Researchers from Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in India published a review about the nutritional and health benefits of finger millet in the journal of Food Science and Human Wellness. They also took note of the different varieties of millet and its abundance in the world. Investigations were done about the potential health benefits of finger millet and its nutritional properties by looking at the results of the proximate analysis.
India, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, and China produce the majority of the world’s millet crop.
Finger millet is the most cultivated variety of millet in India. It utilizes the largest area under cultivation.
Common millet crop varieties include finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn), little millet (Panicum sumatrense Roth ex Roem. & Schult.), foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauvois) and proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.).
Finger millet has higher nutritional values compared to other cereals like barley, rye, and oats.
Proximate analysis showed that it contains 0.34 percent calcium, 18 percent dietary fiber, 0.48 percent phytates, 6-13 percent protein. 2.5-3.5 percent minerals, and 0.3-3 percent phenolics.
It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals like thiamine, riboflavin, and iron.
It is also an abundant source of essential amino acids like methionine, isoleucine, leucine, and phenylalanine.
Finger millet has more than adequate amounts of phytochemicals. This increases its potential as a nutraceutical.
Consumption of finger millet is believed to have health beneficial properties, such as anti-diabetes, anti-diarrhea, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, anti-turmogenic, atherosclerogenic, effects, antimicrobial, and antioxidant.
Based on the review, the researchers concluded that finger millet is a nutrient-rich cereal that has the capability of managing different disorders. It also helps maintain blood glucose homeostasis. Lastly, the seed coat of whole meal-based finger millet products also has health-enhancing benefits.
Chandra D, Chandra S, Pallavi, Sharma A. REVIEW OF FINGER MILLET (ELEUSINE CORACANA (L.) GAERTN): A POWER HOUSE OF HEALTH BENEFITING NUTRIENTS. Food Science and Human Wellness. September 2016;5(3):149–155. DOI: 10.1016/j.fshw.2016.05.004