Finger Millet Description
Millet is an annual herbaceous plant and a vital food in many parts of the world. There are different kinds of millet, and all of them have similar health benefits. Finger millet, commonly known as Ragi / Nachni / Mandua is gaining popularity worldwide because of its multiple health benefits, the ease in its growth and its adaptability as a food. Moreover, we can find finger millet in health food stores and large supermarkets throughout the world, especially in India and also, it’s widely used as an alternative to wheat or other grains.
This grain is small in size and deep brown in color. It is an economically important and highly nutritious super food. We use it to make bread, beer, and cereal. Because of its popularity, finger millet can be found in organic health and natural food stores in India, and hence, it’s widely used as an alternative to wheat or other grains because of its various nutritional facts. It contains about 5-8% Protein, 1-2% Ether Extractives, 65-75% Carbohydrates, 15-20% Dietary Fiber and 2.5-3.5% Minerals. Moreover, it has the highest Calcium content (around 344mg/100g) and Fiber among all cereals and that makes it one of the best organic foods.
Finger millet is a prime source of Niacin, which plays an important role in more than 400 enzyme reactions. It can add taste and variety full of nutrition to your breakfast table. Being low in Glycemic Index (54-68), Ragi is also suitable for controlling weight and diabetes, hence, it proves to be an important inclusion in the diets of Diabetic people. The grain is readily digestible, highly nutritious and versatile, and can be cooked like rice, ground to make porridge or flour, or used to make cakes. Sprouted grains are recommended for infants and elderly people.
Health Benefits of Finger Millet
The various vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in Finger Millet can provide several important health benefits. The potassium found in finger millet can help your kidneys and heart to maintain proper functioning. Further, Potassium also helps your nerves transmit signals adequately, which allows your brain and muscles to work together smoothly in a pace.
Finger millet is also an excellent source of B vitamins, which play a role in everything from brain function to healthy cell division. Moreover, B vitamins are connected to a reduction in fatigue and provide strength to the muscles.
Along with this, finger millet can offer other health benefits like:
Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Controls Blood Sugar Level
Finger millet has a low glycemic index which can help restricting your blood sugar level from hiking after every meal. Therefore, it is the best replacement of wheat flour in the diet of Diabetic People.
Maintains Gut Health
Prebiotics present in the finger millet fiber inculcate the growth of good bacteria and maintain the gut health and hence, including finger millet in your diet reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Maintains Healthy Bones
It has high calcium content and hence, is a good source for maintaining Bone Health.
It also helps in getting rid of Anemia because of its high iron content.
Maintains Healthy Skin
Finger Millet is rich in Niacin which helps in maintaining the health of your blood, skin and organs.
Regular intake of Finger millet is extremely beneficial in dealing with conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Healthy Recipes of Finger Millet
Ragi or Nachni or Mandua is the most commonly used millet in the Indian Households because of its multiple health benefits including weight management and so, we present here the 6 Most Loved Recipes of Finger millet:
They are a quick, delicious, iron and fiber rich balls that we make using finger millet flour, jaggery, nuts and seeds. Also, they use less than 2 tablespoon of Ghee.
We prepare Ragi chapati or ragi roti using water, salt and finger millet flour. The important thing in this recipe is dough consistency and kneading.
We can prepare Ragi ambli or salty porridge using finger millet flour, buttermilk, salt, onion and curry leaves.
Ragi Manni Pudi
This is a multigrain powder which we prepare using ragi, rice, wheat, barley and green gram. This powder is a Karnataka style baby food.
The Ragi halbai is a kind of halwa or cake that we make using finger millet, jaggery and coconut.
We can make the Ragi Dosa using whole ragi, rice, urad dal, methi seeds and beaten rice.