Kodo Millet (Varagu) - Health Benefits
Kodo millet is grown mainly in India, West Africa and also in other East Asian countries. The crop can grow in low nutrient soil and even in a drought-like condition. The wild variety of Kodo millet, which is more suitable for wetter conditions prone to flooding, traces its origin to Africa, while the domesticated variety of Kodo is cultivated mostly in the dry regions of the Deccan plateau of India. Kodo as a crop requires four months to reach its yield, and apart from human consumption, the crop also serves as a feed for animals.
Kodo millet can be cooked just like rice or ground into flour and used. It provides balanced nutrition with 11% Protein and ample Fibre, unlike Polished white rice. Kodo is also rich in Anti-oxidants. The millet contains 65g of carbohydrates, 5.2g of fiber, 23.1g of folic acid and a host of other Vitamins and Minerals in moderate quantity.
Kodo Millet is rich in Folate, required for the production of Red Blood Cells in the body. Sufficient Intake of Folate, which improves fertility in both men and women, is often advocated before pregnancy. Folate, when consumed through a planned diet or as a supplement has shown decreased instances of heart disease and stroke. With ample dietary Fibre and right amounts of Protein and Carbohydrates, Kodo millet can be a natural substitute to other major cereals like rice and wheat.