Foxtail Millet (Thinai)
Foxtail millet is one of the widely cultivated millet across East Asia. Its antiquity predates to over thousands of years. The millet has been a staple food of South India during the Erstwhile Sangam period. References to the use of 'Thinai' are available in Tamil literature of the said period.
The crop of Foxtail millet matures within a span of mere three months of cultivation and makes efficient use of available water. So it is mostly cultivated in dry and upland areas where availability of water is relatively scant.
While all the millets are rich sources of essential vital nutrients and fibers, Foxtail millet provides a significant amount of Protein (12.3g), Minerals (4g) and Fiber (6.7g). It is equally rich in B series of Vitamins. The millet provides Vitamin B3, which is vital for reducing high blood cholesterol and maintaining cardiovascular health. It also has a considerable amount of Vitamin B1, which is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and in the maintenance of neurological health. People with diabetes often are reported to have a deficiency of Vitamin B1.
Foxtail millet is also an excellent source of Phosphorous which helps in the strengthening of bones and teeth, and Folic acid, which is vital for the production of Red Blood Cells and fertility in men and women. Regular intake of Folate also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Besides, Foxtail millet also provides a fair amount of Vitamin E and Vitamin A (Carotene). With all the above vital nutrients, the millet is not only good for the heart but also exceptionally good for general well-being.