Ragi is a finger millet, which is rich in protein and minerals compared to all other grains and millets. Also a source of protein, it is perfect for vegetarians. Finger millet contains important amino acids – isoleucine, leucine, methionine and phenylalanine which are not present in other starchy foods. It contains the greatest amount of calcium and potassium. Ragi is an excellent source of iron, which makes it beneficial for people with low hemoglobin. It’s good for the stomach and good digestion. To use it, the ragi is sorted and washed. It spreads in the sun for 5 to 8 hours to dry. It is then sprayed. Millet 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 content.
If you are unaware about the benefits of including Ragi in your diet, we have reasons and expert advice for why you most certainly should.
1. Calcium laden:
Ragi flour is one of the best sources of non-dairy calcium compared to any other grain. According to the National Nutrition Institute in India, 100 grams of Ragi contains 344 mg of calcium. Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth and for preventing osteoporosis – a disease that weakens bones. “It is extremely beneficial for growing children and can be administered as a Ragi porridge,” recommends Bangalore nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood.
2. Helps to control diabetes:
the seed coat is abundant in polyphenols and dietary fiber compared to rice, corn or wheat. The low glycemic index decreases food cravings and maintains the digestive rhythm, therefore, keeping blood sugar within the safe range. “It’s best to add it to your morning meal or have it for lunch to keep your system on track all day,” says Dr. Sood.
3. Relaxes the Body:
Regular consumption of Ragi is highly beneficial in dealing with conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia.The presence of antioxidants, mainly Tryptophan and amino acids, helps as they work as natural relaxants. As per a study conducted by MedIndia in 2000, Ragi consumption is also useful for migraines. What better way there is than to calm yourself down by munching on some healthy and crisp Ragi cookies?
4. Helps in Weight Loss:
The high amount of dietary fibre combine keeps the stomach full for a longer and prevents unwanted cravings. This in turn leads to a minimised appetite and weight loss. “Ragi flour lowers your blood sugar levels in the body by activating insulin. Like I said before, it is best consumed in the morning to make the most of its qualities and keep you full through the day,” says Dr. Sood.