Before rice, ancient people mostly used grains, which are packed with high levels of nutrients. It’s really interesting to unleash health benefits of ragi.
With my questing nature, once I asked my granny about her childhood. What caught my attention is the eating habit. Her diet includes nutritious food like ragi malt and jowar.
Yes, I tried them and believe me, there aren’t delicious.
But, my first experience after having ragi malt for a week is that my indigestion problem and bloating issues vanished.
My mom added ragi flour with jowar flour to make rotis. Even now, I follow this diet. Though it’s not good for my taste buds, I need them for my health.:)
Finger millet or ragi crop can withstand severe drought conditions, says Medindia.net
In this article you’ll read about benefits of ragi for health and skin.
Spare few seconds to read brief history of ragi.
East Africa is the place from where ragi is originated. According to Indian archaeological ragi cultivation started here in 1800 BCE. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are major cultivators of this whole grain.
15 Awesome Health Benefits of Ragi
From my personal experience, you can use this cereal to reduce weight, improve digestion and it’s a perfect diet for diabetic patients. You can check its nutritional profile at the end of this article.
#1 Strengthen Bones
Calcium and vitamin D packed in ragi helps to maintain optimal bone health. Calcium, which is one of the main component for bone density is found densely in this cereal.
Including ragi malt in children’s diet will improve their bone health.
According to United States National Academies, World’s attitude towards ragi must be reversed. Finger millet is neglected scientifically and internationally. Unfortunately, even countries which cultivate this most nutritious cereal term it as a poor man’s food.
#2 Reduce Appetite (Weight Loss)
Rich concentration of fiber, amino acid and Tryptophan can effectively reduce appetite. Craving for food all the time is the main cause of excess weight gain.
People, who’re looking for weight loss must try whole grains. Bulk fiber content in ragi and other whole grains slower the digestion process and makes you feel full.
To reap all these benefits, experts recommend including ragi in your breakfast. You can make ragi malt, ragi rotis or idli.
#3 Controls Diabetes
Polyphenols and rich concentration of fiber in ragi make it the best food for diabetic patients. These exceptional properties help to maintain blood sugar levels and reduce food craving.
My uncle and cousin are diabetic patients; they have rotis of ragi and jowar in dinner. You can also include them after noon or breakfast.
#4 Treats Anemia
Sprouting ragi seeds will increase vitamin C and iron. Ragi being natural source of iron is a boon for anemic patients. Vitamin C enhances easy absorption of iron into blood.
Check this article on how to sprout ragi at home.
#5 Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Researchers conclude that finger millet or ragi has potential to inhibit bad cholesterol, lipid oxidation and serum triglycerides. Higher concentration of these compounds result in inflamed arteries and heart attack.
Amino acids and methionine packed in ragi helps to eliminate excess fat from liver and reduce cholesterol levels. High fiber content can avoid all cardiovascular problems.
#6 Natural Relaxant
Amino acids, antioxidant and Tryptophan properties housed in ragi thwart free radicals and oxidative stress.
Disorders like stress, insomnia, migraine, depression and anxiety can be reduced by internal consumption of ragi.
#7 Improves Digestion
Most ailments trigger due to indigestion. Fiber content and amino acids in ragi helps to break down complex food for easy digestion. Rich concentration of fiber easy the movement of waste through intestines and avert constipation.
Include ragi malt in breakfast and have ragi-jowar rotis in dinner.
#8 Increase Lactation
Mothers during lactation period should include ragi in their diet to provide great nutritious milk for babies.
Iron, essential amino acids and calcium in ragi enriches mother’s milk. But, consult physician before replacing your diet with ragi.
#9 Ragi Can Improve Skin Texture
Antioxidant activity of ragi fights free radicals that damage cell membrane. This property also helps to avoid premature aging wrinkles.
Assorted vitamins and minerals housed in this cereal enhance collagen production and help to get rid of dark spots.
Homemade Ragi Facial
Internally consume this nutritious diet or apply it over the skin. Skin is piled with dead cells and other impurities. Ragi facial scrub helps to cleanse them and improve your skin texture.
- Blend 2 tablespoon of ragi flour with 3 tablespoons of milk.
- After mixing thoroughly, apply the paste over prewashed face.
- Gently massage the face to exfoliate.
- Rinse it off after 2 minutes.
#10 Source of Essential Amino Acids
If you didn’t skip above content, you’ll know about the exceptional benefits of amino acids for your health.
Namely tryptophan, methionine, threonine, isoleucine and valine are prominent amino acids in finger millet that aids in bone formation, enhance skin functioning, repair muscles and improve blood.
Methionine isn’t found in other cereals, which makes ragi an ultimate cereal for health.
Glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant, is produced with the presence of sulfur.
#11 Rich Source of Calcium
Everyone is aware of calcium and its benefits. National Institute of Nutrition states that 100 grams of finger millet contains 344 mg of calcium. Children who’ve weak bones must be given ragi in breakfast and dinner.
You can try ragi ladoo, ragi malt, ragi pakodas, ragi halwa and ragi cookies.
#12 Higher Fiber Content
Ragi has more fiber than rice and other whole grains. Fiber is helpful to improve digestion, reduce weight, avoid heart problems and it also exhibits antioxidant, anti-diabetic and antimicrobial properties.
#13 Gluten Free
People who’re sensitive to gluten must include ragi to their diet. Gluten is a protein, which is found in many natural foods. As it is indigestible, it cause inflammation and trigger ailments. Read here, more on gluten free diet and its benefits.
Gluten free diet like ragi can treat gastrointestinal issues and easy digestion.
#14 Rich Source of Minerals
Compare the nutrients chart of ragi with other cereals; it contains 5-10 times more minerals. Phosphorous, iron, calcium and potassium are packed in finger millet.
#15 Anti Microbial and Anti-Cancer Property
Assorted properties residing in finger millet or ragi exhibit antimicrobial properties that restrain bacteria that cause food poisoning and other infectious germs that result in ailments.
Antioxidant property of ragi avoids oxidation process that could lead cancer and cell damage. Tannins, phenolic acids and flavonoids present in ragi show antioxidant properties.
Nutritional Properties of Ragi
Ragi consists of 80% carbohydrates, followed by fiber and protein, which makes it effective diet to lose weight. In minerals, ragi contain high amount of calcium, followed by iron, niacin and thiamin.
Finger millet includes leucine, isoleucine, methionine and phenylalanine that are prominent amino acids. It also includes calcium, potassium and iron.
B complex vitamins like niacin, folic acid and B6 are packed in this cereal. Polyphenols and fiber are also found as mentioned above.
Health benefits of ragi are enticing, isn’t it? Check its recipe here. You can share your own recipe in below comments.