributes to improved cardiovascular health “by reducing unhealthy cholesterol levels and increasing the levels of whole grains and unsaturated fats in the diet,” says study co-author and director Professor Ian Givens. from the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health of Reading (IFNH) in the United Kingdom.
“Given that millets are resilient and climate-smart , going back to this traditional staple makes perfect sense and is a critical solution that could be the tipping point for some major health issues,” underlines Joanna Kane-Potaka, co-author and CEO. of the Smart Food initiative, ICRISAT.