Top 20 Indian Grains And Their Nutritional Value

Top 20 Indian Grains And Their Nutritional Value

Indian cuisine is a tapestry of diverse flavours, and at its heart are the myriad of grains that form the foundation of countless dishes. From the lush paddy fields of South India to the golden wheat fields in the North, these grains have nourished generations and contributed a wealth of nutrients to the Indian diet. In this blog we will explore the Top 20 Indian grains and all the nutrients that comprise them.


Rice is the staple grain of India, widely consumed across the country and in most Asian countries as well. It is abundant in carbohydrates for energy, and essential minerals like iron and magnesium. This versatile grain serves as a foundation for countless global cuisines, offering sustenance and satisfaction and is quite easy to digest as well.



Wheat is one of the most widely consumed grains globally. In India, it is primarily used to make chapatis, parathas and various breads. Wheat is also comprised of some essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and fibre, making it an essential part of Indian diets and beyond.



Maize, also known as corn is a staple in many Indian states as it is rich in fibre and antioxidants, contributing to digestive health and aiding in the prevention of chronic diseases. Maize is used as an ingredient in many Indian dishes as well as makki ki roti and bhutte ka kees.



These are small grains but have immense nutritional value. Packed with essential nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamin B, and dietary fibre, millet offers numerous health advantages, like it aids in bone strength, supporting heart health, and helps with digestion. Additionally, millet is gaining recognition globally for its versatility in various dishes.



Sorghum or jowar is known for its resilience and adaptability to various climates. It is ground into flour for making jowar roti and bhakri. Sorghum is an excellent source of dietary fibre, antioxidants, and essential minerals, offering health benefits like blood sugar control and improved digestion.



Barley truly brings a lot to the plate in terms of nutrition. It is an excellent source of dietary fibre, making it great for digestive health and weight management. Barley is also rich in vitamins, including B vitamins which support overall well-being and the ‘beta-glucans’ present in it contribute to heart health by reducing cholesterol levels. You can incorporate barley into your diet to savour its nutritional goodness and enjoy a heartier life.



Ragi, or finger millet is a wonder grain for its impressive nutritional profile. It is rich in calcium, iron and fibre, making it a vital ingredient in baby food and a gluten-free alternative for those with celiac disease.



This is another type of millet, known as pearl millet and is the most commonly grown millet in our country. It can be consumed whole or by grinding it finely and consuming it as Bajra flour. In fact, as a whole, it can replace rice in many recipes. It is a good source of energy and helps lower cholesterol and aid digestion.



Also known as chickpeas, these protein-rich legumes are quite popular in the country as they are used in many recipes, especially in North India. They are packed with plant-based protein, fibre and iron, promoting heart health and overall well-being.



Lentils are a very popular grain in the country and are available in various colours like red, yellow, and black. They are a key ingredient in staple dishes like dal and sambhar and are a superb source of plant-based protein and fibre, promoting heart health and supporting overall well-being.



Amarnath, known as ‘Rajgira’ in India, is revered for its versatility and nutritional value. This ancient grain is a great source of protein, essential amino acids and dietary fibre. It is even used to make a special type of laddoo known as ‘Rajgira ladoos’. It is also gluten-free making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.


12.Barnyard Millet

Also known as ‘Samak’, it is a tiny grain that packs a nutritional punch. The grain is fibre-rich and low on the glycemic index and therefore is a popular fasting grain as it supports energy levels and promotes digestion. It is also high in iron and magnesium and is gaining popularity globally for its nutritional and gluten-free profile.


13.Little Millet

Little millet, or ‘Sama’, is another small grain wonder. It’s rich in vitamin B, minerals and antioxidants. In India, it’s used to make Upma, Pongal and idlis and is good for digestion and general health because it consists of dietary fibre.


14.Black Gram

Commonly known as ‘Urad Dal’, black gram is rich in protein and a staple in Indian cuisine, sometimes also used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also very good for digestion as it is filled with fibres and helps in boosting bone mineral density.


15.Toor Daal

Toor Dal, or ‘Pigeon Peas’, is a significant source of plant-based protein, fibre and essential nutrients. This dal is a staple in many households. Its nutritional value and versatility make it a star in Indian cuisine.


16.Green Gram



Moong Dal another variant of the lentil family is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is commonly used to make dal, dosas and a variety of iconic Indian dishes. Moong dal is a comfort food for many Indians, usually consumed because of its various health benefits.


17.Red Lentils

These lentils are rich in essential nutrients, including protein, fibre, iron and more. They are a valuable source of plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, their high fibre content supports digestive health and helps regulate blood sugar levels.


18.Bengal Gram

Bengal gram, or ‘Chana Dal’ is a rich source of plant-based protein and dietary fibre. It is used to make popular dishes like Chana masala in India. This versatile legume is also used worldwide to create hummus and various soups.


19.Foxtail Millet

Foxtail millet or ‘Korra’, like various other lentils is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. This is an ancient grain and its protein content makes it an ideal grain to incorporate into your diet routine or everyday lifestyle.


20.Kodo Millet

Despite its small size, ‘kodra’ also known as kodo millet is incredibly nutritious. The grain is rich in dietary fibre and antioxidants. It’s used in India to prepare dishes like upma or idli. Globally, Kodo millet is sought after for its health benefits.