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Brown rice vs Millet: Which One is Better for You?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between brown rice and millet, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the brown rice vs millet comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 27, 2023.

Brown rice and millet belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare brown rice and millet and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Brown rice

Brown rice (Oryza sativa) is a whole-grain rice that is minimally processed, retaining its nutrient-rich bran and germ layers.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is particularly high in vitamins B3, B1, B6, and B9 and minerals like manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. The high fiber content of brown rice has been linked to improved digestion, weight management, and lower cholesterol levels.

Brown rice is a staple food in many cultures and is often used as a side dish, in soups and stews, and as an ingredient in salads, sushi, and other dishes. It is also considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet.

Brown rice is a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based products, making it a good option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Brown rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains Vitamin B9 (Folate) in a small amount.


Millet (Panicum miliaceum) is an ancient grain that is grown in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and Europe.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Millet has a mild and nutty flavor and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour and used in baking. It can also be used as a replacement for other grains in recipes. It is often used in traditional African and Asian dishes and an important food source for people in these regions.

Millet is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Brown rice vs Millet Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing brown rice vs millet.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of brown rice and millet and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Brown riceMillet
Energy362 kcal378 kcal
Carbs76.2 g72.8 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Fiber3.4 g8.5 g
Protein7.5 g11 g
Fat2.68 g4.22 g
Saturated Fat0.536 g0.723 g

Brown rice vs Millet Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing brown rice vs millet for weight loss, brown rice is slightly lower in calories, with 362 calories per 100 grams, compared to 378 calories per 100 grams of millet.

However, both brown rice and millet can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Brown rice vs Millet Protein

Grains and most grain products, including brown rice and millet, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Millet offers around 32% more protein than brown rice.

Millet has 11 grams of protein per 100 grams, while brown rice has 7.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Brown rice vs Millet Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in brown rice and millet.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in brown rice than in millet. It has 76.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 72.8 grams in millet.

That said, 100 grams of brown rice and millet contains 0 grams of sugar, the same amount.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in brown rice and millet.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 8.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams, millet is a better source of fiber than brown rice which offers 3.4 grams per 100 gram portion.

Brown rice vs Millet Fats

Like most other grains, brown rice and millet are low in fat.

Fats in brown rice and millet are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in brown rice and millet:

  • Brown rice: 2.7 grams per 100 grams
  • Millet: 4.2 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, brown rice is 29% lower in saturated fats.

Brown rice and millet contain 0.5 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Brown rice vs Millet Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of brown rice and millet.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Brown rice has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin B9 (Folate).

However, millet has a higher amount of vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Brown rice and millet contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins brown rice and millet contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Brown riceMillet
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.413 mg0.421 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.043 mg0.29 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)4.31 mg4.72 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.49 mg0.848 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.509 mg0.384 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)20 µg85 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.05 mg0.05 mg
Vitamin K0.9 µg0.9 µg

Brown rice vs Millet Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the brown rice and millet comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Brown rice is a better source of copper, iron, phosphorus, and sodium than millet.

On the other hand, millet is a higher amount of calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc.

Brown rice and millet contain the same amount of fluoride, and selenium.

Check out the table below to learn how brown rice and millet compare when it comes to mineral content.

Brown riceMillet
Calcium33 mg8 mg
Copper0.277 mg0.75 mg
Iron1.8 mg3.01 mg
Magnesium143 mg114 mg
Manganese3.74 mg1.63 mg
Phosphorus264 mg285 mg
Potassium268 mg195 mg
Selenium2.7 µg2.7 µg
Sodium4 mg5 mg
Zinc2.02 mg1.68 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between brown rice and millet.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


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