Millet vs Quinoa – Nutrition facts, Health Benefits, Side Effects


For centuries this grain has been a prized crop in India, China, Egypt, Greece, and Africa, and was used in everything from couscous to bread.

It is thought to have been originated in Africa and later spread through Asia and the Middle East as early as 10,000 years ago. For instance, the Hunzas, who live high in the mountains of northern Pakistan and are known for their longevity and excellent health, enjoy this grain as a staple in their diet.

Nutrition Facts

This grain is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and copper.

Health Benefits


Proteins are a group of biological compounds that are present in every live organ, cell, and tissue of the human body. Not only does protein help you lose and maintain a healthy weight, but it also improves the capacity to learn and concentrate, works to stabilize glycemia levels, and enhances energy levels.

A high protein diet can also help you gain muscle strength and mass, and can reduce muscle loss when losing unnecessary weight.

100g of this grain has 3,5g protein which is about 7 percent of the daily recommended intake.


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Vitamin B1, which is also known as thiamine, is a coenzyme used by the human body to maintain proper nerve and heart function and to metabolize food for energy.

This vitamin is occasionally called an anti-stress vitamin since it might improve your capacity to withstand stressful conditions and strengthens the immune system, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A deficiency of vitamin B1 can lead to beriberi, a condition that affects alertness and heart function.

100g of this grain has 0,1 mg thiamine that is approximately 7% of the daily recommended intake.


This essential mineral helps move blood glucose into the muscles and dispose of lactic acid, which can build up in muscles during physical exercise and cause pain.

Magnesium is also important for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that produces serotonin, the happy hormone. Moreover, it plays a role in activating vitamin D in the kidneys and is crucial for bone formation as it helps the body to assimilate another vital mineral – calcium into the bones.

100g of this grain has 44mg magnesium which is 11% of the daily recommended intake.

Side Effects

Do not overconsume this grain if you have thyroid problems since it is known to possess goitrogens properties.

READ MORE: Quinoa vs Lentils


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It is an ancient grain that was used a long time ago by the Incas even before the European world knew about it. It is also referred to as pseudo-grain.

This grain is gluten-free, non-GMO, high in fiber, and low-fat. The United Nations has named 2013 – the 
“The International Year of Quinoa.”

Nutrition facts

These seeds are rich in micronutrients, like – potassium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, as well as the antioxidant phytonutrients kaempferol and quercetin, that have potent disease-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.

Unlike some plant proteins, this grain is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all the essential amino acids which the human body cannot make on their own.

Health Benefits

Dietary Fiber

Fiber is only found in foods from plants, like – legumes, grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Due to its fiber content and other nutrients, this grain will provide people seeking to lose unnecessary weight with a feeling of satiety, a fantastic nutritional punch, as well as sufficient stamina and energy.

Moreover, its high fiber content helps regulate blood glucose levels by slowing down the conversion of complex carbohydrates into sugar.

100g of this grain has 2,8g of fiber, which is about 11 percent of the daily recommended intake.

READ MORE: Couscous vs Rice


Adequate folate intake is vital during pregnancy to protect against neural tube defects (malformations of the spine and brain) in the fetus and miscarriage.

Recent research has concluded that eating foods high in folate before conception considerably lowers the risk of birth defects, plus, there is some evidence that getting sufficient folate (and not folic acid – its synthetic form) in your regular diet can reduce the risk of heart disease.

100g of this pseudo-grain has 42 mcf of folate, which is approximately 10% of the daily recommended intake.

Good Source of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is an important water-soluble vitamin, hence, the human body doesn’t store it.

Niacin helps to repair the skin barrier to minimize dryness and irritation. Additionally, it has been shown to help lower the frequency of attacks in migraine patients by boosting the energy metabolism within the brain.

Side Effects

There are no scientifically proven side effects.

Millet vs Quinoa – Which Has A Better Nutritional Profile?

Both these grains are healthy and nutritious and should be a part of your regular nutrition, however, quinoa has a better nutritional profile due to its higher content of folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber.

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