Ragi, also known as finger millet, is obtained from the branches of the panicle, which looks like fingers. It is important millet, cultivated in India. It is one of the staple food crops in Karnataka and a few of the hilly parts of India. It is one of the ideal foods of those people who are involved in hard labor and also for those who are diabetics.
Ragi is equipped with scientific name – Eleusine coracana Gaertn.
Ragi is packed with 12-13 % moisture, almost nil fat and nearly 10% protein coupled with the essential amino acid lecithin and methionine. It contains great quantities of fiber, B-complex vitamins that includes thiamin, iron, vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin, and calcium. It is considered to be one of the ideal foods for toddlers, teenager girls’, pregnant women and aging people. In addition, the low level of glycemic found in nachani is good for diabetics as it maintains the blood sugar level and did not allow catapult the level of sugar in blood. These benefits make ragi a great diet for diabetics.
Based on a research conducted by National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad Ragi was found to have highest anti oxidant activity among all the pulses, legumes, etc. Ragi also posses highest phenolic content among all too.
Health Benefits of Ragi
It is packed with calcium, fiber, iron, protein, and other minerals. This cereal manifests low fat and is rich in unsaturated fat. It is easily digestible and free from gluten. It has been accepted as one of the most nutritious cereals.
Great for Bone Health : Ragi is good source of calcium and helps consolidating bones. It is defined as excellent source of nutrition for growing children and aging person. Consumption of ragi can help developing bones in growing children and maintaining the bone strength of adults. It is also instrumental in keeping ailments like osteoporosis away and can also cut down the risk of fracture. Ragi is good for providing strength and cooling effect to your body in summer days.
Great for Losing Weight : Ragi is packed with amino acid – tryptophan which reduces the appetite and thus keeps weight under control. It gets digested slowly hence there is no need to consume more calories frequently as you do not require frequent intake of food. Due to its fiber content it provides a feeling of fullness and keeps the appetite rate low.
Ragi Great for Diabetic : The phytochemicals found in ragi is the major reason behind slowing down of digestion process. It also helps control blood sugar level specifically in diabetes condition. As per a study conducted in 2000, it was discovered that ragi based food is good for diabetics as it is rich in fiber content compared to wheat or rice. It was also found that meal of whole millet can reduce glycemic response which means it can lower the potential to catapult blood sugar level.
Lowers Blood Cholesterol : This food is also equipped with Methionine and amino acids Lecithin and help in reducing cholesterol level by warding off excess fat found in liver. It is also rich in Threonine amino acid which is known for eliminating fat accumulation in the liver and subsequently brings down cholesterol level.
Protects from Anaemia : Ragi is a packed with natural Iron. It helps in providing a constant and regular iron supplement to your body and thus combats any kind of anemic condition.
Good Source of Relaxation : Ingestion of this cereal promotes the relaxing components and it offers a soothing effect to your body naturally. It is great remedy if you are suffering from depression, anxiety or insomnia. It is also instrumental in treating and relaxing the migraine condition.
Good Source of Protein and Amino Acids : It is high in amino acids content which is liable for general functioning of bodily system and is also necessary for rejuvenating and repairing tissues of our body. Ragi is coupled with Tryptophan, Isoleucine, Threonine, Valine, and Methionoine amino acids. Isoleucine is helpful in repairing muscles, formation of blood, formation and strengthening of bones and retains the healthy skin. Same way valine is necessary amino acid that stimulates metabolism, assists in muscle coordination and body tissue repair work. It is also good for maintaining good level of nitrogen in your body. Yet another essential amino acid, which is rarely found in other cereals, is methionine. It triggers several body processes and assists in warding off fat from the body. It is the major source of sulfur in body, which is necessary for creation of Glutathione – natural antioxidant found in the body.
Some other Health Benefits
If it is eaten on regular basis, it can help fulfill all requirements of nutrients keeping malnutrition, premature aging and degenerative disorders at bay. Green ragi is often suggested for liver disorders, blood pressure, asthma and heart ailments. It is also for lactating mothers if they are suffering from lack of proper mild production.
How to Select and Storage
When you go for purchasing ragi flour make sure it should be dust free and clean and it should not manifest any foul odor and any kind of infestations. It is advisable to go for organic grains, if you can afford. You should store in a cool and dry place in an airtight and packed container.
Warnings Using Ragi
High consumption of ragi may enhance the level of oxalic acid in your body. It is often suggested not to consume it is you are suffering from kidney stone problems.
Safe Ragi Dosage Per Day
There is no recommended dosage of eating ragi on regular basis. It can be consumed in limited quantity but it is advisable to take advice of your dietitian before including ragi in your regular diet, albeit there is no prominent side effects have been reported till now.
Ragi, also widely known as finger millet, is a great cereal and has been a staple food in south regions of India. It is consumed in different forms and is a good source of various nutrients and proteins. It is beneficial for treating several health conditions also. Hence it is a fabulous food packed with great punch of nutrients to enjoy and healthy life. Make it a part of your regular diet and enjoy a refreshing and healthy life.