With the ever growing emphasis on eating healthy and incorporating whole grains into our daily diet, many Indian grains that were long forgotten are now finding their way back into the Indian household. Ragi or the Finger Millet, is one such grain that has made a comeback to our diet regimen owing to its impressive nutritional profile and several health benefits. Ragi is a sturdy grain that is harvested in tropical countries like Africa and India. It is known to withstand the harshest of climates and Karnataka is the largest producer of the grain in the country.
The impressive nutritional profile of ragi features a very high percentage of calcium along with other minerals like copper, iron, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. It also features notable fiber, protein and carbohydrate content. As a bonus, the percentage of fats is negligible and ragi contains zero gluten and cholesterol! All these features make ragi a supergrain that you must start including into your diet.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF RAGI
1 . Promotes Weight Loss
Being very rich in dietary fiber, ragi has the quality of keeping you feeling full for a long time. An amino acid, tryptophan in the grain also possesses appetite reducing properties. In addition, the low percentage of unsaturated fats also helps those striving for weight loss.
2 . Helps Control Diabetes
Ragi is the grain of choice for diabetics. It’s high fiber and polyphenol content helps regulate the blood sugar levels in the body. Also, having very low glycemic index, ragi slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood, thereby regulating blood sugar levels.
3 . Strengthens Bones
Those intolerant of lactose or those with a general dislike for milk should definitely include ragi in their daily diet. A measly 100 grams of the grain provides over 300 mg of calcium and this helps maintain the strength of bones and teeth and also prevents joint problems.
4 . Prevents Anaemia
Being rich in iron, ragi has been shown to prevent anaemia. The iron content in the grain spikes the levels of hemoglobin in the blood and increases the body’s oxygen absorption capacity.
5 . Delays Ageing
Antioxidants like Vitamin C, flavonoids and tannins among other nutrients present in the finger millet are instrumental in preventing oxidative damage to cells caused due to free radical damage.
6 . Promotes Heart Health
Ragi inhibits the synthesis of LDL or the infamous ‘Bad Cholesterol’, thereby limiting its fatal consequences. It has a similar effect on the harmful triglycerides as well, in the process preventing damage to our arteries, veins and the heart.
7 . Helps Fight Stress
Including ragi in your daily diet can see you bid farewell to lifestyle hazards like stress and anxiety. Antioxidants like tryptophan and other essential amino acids act as natural relaxers for the nerves. Studies show that the consumption of ragi can also subside migraines.
Consuming as much as 250 grams of ragi is considered safe for an adult human being, on a daily basis. The grain is versatile when it comes to ways of consumption. In the grounded form, it can be made into nutritious chapattis. Another very popular use of ragi is in the morning porridge or upma. You can also prepare multigrain aata by adding grounded ragi with other grains. So, go ahead and give this healthy grain a try and reap the countless benefits that it has to offer. Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy!