Wonderful Finger Millet!! Amazing Nutritional Value To Keep You Healthy…





Health, 19 Feb - 2014 ,

Wonderful Finger Millet!! Amazing Nutritional Value To Keep You Healthy…
Wonderful Finger Millet!! Amazing Nutritional Value To Keep You Healthy

Eleusine coracana (Common names: India: ragi, mandika, Kezhvaragu, kayppai, Nachani, Bavto, Nepali: Marwa) is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Finger millet is native to the Ethiopian Highlands. It is very ad

It is the most important small millet in the tropics (12% of global millet area) and is cultivated in more than 25 countries in Africa (eastern and southern) and Asia (from Near East to Far East), predominantly as a staple food grain. The major producers are Uganda, India, Nepal, and China. The speciality of these tiny deep red pearls is the abundance of nutrients present in them. Finger Millet is a rich source of Calcium, Iron, Protein, Fiber and other minerals and is a gluten-free food. The cereal has low fat content and contains mainly unsaturated fat. It is easy to digest and does not contain gluten; people who are sensitive to gluten can easily consume Finger Millet. It is considered one of the most nutritious cereals.

Due to rich fibre content, Finger Millet is believed to be a good laxative and prevents constipation. People who suffer from liver diseases, high-blood pressure, heart weaknesses and asthma should consume roasted green finger millet. The millet is also advised to a lactating mother if she is unable to produce sufficient milk to feed her infant. Finger millet is considered to be a boon for diabetes patients and obese people, as the digestion of finger Millet takes place at a slow pace and hence, glucose is released slowly into the blood. Also, Millet contains an amino acid known as Typtophan. This compound reduces the appetite, and thus, helps to control your diet. So, if you are aiming at shedding a few kilos, consuming finger millet can be of great help. It is specially recommended to kids, as the millet is rich in calcium, and therefore helps in proper growth and development. Being a rich source of iron, finger millet is good for all those suffering from anaemia. The millet helps to raise the haemoglobin level. It helps to fight malnutrition and degenerative diseases. It also works well as an anti-ageing agent.

Finger millet Flour Nutritional Value: Finger millet is often ground to a fine power and sold and popularly known as Millet Flour. It is depicted that in a typical content in 100 grams of Millet Flour (edible portion, 12% moisture). Major portion of Millet Flour is carbohydrate, followed by protein and fiber. It has the least amount of fat in them. Major portion of Flour is carbohydrate, around 80%. The Fat percentage is quite less which is good. Protein and fiber content is relatively less as well. 100 grams of Finger millet has roughly on an average of 336 KCal of energy in them. (Table1)

Content

Range

Carbohydrate

71.3 – 89.5

Protein

5.8 – 12.8

Fiber

3.5 – 3.9

Fat

1.3 – 2.7

Table1: Finger millet Flour Nutritional Value

Finger millet’s flour is also a good source of Minerals, Vitamins and some good number of Essential Amino Acids (EAA) which are essential for human body.

Millet’s flour has high amount of calcium. Calcium is one of the most important ingredients of our body and our daily need is around 350 mg. There are traces of Iron but rests of other minerals are negligible. (Table2)

Mineral Content

Amount (Typical-mg)

Calcium

350

Iron

3.9

Niacin

1.1

Thiamin

0.42

Riboflavin

0.19

Table2: Finger millet Nutrition Chart (Minerals)

Finger Millet also has some good number of Essential Amino Acids (EAA) which are essential for human body. Few of the key EAAs are Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Threonine and Tryptophan. (Table3)

Valine is essential for repair of tissues, muscle coordination and metabolism and also help maintain balance of nitrogen in the body. It also help promote mental calmness and enhance maintain mental vigor.

Isoleucine is essential for ensuring blood formation, keeping a check on blood sugar levels. It also helps heal and repair muscle tissues, bones and skin.

Threonine helps maintain protein levels in the body. It also helps formation of tooth enamel, also prevents formation of fat in the liver.

Tryptophan which act as natural relaxant and help fight anxiety, depression and insomnia. They also help in treating migraine headaches. They reduce excess appetite and help control weight gain; they also release of growth harmones.

Methionoine which is a sulfur based amino acid which is essential for various activities in human body. It is said to help promote growth of healthy skin and hair. The Sulfur which we get from Methionine helps produce a substance called lecithin which helps reduce cholesterol, reduce fat inside the livers and help protect kidneys. This methionine is generally lacking in staple diet of some of the vegetarians and hence regular Finger Millets intake will help get enough of these amino acids.

Amino Acids Content

Amount
(mg/g of protein)

Leucine

594

Valine

413

Phenylalanin

325

Isoleucine

275

Threonine

263

Methionine

194

Tryptophan

191

Lysine

181

Cystine

163

Table3: Finger Millet Nutrition Value (Amino Acids Content)

Health Benefits Of Finger Millet's:

Losing weight: Finger Millet contains an amino acid called Tryptophan which lowers appetite and helps in keeping weight in control. It gets digested at a slower rate thus keeps one away from intaking excessive calories. Also, fibers present in this give a feeling of fulness thus controls excessive food consumption. 

Bone health: Finger Millet is rich in Calcium which helps in strengthening bones. It is an excellent source of natural calcium for growing children and aging people. Millets consumption helps in development of bones in growing children and in maintenance of bone health in adults. It keeps diseases such as osteoporosis at bay and could reduce risk of fracture.  

Diabetes: Finger Millet’s phytochemicals help in slowing digestion process. This helps in controlling blood sugar level in condition of diabetes. In a study conducted in 2000, it was found that Finger Millet based diet helps diabetics as it contains higher fiber than rice and wheat. Also, the study found that diet based on whole finger millet has lower glycemic response i.e. lower ability to increase blood sugar level. This is due to presence of factors in Finger Millet’s  flour which lower digestibility and absorption of starch.

Lowering blood Cholesterol: Finger Millet contains amino acids Lecithin and Methionine which help in bringing down cholesterol level by eliminating excess fat from Liver. Finger Millet also contains Threonine amino acid which hinders fat formation in the liver, which brings cholesterol level of the body down.

Anaemia: Finger Millet is a very good source of natural Iron. Finger Millet consumption helps in condition of Anaemia.

For Relaxation: Finger Millet consumption helps in relaxing body naturally. It is beneficial in conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia. This is also useful for migraines.

For Protein/ Amino Acids: Finger Millet is rich in Amino Acids which are vital in normal functioning of body and are essential for repairing body tissues. Finger Millet contains Tryptophan, Threonine, Valine, Isoleucine and Methionoine amino acids. Isoleucine helps in muscle repair, blood formation, contributes to bone formation and improves skin health. Valine is essential amino acid which facilitates metabolism, helps in muscle coordination and repair of body tissues. It helps in balancing nitrogen in the body. Another essential amino acid, not found in most cereals, is Methionine which is useful in various body processes, helps in eliminating fat from the body, and is main provider of sulfur in body. Sulfur is essential for production of Glutathione - body's natural antioxidant.  

For other health conditions: If consumed regularly, Finger Millet could help in keeping malnutrition, degenerative diseases and premature aging at bay. Green Ragi is recommended for conditions of blood pressure, liver disorders, asthma and heart weakness. Green Finger Millet is also recommended to lactating mothers in condition of lack of milk production.

 


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