advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Millet: A Good Grain?

What are the benefits of eating millet? Is it a good substitute for wheat?

A
Answer (Published 7/12/2002)

Updated on 3/30/2005

Rosie Daley, co-author of my book The Healthy Kitchen, is a big fan of millet, an African grain and a staple of the North African diet. It is also widely consumed in China and India, where it is used to make flatbreads. In this country, millet is usually found in birdseed, although farmers here do grow pearl (or pearled) millet for human consumption.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Healthy Eating - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Nutrition - Want to change your diet? The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide is your anti-inflammatory diet headquarters. Start your free trial and get access to an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, hundreds of recipes, eating guides, and more.

Nutritionally, millet is about as high in protein as wheat (about 4.2 grams per half-cup serving) and also provides niacin, vitamin B6 and folic acid along with some calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. It doesn't contain gluten so it can't be used in breadmaking, but it is a nutritious alternative to wheat products for those who are allergic to gluten.

I wouldn't call millet a substitute for wheat, but it is a nice addition to the diet. You can often substitute millet in recipes for buckwheat, rice or quinoa, and you may see it sold as couscous (although couscous usually is made from semolina, a wheat product). When baked into muffins, millet gives a nice crunch. Rosie Daley's recipe for Multi-Grain Scones in The Healthy Kitchen (and in the Recipe section of my Web site) includes 2 tablespoons of millet. The scones are delicious and so filling that she promises you can eat half of one for breakfast and feel satisfied.

To cook millet as a grain instead of rice, just simmer 1/2 cup in 11/2 cups of liquid. If you leave it alone as it cooks, you'll get fluffy grains like rice; if you stir frequently and add a little extra liquid during cooking, you'll get a dish that resembles mashed potatoes. It takes about 25 minutes to cook millet by simmering.

I recommend buying organic millet, rice and other grains at a health food store. Store them in tightly sealed jars on the pantry shelf, except during very hot, humid weather when it may be best to keep them in the refrigerator.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related Topics

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here