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Foxtail Millet Nutrition

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Note - because all different millets are grouped together for statisitic purposes the Foxtail Millet and Pearl Millet nutrition and statistics pages are similar or the same.)

Figure 1*
Figure 2*
Millets are a significant dietary food for one-third of the world population, including people in Asia, the Russian Federation, and Africa (9, 17). Based on a 5-year average (1999-2003*) eight countries depend on millet to provide over 200 calories a day, with half of those countries getting more than 400 calories a day from millet (see Figure 1*). Citizens of Niger rely on the staple food millet for over 1,000 daily calories (2). Looking at the top eight millet-consuming countries, we can compare their per-capita daily consumption of calories (5-year average) from all grains (see Figure 2*).
See also Sorghum and millets in human nutrition.

Global Consumption

Millets are a large part of the basic diet for farm households in the world's poorest people in the poorest countries (4). To the right (Figure 3*) is a table of all the countries that consumed atleast 100,000 Metric Tonnes of millet on average for the past 5 years. Top consuming countries are identified in Figure 4*, including the top four countries: India, Nigeria, Niger and China. However, just because a country is a top global consumer does not mean that millet is a significant source of calories for them. India and China are rank as the #1 and #4 consumers of millet, but due to their population size they rank 11th and 38th in per-capita consumption, accordingly.*

[Finger] millet is an excellent dietary source of calcium, iron, manganese, and methionine -- an amino acid lacking in the diets of hundred of millions of the poor who live on starchy foods such as cassava, plantain, polished rice, and maize meal (4). Millet use is diverse, including in cereals (including porridge and kasha), soups, breads and stuffings, fermented beverages, and baby food (9).
Figure 3*
CountryMetric Ton 5-Year Avg.
India 9,041,765
Nigeria 4,299,211
Niger 1,733,793
China 1,116,505
Burkina Faso 856,337
Mali 701,701
Sudan 560,548
Uganda 408,137
Senegal 347,989
Chad 296,119
Russian Federation    280,941
Ethiopia 259,490
Nepal 251,027
Myanmar 137,759
Tanzania 136,409
Ghana 117,955

Figure 4*

Figure 5*

Millet provides many nutrients (15% protein) and has a sweet nutty flavor (9), but may be associated with poor iodine uptake (as are many other common foods). But, this is generally not a "cause for alarm," as it is also considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available and there seems to be more benefits than risks in consuming this grain - for more indepth information, see (9).

Millet nutrition - 1 cup cooked millet

Calories 286 Carbohydrate (g) 57
Total fat (g) 2.4 Cholesterol (mg) 0
Saturated fat (g) 0.4 Sodium (mg) 5
Monounsaturated fat (g)0.4 Thiamin (mg) 0.3
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1.2 Niacin (mg) 3.2
Dietary fiber (g) 3.1 Magnesium (mg) 106
Protein (g) 8 Zinc (mg) 2.2

Data from


  1. Baker, R. D., (2003) Millet Production (Guide A-414) [PDF], New Mexico State University
  2. Baltensperger, D.D. 2002. Progress with proso, pearl and other millet
  3. Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Foxtail Millet data 1/31/2006
  4. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Research & Impact: Areas of Research:Millet
  5. *FAOSTAT 2005 Data
  6. Hungarian grass. (n.d.) (2005). Retrieved March 30 2006 from The Free Dictionary
  7. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) data, Retrieved [3/30/2006], from ITIS.
  8. Oelke, E.A., Oplinger, E.S., Putnam, D.H., Durgan, B.R., Doll, J.D. and Undersander, D.J. (1990) Millets, in Alternative Field Crops Manual
  9. Railey, Karen. Whole Grains: Millet
  10. Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. Crops: Millet: What is Millet?
  11. Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. Crops: Millet: Pearl Millet
  12. UK CropNet, data 02-Nov-2005
  13. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: (30 March 2006)
  14. USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  15. Wikipedia contributors, 'Millet', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 April 2006, 15:43 UTC, [accessed 3 April 2006]
  16. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Research & Impact: Areas of Research: MilletResearch & Impact: Areas of Research: Millet