World's best Natural Baby food
This is an article covering the nutritional aspects of the Finger millet (Eleusine coracana), also known as African millet or Ragi.
- Finger millet
- Nutritional factor
- Amino Acids contains in Finger millet
- Health benefit of the EAA in our body
- How to prepare a Baby feed
Finger millet (Eleusine coracana), also known as African millet or Ragi, is an
annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Finger millet is one of the best natural Baby food which is easy to digest and very very nutritious. It is rich in minerals like calcium, iron, protein, fibre and essential amino acids.
On an average, Finger millet contains 72.6 percentage of Carbohydrate, 7.7 percentage of Protein, 3.6 percentage of Fibre and 1.3 percentage of Fat (mostly unsaturated fat).
Each 100 grams of Finger millet contains about 350 mg Calcium, 3.9 mg Iron, 1.1 mg Niacin or vitamin B3, 0.42 mg Thiamine or vitamin B1 and 0.19 mg Riboflavin or vitamin B2 and amino acids.
Amino Acids contains in Finger millet
Finger millet is also a rich source of natural Essential Amino Acids or EAA. The following are the nine EAAs found in Finger millet along with its amount in mg/g of Protein: Leucine - 594 mg/g, Valine - 413 mg/g, Phenylalanin - 325 mg/g,
Isoleucine - 275 mg/g, Threonine - 263 mg/g, Methionine - 194 mg/g, Tryptophan - 191mg/g, Lysine - 181 mg/g, Cystine - 163 mg/g.
Health benefit of the EAA in our body
These Essential Amino Acids has the following functions in our body and overall health:
Cystine - Cystine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that helps form healthy skin, hair, bones, and connective tissues. It is also required to make glutathione, one of the natural antioxidants.
Isoleucine - Isoleucine is essential for ensuring blood formation and keeping a check on blood sugar levels. It also helps heal and repair muscle tissues, bones and skin.
Leucine - Leucine works with the amino acids isoleucine and valine to repair muscles, regulate blood sugar, and provide the body with energy. It also increases production of growth hormones, and helps burn visceral fat, which is located in the deepest layers of the body and the least responsive to dieting and exercise. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and all three of them help promote muscle recovery after exercise.
Lysine - Amino acids like lysine are the building blocks of protein. Lysine is important for proper growth, and it plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol.
Methionine - Methionoine which is a sulfur based amino acid which is essential for various activities in human body. It is said to help promote growth of healthy skin and hair. The Sulfur which we get from Methionine helps produce a substance called lecithin which helps reduce cholesterol, reduce fat inside the livers and help protect kidneys. This methionine is generally lacking in staple diet of some of the vegetarians and hence regular Ragi intake will help get enough of these amino acids.
Phenylalanin - Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is needed for normal functioning of the central nervous system
Threonine - Threonine helps maintain protein levels in the body. It also helps formation of tooth enamel, also prevents formation of fat in the liver.
Tryptophan - Tryptophan which act as natural relaxant and help fight anxiety, depression and insomnia. They also help in treating migraine headaches. They reduce excess appetite and help control weight gain; they also release of growth harmones.
Valine - Valine is essential for repair of tissues, muscle coordination and metabolism and also help maintain balance of nitrogen in the body. It also help promote mental calmness and enhance maintain mental vigor.
Roughly, on an average, 100 grams of finger millet provides 336 Kilo Calories.
From the above facts and figures, it's evident that Finger millet or Ragi is an ideal food for all age groups; especially the babies. As a baby food, Ragi is far better than the commercial counter parts without any toxicity or chemical preservatives. It is easy to digest, tasty and healthy.
How to prepare a Baby feed
Clean the raw Ragi by picking any foreign bodies or impurities by hand. Then clean with plenty of pure water and strain. Dry the strained seeds under the Sun or on a Dryer. Grind the seeds into fine powder and store it in an air-tight container.
For preparing a baby feed, take a scoop of this Ragi powder. Add a cup of water and stir well. Strain out the dissolved Ragi flour. Add one more cup of water to it. Put this watery solution in a thick bottom stainless steel vessel and bring to warm by continuously stirring the solution. Always use low flame. When it is sufficiently warm, add half cup of milk and sugar to taste. Bring to boil by continuously stirring the content. When it's a thick paste form, put out the flame. Cool the Ragi paste and feed the baby using a clean, sterilized spoon. Dilute the paste with boiled, warm milk if necessary.
Note: Use this preparation as soon as possible to avoid contamination. Use fresh preparation for each feed. Suitable only for babies of 6 months and above.