FOXTAIL MILLETS INTRODUCTION:
Foxtail millet is one the most popular and oldest of all cultivated millets. It is scientifically known as Setaria italica. It belongs to poaceae family. Foxtail millet is named with many regional names, in telugu Foxtail millet is named as KORALLU. Some of the alternative names for Foxtail millets include Italian millet, Italian foxtail, German millet, Siberian millet and Foxtail bristle grass. These millets are native and commonly cultivated across the world like China, Africa, India, Russia, USA and Europe. It is an annual crop which grows in warm climatic conditions. Foxtail millet grains are about 2mm in length and the glumes are in varied colors like white, red, black, brown and yellow. At present, the Foxtail millet is globally cultivated in about 26 countries and it is playing a significant role across the world both nutritionally and economically.
Dr.Khadar vali the Renowned independent scientist and expert on health and food. He is known as the Father of Jungle Farming. He is the one who brought the revolutionary impact in lifestyle and food habits of many people. He personally experienced the healing properties present in them could cure even deadly diseases and hence named these five varieties of millets as ‘SIRIDHANYALU‘. 1) Foxtail millet, 2) Browntop millet, 3) Little millet, 4) Barnyard millet and 5) Kodo millet are considered as Siridhanayalu.
HEAITH BENEFITS OF FOXTAIL MILLETS:
CURE FOR DIABETES: Foxtail Millet helps to regulate blood glucose level and improves the insulin response in the body. It has very low glycemic index which helps the glucose or sugar to release slowly into the blood stream and enables the metabolic rate for a long time. It is an excellent alternative for rice or other grains which increases the blood sugar levels in the body. Taking Foxtail millet as a staple food not only enhances the metabolism but also helps in protecting against oxidative damage and coronary diseases.
REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART ATTACK:
It aids in protecting the heart from blockages as it is capable to regulate the blood sugar levels in the body. Heart attacks occur due to the blocks in the arterial walls. One can overcome this by incorporating it in their daily diet which is rich in many vitamins minerals and amino acids. Hence lowers the blood sugar levels in the blood and decreases the risk of heart attacks.
It is a gluten free food which is a good substitute for the people who are gluten sensitive. A gluten free food is good for the body as it helps in improving the digestion, increases the metabolic rate and also acts like a detoxifier which eliminates the waste food that is in the form of fat, sugars and cholesterol. Foxtail millet plays a vital role in in eliminating the viruses and germs in our body and enable the immune system by increasing resistance against various diseases including cancer.
RICH SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANT:
It is high on antioxidants. It is abundant mainly in tryptophan and amino acids. Our body is accumulated with full of toxins as we are consuming modern foods and these are leading to many modern lifestyle diseases . Hence by incorporating this millet as a staple food we can experience the toxin free body which obviously makes the body healthy by eliminating all the toxins in the form of free radicals and reducing the oxidative stress in the body.
It is true that diseases like cancer are being cured by using some of millets specially like Foxtail millets and Kodo millets. The lignans present in the millets are thought to protect against breast cancer and also heart diseases. Dr.Khadar vali after the profound research for about past twenty years stated and recommended the Foxtail and other millets to the patients and got results after using them in their daily diet accordingly. The foods rich in fiber are great for the women who are suffering with the breast cancer which is common and deadliest cancer in women and every one should take this as a tip to reduce the risk of cancer and build a healthy nation.
The foxtail millet is an abundant source of huge vitamins and minerals and it is the precious god’s gift to us which is Eco-friendly and also farmers friendly millet. It does not demand much water, requires minimum care and maintenance. Farmers can easily grow these type of millets using farmyard manure without using any hazardous synthetic pesticides and can produce pest free pure and natural foxtail millets. In order to produce 1 kg of foxtail millet only 200 liters of water is required. Just 3 – 4 falls of rain in a season is adequate for a crop to grow. In current situation we are facing lot of water crisis and also seasonal disturbances hence we should educate our self on the ecological crisis we are undergoing and encourage our local farmers to grow and produce these easy growing foxtail millets which is beneficial to everybody.
HIGH IN CALCIUM CONTENT:
It is rich in calcium content which helps to keep the skeleton system strong as it is made of bones. Foxtail millet play a vital role in building strength in bones as it contain huge source of calcium. One must definitely incorporate this food in their daily diet to overcome from the calcium deficiency problem like fractures, arthritis and osteoporosis. The Foxtail millet is also a good food for pregnant women which helps to meet the dietary requirements to both the mother and the baby. Foxtail millet intake in children helps to develop strong skeleton system, in adults it helps to maintain the bones healthy and it is also a good food for older people as they face lot of bone related issues which can be avoided by taking the Foxtail millet in their everyday diet.
HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS:
The Foxtail millet helps for weight loss and to maintain the proper weight of the body. The main function of the Foxtail millet is to enhance the digestive system which also helps to eliminate the waste accumulation of fat or any undigested food. The Foxtail millets and other millets are the new mantra for weight loss. Foxtail millet contain an amino acid known as tryptophan and high fiber content which will help to digest the food accordingly and basically it takes longer time to digest as it keeps the stomach full and this can trim our appetite. And one can avoid over consumption of food which leads to piling up of extra calories and does not lead to the weight gain. As the Foxtail millet is also rich in dietary fiber it helps for easy bowel movement thus making the digestive system more clean and healthy.
PREVENTS AGING PROCESS:
The Foxtail millets as the properties of anti aging as it contain the amino acids like lysine and methionine which makes the skin soft, youthful, smooth, rejuvunated and one must consume this Foxtail millet to improve the skin tone. It can also prevent the aging symptoms like wrinkles and sagging of the skin as it helps in the collagen production. The collagen prevents the formation of wrinkles and skin sagging by enhancing the skin elasticity and makes the skin stiff and youthful.
CURE FOR BRAIN DISORDERS:
The Foxtail millet has the ability to cure various brain disorders and the iron content in the Foxtail millet helps in the brain development. In the process of aging the oxygen supply to the brain gradually decreases and it leads to various ailments like dementia and Alzheimer disease. The iron content in Foxtail millet helps to supply oxygen to the brain as it uses about 20% of blood oxygen. The adequate amount of blood helps to promote proper brain oxygenation which is very essential for the proper growth and functioning of brain.
LOWERS BLOOD CHOLESTEROL:
The Foxtail millet is very rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and dietary fiber. The amino acids such as Lecithin and Methionine plays a key role in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood and also aids in eliminating the excess fat depositions in the body. And the dietary fiber in the Foxtail millet is very significant in removing the toxins and makes the stomach free from waste and undigested food accumulations which helps to maintain the healthy body.
ALKALINE IN NATURE:
The alkaline nature is a very good property for our digestive system. People who consume the Foxtail millet as their staple food will have good pH balance and digestion. The pH value changes accordingly depending upon the form, if the foxtail millet in raw state the value may differ with the cooked and also with the roasted form. The pH value of the germinated Foxtail is higer than all the forms it is about 7.2 and next the raw form it is about 7.0, next comes boiled that is about 6.5 to 6.7 depending upon the type of boiling if it is pressure cooked the pH value will be around 6.5 and the last comes the roasted Foxtail with the pH value 6.2 approximately.
USES OF FOXTAIL MILLET:
Foxtail millet is widely used as food grain and as a forage crop in Asia, North Africa, and South east Europe.
It is also used for brewing beer in Russia and is an important food crop in China. It is also used as a taste enchancer in gruels for making some delicious cakes, biscuits, and rusk products. It is used in vinegar products.
Foxtail millet is very rich in minerals and vitamins, in China it is used as a medicinal food by knowing its beneficial effects and considered as highly nutritious food.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUALITY OF THE FOXTAIL MILLET:
The demand for millets has drastically increased and the production is very low, considering the scarcity in the market, many are taking this as a chance and making money by selling the pseudo millets because it is very difficult to find out the millet quality in general. The very easy and simple method is that for every grain of millet there will be mini black dot which is known as millet eye. For example, if we are buying the packed millets, we should identify the eye clearly and if the 70 to 80 % of the grains are with eyes then we can simply buy that pack without any hesitation.