Showing posts with label health benefits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health benefits. Show all posts

Friday, December 6, 2013

Health Benefits of Ragi | Medindia

Finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) also known as Ragi in India is one of the important cereals which occupies the highest area under cultivation among the small millets. The state of Karnataka is the largest producer of ragi in India. Ragi is a crop which can withstand severe drought conditions and can be easily grown throughout the year. Nutritionally, when ragi is used as a whole grain, it is higher in protein and minerals in comparison to all other cereals and millets. It is a remarkable source of protein, making it perfect for vegetarian diets.....
Finger millet contains important amino acids viz., isoleucine, leucine, methionine and phenyl alanine which are not present in other starchy meals. It has the highest amount of calcium (344 mg %) and potassium (408 mg %). Ragi is a great source of iron making it beneficial for individuals with low hemoglobin levels.        

Millets also contains B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid. Some of the health benefits of ragi are attributed to its polyphenol and dietary fiber contents. Due to its high content of polyphenols and dietary fiber ragi exhibits anti-diabetic and antioxidant and antimicrobial properties; it protects against tumors and atherosclerosis (narrowing and hardening of blood vessels). Being low in fat and gluten free, ragi is easy to digest. It is therefore, given as first foods to babies in the form of ragi porridge.

Malted ragi grains are ground and consumed, mixed with milk, boiled water or yogurt. In southern parts of India, it is a recommended food, by doctors, for infants of six months and above because of its high nutritional content. Homemade ragi malt is one of the most popular infant foods till date.  Malting characteristics of finger millet are superior to other millets. On malting the vitamin-C is elaborated, phosphorus availability is increased, digestion is easier and amino acids are synthesized. In south India, the malted ragi flour is extensively used in preparation of weaning foods, instant mixes and beverages.

Despite finger millet's rich nutrient profile, low cost and easy availability recent studies indicate its lower consumption in general by urban Indians. Obesity has become a matter of health concern in India. Unhealthy foods have increasingly become a part of the food choices made by youth. Large populations of children in the country are malnourished and are deficient in calcium and protein. The millet ragi then could be the answer to all the above problems relating to nutrient deficiencies. Ragi is truly a wonder cereal grain and should be consciously incorporated in the diets in one way or the other.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Positive health indicators associated with avocado consumption

We know that avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit (botanically a large berry that contains a single seed) of the tree.

Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, it ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

The fruit of horticultural cultivars has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of various groups where access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy products, etc.) is limited.
A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning; it turns brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013