In fact, the researchers identified a link between eating millets and higher levels of hemoglobin, the iron-rich protein that gives red blood cells their color and carries oxygen throughout the body. Low levels of this biomarker indicate anemia, in which the body lacks ample red blood cells and can’t transport enough oxygen to all of the cells throughout the body that need it.
The researchers noted that different types of millets offer different amounts of iron, as did millets prepared in different ways (sprouting or fermenting them ups the bioavailable iron they contain). However, regardless of these factors, they found that regularly eating millets can reduce iron deficiency anemia, which is responsible for 50% of anemia cases worldwide. And considering 25% of the world’s population has some form of anemia, that’s a big deal.
In the U.S., 10% of women (of menstruating age) have iron deficiency while 9% of children ages 12 to 36 months are iron-deficient, so incorporating more millets into our meals is a good move for many of us.