Bajra is known as pearl millet, black millet and green millet.
In Indian languages, pearl millet is bajra (Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Bengali), bajri (Rajasthani, Gujarati and Marathi), sajje (Kannada), kambu (Tamil), kambam (Malayalam) and sajjalu in Telugu.
Bajra is mainly used in winter as it gives warmth to the body in the form of khichdi, bhakri / roti (flat bread) or thepla.
Bajra is one the most common grains consumed widely in rural India, and is often referred to as the poor man’s staple food. 7 reasons you should include bajra in your diet.
1. Good source of energy: Bajra is mainly made of complex carbs, a high-energy food. Since it has fibre too it is a long-acting source of energy that keeps you full for a longer time. It is also an excellent source of essential amino acids that make up protein molecules.
2. Promotes heart health: Bajra contains niacin, a vitamin that plays a crucial role in lowering cholesterol levels, thereby preventing heart disease.
3. It is also a fairly good source of magnesium and potassium, minerals that play a role in regulating blood pressure.
4. A phytonutrient called lignin, found abundantly in bajra, is thought to be associated with a lowered risk of cardiac arrest.
5. Helps digestion: Bajra is rich in insoluble fibre that helps digestion and stool formation. Fibre reduces the transit time of feces through the colon and prevents constipation. It also reduces secretion of bile acids and is linked to a lowered risk of gallstone formation.
6. Helps prevent cancer: Several studies have suggested that bajra has cancer-protecting properties. A study showed that regular intake of bajra protects pre-menopausal women from developing breast cancer. Partly, this property has been attributed to the presence of lignin in the grains.
7. Possess anti-diabetic effect: Not only does bajra lower the risk of development of diabetes in healthy individuals but also increases insulin sensitivity, making it a suitable cereal option for those who are diabetic.