Oats and, Millets are grains which have entered our modern lifestyle as healthy foods. Millets and Oats, both, are beneficial to one’s health in their own way. While oats help in lowering cholesterol; Millets, taking Ragi, for example, are beneficial for diabetics.
Oats have nearly 40% more protein than Proso Millet and Foxtail millet. Oats have more fibre than Barnyard millet and are richer in phosphorus and Thiamin than any of the millets.
Millets trump over oats in case of Calcium content (Ragi has close to 5.5 times calcium than Oats), and Pearl Millet (Bajra) has more than 3 times Iron content than Oats.
Oats grain is not used much in a person’s daily routine; we prefer rolled ones which are readily available in the market. As oats are in flakes format they are pretty easy to cook.
Millets, predominantly available as grains and in value added forms (flakes, semolina), are gaining popularity nowadays. But recipes and awareness have not reached many people, so it remains unadopted in large quantities .
But the simple fact is that most millets can be cooked like rice. Millets can replace rice in various dishes such as idli, dosa, payasam/kheer.
The cost of a Kg of Oats is about INR 105/- to 150/-. This is of the plain variety, and the costs vary based on the flavor and version of oats that are offered. Compare this to Millets, which cost anywhere between INR 30/- to 70/-. So the value for money is extremely good for Millets and affordable by many.
Millets are wonderful crops, easy to grow during droughts, and cheap to procure. Millets are one of the oldest foods known to humans and, are also unique due to their short growing season. By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dryland areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions. Using more millets we really support our own farmers who are dependent on 50% of rain fed Indian agricultural landscape.