You may have heard your grandmother crib about the poor quality of food today and how during their times wheat, refined floor (maida) and lentils formed negligible part of the day-to-day food.
Scientists at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Icrisat) in Hyderabad say your grandma was probably right in suggesting that millets (coarse grains) and certain fruits and vegetables long forgotten are better for human health than several lentils, tubers and cereals like wheat and rice.
Joanna Kane-Potaka, assistant director-general, Icrisat told The Times of India, “Forgotten foods have the potential to fix several problems that our food systems face today and will face in the future as the world population grows, climate uncertainty becomes more common and diet-related diseases rise. It is time that we rid them of their ‘forgotten’ tag.”
Land under cultivation of these superfoods has been decreasing consistently for over five decades now because farmers do not find many buyers for them.
Icrisat scientists have now taken up the responsibility of bringing these nutritious foods back on the platter.
Millets have been grown in India and many other South Asian countries for ages. They are rich in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals which can have a very positive and long-lasting impact on human body. Health experts say that millets are superfoods that can easily replace polished rice and refined wheat with their ability to scrub the insides of the human digestive system and remove toxic waste. Millets are also very filling so they reduce appetite thus aiding diet loss. Besides, millets promote gut health and boost immunity.
Besides millets, the list includes moth bean, sea buckthorn, water lily and yam among several other fruits and veggies.