Scientifically checked


By Alyssa Morlacci
Updated on 14. Sep. 2020

Of all the cereals, millet has the largest amount of important ingredients just after oats. The yellow grain is a fabulous source of minerals and trace elements.

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  • ... provides a lot of magnesium.
    With approximately 123 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams, millet offers a strong portion of mineral that support the function of muscles and the nervous system.
  • easily digestible.
    If you have a sensitive stomach, you should treat yourself to millet often. The body can easily digest the fine grains without burdening the stomach and intestines.
  • ...contains a lot of iron.
    With almost 7 milligrams of iron in every 100 grams, millet is a great option for a meat-free or vegan diet where iron deficiency can otherwise occur.
  • ...offers plenty of protein.
    There is another reason to embrace millet when on a meat-free and vegan diet: It provides about 12 grams of vegetable protein per average serving.
  • ...makes skin and hair beautiful.
    The relatively high proportion of silicic acid in millet supports the body in building and growing cells and is particularly important for smooth skin, shiny hair and strong nails.
  • gluten-free.
    For those who can't tolerate gluten-containing cereals, millet is an ideal alternative. It does not contain gluten and can be prepared quickly and easily.
  • ...offers hardly any dietary fiber.
    At about 3.8 grams (per 100 grams), millet is not a food particularly rich in fiber. However, this can be easily compensated for by preparing millet with fresh vegetables or fruit.

What You Should Know About Millet

Millet is probably the oldest grain cultivated by humans. It became a staple food with the Babylonians and the Etruscans; the Chinese cultivated millet as early as 3000 B.C. In Africa and Asia, millet is still an indispensable food today because it's extremely nutritious and it ripens in only 100 days and can survive even extreme droughts.


Experts assume the original home of millet is in East Asia and Africa. 


There is no special season for millet.


Millet tastes mild and slightly nutty.

Find all of our millet recipes here.

How Healthy Is Millet?

Millet contains a lot of minerals, especially magnesium and iron. This makes it particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.

With approximately 123 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams, millet also supports muscle and nervous system function, especially in stressful times. Millet also offers almost 7 grams of iron in each 100-gram serving.

A meat-free and vegan diet will also benefit from the 12 grams of vegetable protein per average portion. However, the protein is not of high biological quality, so anyone who would live exclusively on millet for a longer period of time would suffer a significant protein deficiency.

The small yellow millet pearls are also rich in phytin, a substance that blocks or reduces the absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

One can profit optimally from the iron, protein and mineral content in millet by eating a fruit containing vitamin C in the same meal, a fruit salad for dessert or a salad with peppers, cabbage or lemon juice, which helps the body make better use of the vegetable iron from millet. If you combine millet with dairy products, such as yogurt or eggs, the biological value of the proteins increase. To defuse the phytin, you can soak millet overnight.

For people with a sensitive stomach, millet is considered a light diet because the body can digest it easily. Millet is also a smart choice for those who cannot tolerate gluten, since it's free of gluten protein. It also has a high silica content, which ensures strong fingernails, healthy teeth and beautiful hair. Plenty of B vitamins and lecithin (each good for the brain and nerves) are also beneficial.

Never eat millet raw: It contains protein-damaging enzymes that are only rendered harmless by cooking or roasting.

Nutritional values of millet per 100 grams  
Calories 364
Protein 10.6 grams
Fat 3.9 grams
Carbohydrates 68.7 grams
Dietary Fiber 3.9 grams

Shopping and Kitchen Tips


If you want to be sure there are no residues in the millet, it's best to buy an organic product.


If they are kept dry and well sealed, millet keeps for a long time without any loss of quality.


Soak the millet grains in water for 1 to 2 hours before cooking. Pour the water away, rinse the millet again in a sieve and drain. This will allow you to get rid of some of the phytin and make better use of the abundant minerals.

What To Make With Millet

The fine grains can be used like rice but need more water for cooking and soaking. You can put 4 cups of water or broth into 1 cup of millet. Bring the millet to the boil once and then let it swell for about 30 minutes at low heat. Millet tastes delicious with pesto (as fresh as possible) and roasted meat!

The great thing about millet is it can be prepared both sweet and savory. Millet grains cooked in milk, for example, with fresh fruit or a fruit sauce, are a tasty alternative to rice pudding. Cooked in broth and mixed with grated vegetables, millet makes a great base for vegetarian roasts or for fillings of vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes or zucchini.

Knowledge To Go

Millet has a lot of things to offer: It is rich in minerals and protein, easily digestible and gluten-free. In addition, millet can be prepared in many different ways and tastes both sweet and savory.

Scientifically checked by our EAT SMARTER experts
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