Kodo Millet

Kodo millet an important minor millet from the millet family. Domestication of kodo millet dates back to 3000 years in tropical or sub-tropical regions in the country. Cultivation of kodo millet is concentrated in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Eastern Madhya Pradesh and parts of Tamil Nadu. Kodo millet is popularly known for its highest drought resistance among minor millets and its short growing period to produce adequate yields.

Indian Crown Grass, Native Paspalum, Ditch Millet, kodon, hadra, varagu, arika or Rice Grass are among a few names use to refer to kodo millet. Kodo millet is commonly consumed in the Deccan plateau of Gujrat in India. Kodo millet cultivation is commonly seen in arid and semi-arid regions accounting for its better tolerance to harsh conditions. These seeds serve as an economical resource for delivery of nutrients to the poor and tribal communities. It can be a sensible substitute for rice and wheat.

Kodo millets are known for its highest fibre content compared to all other millets. Extracts from kodo millet have been studied to be high in polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants. The high antioxidant property is beneficial for prevention of arthritis and support immunity. Concentration of phytates and tannins is significantly reduced on employing processing techniques like fermentation and soaking of the grass seeds. These processes increase the bioavailability of essential minerals like calcium, zinc and iron on consumption of kodo millet.

Nutritional composition of Kodo millet per 100g

Energy353 kcals
Protein9.8 g
Fat3.6 g
Fiber5.2 g
Calcium35 mg
Iron1.7 mg

Energy: Kodo millet is high fiber grass seed. It provides energy values similar to the other millets and staple cereals. The main carbohydrate content is in the form of complex carbohydrates, which makes it excellent for diabetics and people with metabolic diseases. Its many qualities have been proposed to be ideal for weight management, as it keeps you full for a longer period. Kodo millet is useful for controlling high blood pressure and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol levels as well.

Protein: Protein content and amino acid concentration is comparatively high in kodo millet when compared to rice. It has a protein content of 9.8g per 100g. Lecithin is an amino acid that is significantly high in kodo millet that supports in strengthening the central nervous system.

Fat: Kodo millet contains high concentration of poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that are labeled as good fats and play a beneficial role in the body. Processes like fermentation are seen to increase protein and reduce the fat content further from millets. These techniques are employed to improve the palatability and nutrient profile of the millets.

Vitamins and minerals: Kodo millet is a great source of minerals including calcium, zinc and phosphorous that support energy conversion in the body. It also contains significant amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin B3 and folic acid. High amounts of magnesium in the millet supports in reducing effects of migraines and prevention of heart diseases. Being gluten-free, it is ideal for people who are gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease. When consumed regularly by postmenopausal women, it can be beneficial too. It helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels in them.

High amounts of bioactive compounds in the millets and special properties like their gluten free nature has encouraged utilization of these millets in various food preparations. Traditional food preparations with kodo millet include kodo millet upma, kodo millet kheer and kodo millet idli.