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Whole Grain Benefits

Types, benefits, uses, and more



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Millet is an easy-care and drought-resistant grain. People often use it to feed livestock, but consumer interest is growing. This grain offers several health benefits and has many uses in cooking.

For thousands of years, people have benefited from the nutritional properties of millet. The Old Testament of the Bible mentions it as well as texts from ancient Greece and Rome.

Millet grows extremely quickly and ripens in almost half the time that rice and wheat take. This makes it the ideal crop and contributes to its rapid spread in Asia and Europe.

Millet is now the sixth most important grain in the world.

In today’s United States, millet is widely used to feed pets, livestock, and birds, but it is growing in popularity with consumers. This is because it is gluten free and is a good source of protein, fiber, and micronutrients. It also offers multiple physical and mental health benefits, requires few inputs to grow, and is drought resistant.

This article describes the types of millet available, their nutritional properties and benefits, potential disadvantages of millet, and their uses in cooking.

There are more than 20 different types of millet. Some of the more common varieties are:

  • Pearl (Pennisetum glaucum)
  • Finger (Eleusine Coracana)
  • Foxtail (Setaria italica)
  • Proso (Panicum miliaceum)
  • Barn yard (Echinochloa utilis)

Each 100 grams (g) of cooked millet contains the following:

Research has shown that millet can be useful in the following ways:

Digestive System Support

Millet contains fiber, which helps maintain digestive health and regulates bowel movements.

Millet also contains prebiotics, which stimulate the growth of probiotics in the microbiome. This is important for gut health and the immune system in general.

Millet is very helpful for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance because it is gluten-free. People with celiac disease can consume this nutrient-rich, protein, and fiber-rich grain without the risk of discomfort.

Support of the cardiovascular system

Millet contains magnesium, which helps regulate the heart rhythm.

Eating millet can also increase levels of the protein adiponectin, which can protect cardiovascular tissues.

Millet also contains vitamin B3 or niacin. This vitamin helps reduce certain factors of heart disease, such as high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and is effective in reducing oxidative stress.

Improve mood

Millet can improve a person’s mood due to the high concentration of the amino acid tryptophan.

Research from 2014 suggests that a diet high in tryptophan can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Reducing the risk of diabetes

A study from 2021 suggests that millet may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Increasing adiponectin levels can improve insulin sensitivity.

Learn more about millet diets for people with diabetes.

Manage obesity

Another study from 2021 looked at the effectiveness of millet consumption in treating obesity and high cholesterol. The results showed that this type of diet lowers the BMI and thus can help reduce overweight and obesity.

However, longer-term studies with larger sample sizes are required.

Reduction of oxidative stress

Oxidative stress can cause a variety of chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis, and diabetes.

A high-fat diet is also a risk factor for developing dementia, as it increases oxidative stress in the brain. Doctors believe antioxidants are important in reducing oxidative damage. A diet high in antioxidants can protect against oxidative damage.

Millet is a good source of antioxidants, which can help support the body’s ability to withstand oxidative stress, a contributor to disease and aging. Consuming antioxidants could reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Research also concluded that millet intake could relieve oxidative stress in the hippocampus and downregulate the severity of Alzheimer’s disease.

Other potential health benefits of millet include:

  • suppress the growth of cancer cells
  • Promote wound healing
  • Maintaining bone health
  • Supports antifungal and antimicrobial activity

Although millet contains many vital nutrients, it also contains compounds called anti-nutrients. These affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Different types of millet have different amounts of these compounds.

Pearl millet contains phytates, which make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients, and goiter-producing polyphenols. These can play a role in the occurrence of goiter in a diet rich in miller.

Finger millet also has anti-nutritional factors, which include tannins, protease inhibitors, oxalates, and phytate.

Researchers have found that using various processing techniques can reduce antinutrient levels, including:

  • Grind
  • Parboiling
  • Blanch
  • peel
  • fermenting
  • germinate

Millet is available at many food and health food stores, and can also be bought online.

People can buy millet as:

Here you can find millet products that are available online.

Millet grains can usually be stored for 2 months at room temperature or 4 months in the freezer. If you keep them in a sealed, airtight container or in the refrigerator, millet can be kept for up to a year.

To add flavor to the millet, roast the seeds for 4–5 minutes until they are lightly golden brown. A 2 to 1 ratio of water to millet gives a quinoa-like consistency.

For porridge, use a 3 to 1 ratio and stir often. Season as needed. Use more liquid for a creamier texture.

People can prepare millet in many different ways. It can be soft and smooth, like a porridge, or light, fluffy and slightly chewy like rice.

There are several different recipes and ways to cook with millet.

Below is a roundup of popular sweet and savory recipes for millet:

  • Roasted millet tabouli: Roast the grains in a pan until they are light golden brown. Boil with water or broth. Fluff with a fork. Add diced tomatoes, cucumber, onions, chopped fresh mint, oregano and parsley. Mix with olive oil and season.
  • Super easy millet pilaf: Add millet and roast until golden brown and exuding a nutty aroma. Boil grains with chopped carrots and onions. Add the sea salt and water to the pan. Bring the millet to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Boil the pilaf for 30 minutes and let stand.
  • Polenta-style millet: Mix the millet and broth. The millet is ready when the water is completely absorbed. If millet is prepared with more water, it will have a consistency like porridge for breakfast as a substitute for oatmeal. People can then cool the millet like polenta, cut it into slices, and sauté it.
  • Millet Muffins: A person can also combine millet with flour, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, butter, and brown sugar to make muffins.

Millet is an ancient grain that people have enjoyed for thousands of years. Millet is also food for livestock and birds. It is becoming increasingly popular because it grows quickly, is drought resistant, and requires little effort.

Millet is a good source of protein, fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals. Millet’s potential health benefits include protecting cardiovascular health, preventing diabetes from occurring, helping people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and treating inflammation in the bowel.

Millet is an adaptable grain. There are many simple ways to prepare it that make it easy for people with celiac disease to include this gluten-free cereal in their diet.

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Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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