Ragi or finger millet is cultivated in Asia and Africa. Its is one of the highly nutritional food and is a great source to extract energy. Ragi tops the chart amongst nutrient consumption and achieves a high rank in grains. The botanical name for Ragi is Eleusine Coracana. Ragi is available as Ragi whole, Ragi flour, multigrain flour and breakfast mixes such as malted Ragi flour.
It is also a fat cereal and most of the fats are in unsaturated form. Ragi is a complete multi nutritional food supplement which is rich in fiber, protein, calcium and other minerals. A rich calcium source, you can substitute a calcium pill with Ragi kanji. People in south India consumes ragi as their staple diet. They gain their strength through Ragi porridge which is a treat to eat.
There are multitudes of health beneficiaries you can opt and ragi is no where a bad option as it is a high fiber grain
Helps in bone development
This cereal is beneficial for growing children and older people who requires a constant supply of calcium. Consumption of Ragi prevents fractures and osteoporosis as it helps in maintaining healthy bones. The calcium rich grain is helpful in maintaining a complete health for women as well.
Ragi for losing weight
Ragi contains an amino acid called Tryptophan which lowers appetite and helps in managing weight. It gets digested at a slower rate thus helps in keeping the stomach filled for long hours. It helps in maintaining a distance from taking excessive diet.
Aid for diabetics
Finger millet’s phytochemicals helps in slowing down digestion process. It assists in controlling blood sugar levels in condition of diabetes. Finger millet are great for diabetic patients as they contain more fiber than rice and wheat. It has lower glycemic response I.e. lower ability to increase blood sugar level.
Ragi is a very good source of natural iron. Ragi consumption is associated with treatment of anaemia. Most women are seen to be victimised by anaemia and so is a blended source for them.
Reduces blood cholesterol
Ragi has been proved to be a great aid for lowering high cholesterol level. It contains amino acids which helps in bringing down cholesterol level by eliminating excess fat from liver. It also contains Threonine amino acid which hinders fat formation in the liver, thereby bringing the cholesterol level down.
Ragi consumption is ideal for relaxing body naturally. It is great in the conditions of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Ragi is also useful for migraines.
For other health conditions
If consumed regularly, Ragi could help in keeping degenerative diseases, malnutrition and premature ageing at bay. It is recommended for conditions of blood pressure, liver disorders, Asthma and heart weakness. Green Ragi is also recommended to lactating mothers in condition of lack of milk production.
It is an extremely nutritional cereal that possess an overall health. However, high consumption of Ragi is avoided as its high intake could increase quantity oxalic acid in the body, therefore, it is not advisable to patients having kidney stones. It has a whole lot of varieties to enjoy, you can experiment with Ragi rotis, ragi dosas, Ragi porridge, Ragi upma, Ragi cakes and more. Therefore, it is a wonder cereal grain and you should not be devoid of it. Indulge into delicacies of Ragi and enjoy wholesome healthy benefits with greater taste value.
Source of essential amino acids
Ragi, which is the Indian name for the cash crop millet is one of the best known source for natural protein. Not only is it rich in amino acid but it also contains mineral like Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin and Riboflavin. Millet or ragi contains vital amino acids like Isoleucine, Methionine, Tryptophan, Threonine and Valine which helps in the blood formation, building a good body metabolism, fights against depression and anxiety releasing hormones, and it releases happy hormones. Amongst the above mentioned vital amino acids Isoleucine promotes in muscle repair, bone formation and enhances overall skin condition. Also another mentioned amino acid Valine is associated in promoting healthy body metabolism and in repairing vital body tissues. Methionine is another very important amino acid which can only be found out in ragi. This amino acid is very important in reducing the excess unhealthy fat from our body and acts as the chief agent of sulfur. Sulfur leads to the production of body’s natural and most important antioxidant that is Glutathione.
High fiber content
Ragi or millet is considered to have the highest dietary fibers. Dietary fibers are necessary nutrients which facilitates in breaking down complex gluten of the digestive system into the easy excretion of waste material out of our body system. Compared to other cash crops like white rice, ragi has much higher content of dietary fiber. Also being a power house of amino acids like lecithin and methionine fights against the excess of cholesterol level and helps in getting rid of unnecessary fat.
Excellent baby food
In many parts of India ragi is considered to be an excellent option for baby food. It can be made into porridge and can be consumed by babies as old as a month. Ragi is full of dietary nutrients and it is enriched many nutrients too. Being a rich source of calcium and iron, ragi facilitates in the growth of better bone formation and creates a healthy body metabolism.
Ragi has amazing nutrients that helps in boosting up the hemoglobin content due to which lactating mothers should always opt for taking ragi. Due to this, the lactating mother’s milk gets nourished and green ragi helps in doing this. It contains important beneficial nutrients like iron, calcium and other vital amino acids which are good both for the child and the mother. Ragi also increases the milk production of the lactating mother.
Ragi food preparations
Finger millet or ragi is usually taken in the form of Indian bread or which we call as “roti”, in the form of porridge and dumplings which we popularly call “mudde”, and there is also a runny porridge which goes by the name “ambli”. In our country, ragi is used in the preparation of many important food items such as upma, idlis, dosas, cakes, biscuits and even ladoos. In southern Indian state of Kerala the traditional breakfast is known as ‘puttu’, which is made out of steaming together rice powder, ragi powder along with coconut. Replacing rice powder with ragi will make the dish even healthier.
Even in the preparation of multigrain flour, it is an essential part to add wheat along with finger millet in a proportion of 7:3 ratios. In this way, we can add ragi to our regular diet, and while making chapattis out of multigrain flour, if the color gets slightly brownish then it should be considered as a good sign since it is effective in controlling the gluten level by keeping cholesterol level at check.
There is also another type of ragi which is known as malted ragi. These types of ragi grains have a grounded texture. Usually malted ragi is recommended by doctors as food consumption for infants of six month old. It can be consumed by either mixing with milk, boiled water or even with yogurt. Although it has been found out by recent studies that homemade malted ragi is highly beneficial as infant food.
By malting the finger millets, a lot of nutrients get increased. The vitamin C is elongated, phosphorus availability is increased, digestion is easier and amino acids are synthesized. In southern India, malted ragi flour is the most preferred ingredient for the preparation of major food, instant mixes and even in beverages.
Even though finger millet has a very reasonable market value with a high availability, seen by a recent study it has been observed that it does not have a high consumption value. Weight and cholesterol related problems are increasing day by day and it is mostly because of their bad food habits. A lot of children lack a sufficient calcium and protein level which can be compensated with the consumption of ragi. It is truly one of the most beneficial cereals that have the power to bring a good change to our overall health and metabolism.