Ragi, also known as finger millet is a quite familiar name for South Indians. It is a regular ingredient in the kitchen. It is regarded as a staple diet in most villages across South India.
Ragi has numerous benefits and it is a highly nutritious cereal loaded with calcium, proteins, iron and other minerals. It is fiber rich and low in unsaturated fat making it an ideal food for weight loss.
Ragi is a powerhouse of health-benefiting nutrients which help in weight loss and also act as a treatment for multiple diseases like Brittle Bones, Osteoporosis, Anaemia and Diabetes. It is a natural relaxant which helps to relieve stress and anxiety. It is one such rare cereal that doesn’t need to be polished and, hence, can be consumed in its purest form with all its goodness.
These are the 10 ways in which Ragi benefits our health:
Helps in Weight Loss
Ragi helps to shed kilos in a unique way and holds a significant place in diet programmes for weight loss. A special amino acid, Tryptophan present in Ragi helps in curbing appetite. It has a higher rate of fiber in comparison with any other grain or rice. The high amount of dietary fiber combines with water and keeps the stomach fuller for a longer duration. It is low in unsaturated fats that make it the perfect cereal for those looking to lose weight. The heaviness of the dietary fiber helps to slow down the rate of digestion thereby keeping us fuller for longer with very less calories.
Helps in increasing bone strength
Health benefits of Ragi are not limited to weight loss only. It is loaded with calcium and vitamin D that makes it an important component for increasing bone strength. Go natural, replace the calcium supplements with Ragi porridge that works as a great calcium supplier for growing children and aging people. It helps development of strong bones in children, maintains bone health and prevents bone erosion in adults. It also works as a very effective food to avert Osteoporosis.
Helps to control diabetes
Regular consumption of Ragi helps to reduce the risk of Diabetes Mellitus due to its high content of dietary fibers and polyphenols. It has a higher amount of fiber in comparison with rice, wheat or any other grains. The high level of fibers in Ragi helps to slow down the pace of digestion thereby helping in lowering blood sugar levels. It also has a low glycemic index that makes it an ideal snack to prevent late night food cravings and helps to maintain blood sugar within safe range.
Ragi has worked wonders in bringing down blood cholesterol levels and is one of the best home remedies for heart health. It controls the cholesterol level by reducing plaque formation and preventing blockage of blood vessels thereby reducing the risk of stroke and other heart diseases. The key amino acids Lecithin and Methionine present in Ragi helps in lowering cholesterol by extracting and cutting out excess fat from the liver, and the amino acid Threonine prevents formation of fat in the liver. Ragi, in the unripe, green form helps in controlling high blood pressure and hypertension.
The abundance of antioxidants, especially Tryptophan and amino acids in Ragi help in fighting damage causing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. It works as a natural relaxant and helps to relieve stress related ailments like anxiety, hypertension, depression and headaches. It also helps to relieve sleep disorders like Insomnia along with cerebral pains and Migraine.
Good Source of Protein and Amino Acids
Ragi is one of the amazing natural protein sources. It is also rich in health benefiting amino acids and minerals like Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin and Riboflavin. The important amino acids present in Ragi are Valine, Threonine, Isoleucine, Methionine and Tryptophan that helps in muscle functioning, maintaining metabolism, blood formation, fighting anxiety and depression and also promotes the release of growth hormones.
Ragi is iron-rich that helps to increase blood formation in persons suffering from anaemia or low haemoglobin levels. Vitamin C increases the level of iron absorption in the body and hence, it is best to have sprouted Ragi in the form of Ragi flour or Ragi malt. Sprouted Ragi is rich in vitamin C that makes the iron present in it easily absorbable by the body. Include it in your daily diet and you can cut out artificial iron tablets or tonics.
The high level of dietary fiber in Ragi helps in proper digestion, normal bowel movement and prevents constipation. The insoluble fibers which are present in Ragi assists movement of food through the intestines while the insoluble fibers retain water thereby easing the passage of waste. Include it to your daily diet in order to protect your digestive system and avert risks of constipation and other digestive disorders.
Ragi is a great source of nutrition for new mothers that also helps in improving the hemoglobin levels. Lactating mothers are suggested to include green Ragi in their daily diet as it helps to improve milk production. It also enriches the milk with all the essential minerals for the body like iron, calcium and vital amino acids that is vital for the child as well as the mother.
Reverts Skin Aging
Ragi not only helps in maintaining proper health and keeping diseases at bay, but also works wonders for maintaining youthfulness and vitality of skin by blocking premature aging. Ragi is the most effective natural anti-aging drink. The vital amino acids Methionine and Lysine present in Ragi helps in creation and maintenance of collagen. It is a substance that supports the skin tissues to make it soft, supple and lively thereby making it less prone to wrinkles and sagging.