Millets for PCOS: Amazing benefits, how to add to diet, and 2 healthy recipes

By, New Delhi
Sep 18, 2023 01:26 PM IST

Millets have all the nutrients required for PCOS management and can also aid in your weight loss journey. Here are benefits and recipes.

PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome), the endocrine disorder affecting 6-10% of women of reproductive age, can be quite troublesome to manage. Women experiencing it can experience an irregular menstrual cycle, cysts in ovaries, excess body hair, weight gain, oily skin and even infertility. Diet and lifestyle can play a crucial role in managing PCOS. Some studies have suggested that adding millets to the diet can help reduce inflammation and improve lipid profiles in women with PCOS. Millets can help in weight loss too which can further reduce complications. Obese PCOS women have a 30% higher rate of insulin resistance than lean PCOS women. Millets are rich in calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, all the nutrients that are necessary for managing PCOS. (Also read: Amaranth jalebi to pearl millet peas soup; how to make millet recipes that were served to delegates)

Millets are rich in calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, all the nutrients that are necessary for managing PCOS(Pinterest)
Millets are rich in calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, all the nutrients that are necessary for managing PCOS(Pinterest)

Which millets can be consumed for PCOS management

"Millets that are best for PCOS are jowar, ragi, bajra and foxtail due to the presence of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium that help in maintaining hormone levels. Heavy bleeding during periods can lead to nutrient deficiency. This can be balanced by eating meals made of millets. Weight loss is the first treatment for PCOS and millets come into the picture. Low calorie, high fibre nature of millets can also help in weight loss journey, "says Susmita N, Clinical Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bangalore

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How millets help in PCOS

Compared to whole grains, millet contain fat and protein that help in losing weight. High fibre helps to keep stomach full for longer time.

"Replace white rice with millets in daily food habits. The bioactive compounds and antioxidants help to maintain weight. Insulin resistance seen in PCOS is balanced with low GI Fiber rich millets. Tryptophan in millets help in mood swings. Low glycaemic millets help to regulate blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance," says Sushmita N.

Ways to include millets in the diet

  • Millets can be grounded into fine flour and roti/chapati and dosa can be prepared out of them.
  • Use millets to prepare healthy cookies, breads and burger buns by baking it.
  • Substitute millets in any rice-based dishes like khichdi, pulao, tamarind rice, Bisi Bele Bath etc.
  • Puffed ragi/bajra/jowar can be an alternative to rice puff. Use them in chivda, murmura, puffed rice ball (sweet) as a snack. Millet flakes are also available in market which can be an alternate to rice flakes.
  • Use ragi-based noodles, ragi flour in cooking dosa, roti, ragi flakes instead of rice flakes, puffed ragi replacing rice flakes.
  • Millet based desserts like ragi vermicelli kheer, millet laddoo, millet chikki can be consumed.

Millet recipes for PCOS management

1. Foxtail millet salad


Cooked foxtail millet - 1/4 cup

Cooked chickpeas - 3/4 cup

Cucumber chopped - 1/4cup

Carrot grated - 3 tablespoon

Fine chopped coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon

Extra virgin olive oil - 1 tablespoon

Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon

Salt and pepper as per taste


Combine all the ingredients in mixing bowl and serve fresh.

2. Ragi malt


Ragi - 1 cup soaked overnight

Jaggery powder - 1 teaspoon

Salt - a pinch

Cardamom powder - 1 pinch


  • Grind well the soaked ragi to get its thick ragi milk.
  • Add jaggery as per taste and cardamom powder.
  • Water it down to required consistency and serve fresh.

Ragi malt is the good beverage to maintain weight and provides cooling effect on body during summer heat.

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