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Which Millet is Good for Summer: A Comprehensive Guide

As the summer heat intensifies, maintaining a balanced diet that complements the weather becomes crucial. In this regard, millets, nutrient-dense ancient grains, have been gaining popularity for their cooling properties and abundant health benefits. But, which millet is good for summer? This article aims to answer this question, highlighting the best millets for summer, their benefits, and delicious ways to incorporate them into your diet.

Understanding Millets

Millets are small-seeded grasses, widely cultivated in semi-arid regions across Asia and Africa. Known for their resistance to drought and pests, millets are sustainable crops that require minimal water compared to other grains like rice and wheat. They come in different types, each with unique nutritional profiles and health benefits.

Why Choose Millets for Summer?

When it comes to the scorching summer heat, it is essential to consume foods that help maintain body temperature, replenish lost electrolytes, and provide sustained energy. Millets fit the bill perfectly due to their cooling properties, high nutrient content, and slow energy release. Here is a closer look at why millets make an excellent summer diet staple:

  1. Body Cooling Properties: Certain types of millets naturally help keep the body cool, making them ideal for hot weather.
  2. Nutrient-Rich: Millets are high in essential vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron, and potassium, which are crucial for maintaining electrolyte balance during summer.
  3. Hydration: The high fiber content in millets aids in maintaining hydration levels in the body, preventing heat exhaustion and stroke.
  4. Energy Boost: Millets are complex carbohydrates that provide slow and steady energy, preventing fatigue and lethargy commonly experienced during summer.
  5. Easy Digestibility: Millets are light and easy to digest, making them a great choice for summer when appetite often decreases due to the heat.

The Best Millets for Summer

Although all millets offer health benefits, some are particularly suited for consumption during summer. Here are the top five millets to include in your summer diet:

1. Sorghum (Jowar)

Jowar is an excellent millet for summer due to its body-cooling properties. It is a complex carbohydrate that provides sustained energy, helping you stay active despite the heat. Jowar is also rich in iron, magnesium, and antioxidants, promoting overall health.

2. Finger Millet (Ragi)

Ragi is another millet well-suited for the summer season. It is a powerhouse of nutrients, including calcium, dietary fiber, and essential amino acids. Ragi's cooling properties help maintain body temperature, while its high fiber content aids digestion and keeps you satiated.

3. Foxtail Millet

High in protein and low in fat, foxtail millet is a summer-friendly millet that aids in maintaining body temperature. It also provides a good amount of dietary fiber, iron, and calcium.

4. Barnyard Millet

Barnyard millet is another excellent choice for summer. It is gluten-free and packed with fiber, helping maintain digestive health. Additionally, it is a good source of iron, which is essential for energy production.

5. Kodo Millet

Kodo millet is known for its body-cooling properties, making it ideal for hot summer days. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, promoting overall health and well-being.

Health Benefits of Summer Millets

Incorporating millets into your summer diet can offer numerous health benefits. Here are some key benefits of eating summer millets:

  1. Body Cooling: As mentioned earlier, summer millets have fantastic body cooling properties. They help in keeping our body cool in hot weather and help in maintaining our body temperature at an optimum level.
  2. Preventing Summer Illnesses: Millets are nutrient-rich, containing a good amount of magnesium, iron, and potassium. They help in maintaining electrolytic balance and hydration levels in the body, preventing summer-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  3. Energy Boost: Summer often brings a sense of exhaustion and lethargy. Millets, being easy to digest and energy-boosting, are a great dietary addition to counter these effects.
  4. Blood Pressure Regulation: High temperatures can cause electrolyte imbalance and lead to blood pressure fluctuations. Millets, being a good source of magnesium and potassium, help in maintaining blood pressure levels.
  5. Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels: Millets have a low glycemic index and high fiber content, which help in controlling sugar spikes and maintaining steady blood sugar levels. This is particularly beneficial for diabetics who may face increased blood sugar levels during summer.

Delicious Ways to Include Millets in Your Summer Diet

There are numerous ways to incorporate millets into your summer diet. Here are some easy and tasty recipe ideas:

  1. Millet Summer Salad: A refreshing salad made with cooked millets, fresh vegetables, and a light dressing.
  2. Jowar Idli: Traditional South Indian idlis made with jowar instead of rice for a nutritious twist.
  3. Ragi Dosa: A healthy and delicious alternative to regular dosa, made with ragi flour.
  4. Millet Summer Drinks: Hydrating and nutritious summer drinks like ragi malt or ragi mango smoothies.
  5. Millet Khichdi: A comforting one-pot meal made with millets, lentils, and vegetables.
  6. Jowar Flakes with Fruits: A healthy and filling breakfast option, jowar flakes can be enjoyed with fresh fruits and yogurt.
  7. Millet Muesli: Naario's Millet Muesli is a great addition to your breakfast or snack time. Enjoy it with yogurt for a cooling summer treat.
  8. Millet-Based Baking: Use Naario's 9 in 1 flour mix to prepare your regular theplas, rotis, or even baking items.
  9. Millet Snacks: Naario's Bhakhri Snack, available in whole wheat and ragi variants, is a healthy and tasty option for those mid-meal hunger pangs.

Tips to Maximize Millet Benefits During Summer

While millets are a healthy addition to your summer diet, here are a few tips to maximize their benefits:

  1. Soaking Millets: Soak millets overnight or at least for 6-8 hours before cooking. This aids in better nutrient absorption and promotes easy digestion.
  2. Hydration: Ensure you drink plenty of water to maintain good hydration levels during summer and avoid digestive issues.
  3. Balanced Diet: Limit millet intake to 2-3 times a week and include a variety of grains in your diet for a balanced nutritional intake.

Types of Millets

Millets come in various varieties and are classified into two main categories: major millets and minor millets. Major millets include Sorghum (Jowar), Pearl Millet (Bajra), and Finger Millet (Ragi). Foxtail Millet, Kodo Millet, Barnyard Millet, Little Millet, and Proso Millet are categorized as minor millets.

Importance of Seasonal Consumption

Our ancient Ayurvedic system emphasizes the practice of "Ritucharya" to maintain health with seasonal variations. This principle applies to millets as well. Some millets have body-cooling properties, while others have body-heating properties. Consuming millets according to the season ensures that you reap their benefits without any adverse effects.


In conclusion, millets are excellent grains to include in your summer diet. With their cooling properties, high nutritional value, and versatility in cooking, they can help you stay healthy and refreshed during the hot summer months. Whether you prefer a bowl of refreshing millet salad, a comforting millet khichdi, or a tall glass of ragi smoothie, there are countless ways to enjoy these summer-friendly grains. So, why wait? Start incorporating millets into your diet today and beat the summer heat in a healthy and delicious way!


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