The Pennisetum glaucum crop, or pearl millet, is known as Bajra in India. It is also known as bulrush millet, dukn, cumbu, gero, sanio, kambu, and babala.
Bajra is commonly cultivated in Africa and India and comes in various colours. The colours are white, yellow, grey, brown, and bluish-purple.
According to studies, bajra is a millet having an excellent nutritional profile and an exceptionally high level of fibre.
It is a slow-digesting starch, which takes longer to convert into glucose, provides energy and aids in weight loss. It is also a viable gluten-free option.
Bajra for Weight Loss – An Overview
Bajra, rich in vitamins and minerals, has many healing qualities. The grain is also good for your heart because it has important vitamins like vitamin B6 and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Furthermore, it aids in lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
Asthma patients might benefit from its high antioxidant content. Assisting with digestion and bowel movements, it helps prevents weight gain.
Is Bajra Good for Weightloss?
Research suggests that including whole grains with a low-calorie density in your diet, like bajra, may be helpful if you’re attempting to lose weight. The calorie density of bajra is 1.2. Bajra is a top-notch, gluten-free source of fibre that aids in weight reduction and maintenance.
Whole grains are full of phytonutrients, which function in our bodies as antioxidants. In addition, Bajra has a trace element, zinc, which is also crucial for human health. As a result, bajra is a fantastic alternative if you’re trying to adjust your diet to lose weight.
The HealthifyMe Note
Bajra is rich in phytochemicals, polyphenols, and antioxidants. All of which have the potential to enhance health in different ways. However, as per a study, the beneficial polyphenols in bajra prevent some minerals (iron and zinc) from being absorbed into your body. Thus, it is essential to eat bajra in moderate quantities, so that it can benefit your health.
Benefits of Bajra for Weight Loss
In general, gluten-free meals are healthy for you. They aid in preventing celiac disease, in which gluten consumption damages the small intestine.
Furthermore, you cannot consume gluten if you have celiac disease. As a gluten-free food, bajra is excellent for those with celiac disease.
Helps Manage Diabetes
Bajra has a substantial quantity of magnesium, which helps to regulate the body’s glucose receptors. Rich in fibre, it also aids with weight control, which is crucial if you have diabetes.
Bajra is full of insoluble fibre, which facilitates digestion. Additionally, it lessens the release of bile acids and decreases the incidence of gallstone development. Fibre-rich foods are excellent for your digestive system.
All grains are beneficial for heart health, and bajra is no exception. It lowers blood pressure and aids in the smooth operation of the cardiovascular system since it is high in magnesium. As a result, it reduces your chance of a heart attack or stroke.
Bajra is also a high source of protein. Since they support muscle growth and tissue healing, proteins are known as the body’s “building blocks”. Therefore, you must incorporate protein into your diet.
How to Consume Bajra?
Here are some ways of consuming bajra:
Bajra is a versatile ingredient that you can substitute in place of wheat flatbread, rice, quinoa, oats, and other grains.
Before cooking, soak the bajra for a few hours in water: Bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of millet to a boil. Then, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. A light, fluffy grain should result from this process. You can include up to an additional cup of water, milk, or broth to make your bajra more porridge-like. To bring out the grain’s rich, nutty taste, you may toast the dry millet for a little while before adding the liquids.Bajra gets frequently processed into fine flour suitable for making roti and other flatbread. In many recipes, bajra flour replaces other flour to produce pasta and cakes. You can also consume bajra as a puffed millet bag that tastes much like popcorn. But, again, you can either purchase it or make it at home.
You can consume bajra in many different ways, particularly as flour. Rotis made from this flour are a more nutritious option than bread. However, paying attention to how much bajra you eat is important because it might affect your health. Regular consumption of bajra might result in constipation because of its high fibre content.
Bajra or Jowar – Which is Better for Weight Loss?
It is a common question that perplexes many. One of the healthiest cereals in the world is jowar. Also, jowar has a much greater content of nutritional fibre when compared to bajra.
By preventing hunger pangs, the high fibre content promotes higher satiety levels, which reduces consumption. As a result, it helps people lose weight by preventing them from consuming too many calories. Additionally, it is rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
Jowar is grown practically everywhere, but bajra is primarily grown in specific sites in Africa and India under certain climatic circumstances. Jowar has a range of phenolic components not seen in Bajra.
Bajra is a high source of insoluble fibre that minimises the risk of gallstone development by decreasing bile acid output.
As a result, eating bajra can avoid problems like bloating, gas, cramps, and bowel issues. Overall, it promotes weight management and may even facilitate weight loss.
In addition, it can give you protection against several health issues like celiac disease and heart-related conditions.
Nutritionists recommend exciting ways to incorporate millets like bajra into your diet. Try experimenting by using it in place of quinoa or rice in your favourite grain-based meals.
You can even book a personal consultation with experts at HealthifyMe to understand the food combinations that work best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can I eat bajra daily?
A: Yes, you can eat a small amount of bajra daily as it has many benefits, including weight loss. But bajra rotis tend to raise body temperature in the heat, which some individuals may find unsettling, so be careful.
Q. Which is best for weight loss: bajra or jowar?
A: The high-quality fibre in jowar aids digestion, fights obesity, and maintains healthy blood sugar levels. Contrarily, bajra has little carbohydrates and is high in vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, insoluble fibre, protein, and other nutrients. As a result, it helps regulate blood sugar levels. However, jowar has the edge over bajra due to its range of phenolic components which are not in Bajra. Both are gluten-free options. Also, jowar and bajra both help lose weight.
Q. What happens if we eat bajra daily?
A: According to research, eating whole grains like bajra regularly may help avoid chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and some malignancies. However, bajra rotis tend to increase body temperature which some people may find uncomfortable.
Q. Is bajra heavy on the stomach?
A: Yes. Due to their high fibre content, grains take longer to transit from the stomach to the intestines. In this manner, bajra effectively suppresses appetite for an extended period while being simple to eat.
Q. Which is better: ragi or bajra?
A: The primary distinction between bajra and ragi is that bajra is a common millet that is much easier to get and is utilised by people on a large scale. However, despite being a healthier option, ragi is more challenging to get in the market than other millets. Ragi is often hulled before usage since the bottom of the grain is difficult to digest. It has started to be combined with other grains like rice and wheat to create regional dishes like idli, upma, and rotis.
Q. Who should not consume bajra?
A: If your thyroid gland isn’t functioning right, you shouldn’t eat bajra since it can worsen things and lead to other metabolic problems. Additionally, you must avoid it if you have a digestive problem.
The Supporting Sources
1. Bora P, Ragaee S, Marcone M. Characterisation of several types of millets as functional food ingredients. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Sep;70(6):714-724. DOI: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1570086. Epub 2019 Apr 10. PMID: 30969135.
2. Krishnan R, Meera MS. Pearl millet minerals: effect of processing on bioaccessibility. J Food Sci Technol. 2018 Sep;55(9):3362-3372. DOI: 10.1007/s13197-018-3305-9. Epub 2018 Jun 27. PMID: 30150794; PMCID: PMC6098803.
3. Vernarelli JA, Mitchell DC, Rolls BJ, Hartman TJ. Dietary energy density and obesity: how consumption patterns differ by body weight status. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Feb;57(1):351-361. DOI: 10.1007/s00394-016-1324-8. Epub 2016 Oct 13. PMID: 27738811.
4. Kirwan JP, Malin SK, Scelsi AR, Kullman EL, Navaneethan SD, Pagadala MR, Haus JM, Filion J, Godin JP, Kochhar S, Ross AB. A Whole-Grain Diet Reduces Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Nutr. 2016 Nov;146(11):2244-2251. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.230508. Epub 2016 Oct 19. PMID: 27798329; PMCID: PMC5086786.