2021, VOL. 7 ISSUE 2, PART B
Finger millet (Ragi) as an essential dietary supplement with key health benefits: A review
Author(s): Padmaja Jagati, Indurekha Mahapatra and Debasmita Dash
The world geography has so many millet crop producer and India serves as one of the key producers of the millets. Finger millets, a type of small-sized millets, requires larger area of cultivation for growing the crop. Finger millet is considered as a special food supplement because of its high nutritional contents in comparison to other important cereals, namely barley, rye etc. It mainly consists of minerals, dietary fiber and important amino acids. In different parts of our country, especially in South India, the rural population use finger millet (Eleusine coracana), popularly known as ragi, as their principal food. Ragi, among all cereals, contains greater calcium level along with antioxidants and phytochemicals. The finger millet grain possesses a high content of total dietary fiber among other cereal grains that is extremely beneficial in controlling blood glucose level in diabetic patients. Besides, it is also beneficial to patients suffering with cardiovascular disease, cancer and other cognitive diseases. Ragi can be processed through different processing methods to be used as a food supplement attractive in appearance, taste, flavor and consistency. However, despite of its beneficial effects, it is limited in use in the localities, where it is produced. There exists great opportunity for processing finger millet into several functional foods to be used by mass population of our country.