In this day and age of growing artificial and chemical-based health care products, we must remember the old, natural ways of maintaining and bringing back optimum health and performance. Naturally growing products are far better for our overall health. They have a wide range of benefits, with no side effects whatsoever.
Ragi or finger millet (Eleusine coracana) is an annually grown herbaceous plant well acclaimed for its various health benefits. It is a gluten-free whole grain widely grown in South India.
A whole-grain retains all three of the seed layers – the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Ragi has a good fiber content in its bran and retains various nutrients otherwise lost due to processing. This explains the higher nutritional content of whole grains over refined ones.
Ragi has an extensive range of health benefits that we can enjoy by incorporating into our diets.
But what if I’m not sure if it’s healthy and what it contains?
Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! So, before we proceed to discuss the many benefits of Ragi, let’s first have a look at its nutritional composition. This list would keep you in the loop and well aware of what you put inside your body. And staying informed is always a good practice!
Read along to find out the nutritional information of Ragi, its health benefits, and also a bonus on how to use it!
Nutritional Value of Ragi Per 100g
Ragi gives an expansive nutrient content in an inexpensive form.
|Nutrient||Nutritional Value per 100g|
|Total Fat||3.4 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.7 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||2 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.7 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2.7 g|
|Dietary fiber||11.50 g|
It also provides essential amino acids like isoleucine, Tryptophan, threonine, phenylalanine, methionine, and valine, which are highly beneficial for everyone.
10 Health Benefit of Ragi
Ragi, being a whole grain, has a lot more benefits than refined grains. It is also gluten-free, which proves to be a great advantage.
Rich in Protein:
It provides a good amount of methionine, an amino acid. Our body uses amino acids to build protein. As meat is the primary source of methionine, vegans often miss out on this essential amino acid. Ragi can be an excellent alternative for people looking for a protein-rich diet that’s plant-based.
Ensures Bone Density:
Ragi is the best non-dairy source for dietary calcium. As mentioned in the table above, there is 344mg of calcium in just 100g of Ragi. Calcium is a vital nutrient for maintaining the health of our teeth and bones. Included calcium-rich foods in your diet also prevents and fights osteoporosis – a condition that weakens the bones. With its high calcium content, Ragi strengthens the bones of developing children and restores the bone density in aging adults.
Ragi is an excellent grain that prevents and controls diabetes. Regular consumption reduces your risk of developing diabetes and helps you manage diabetes if you have it. Its seed coat is rich in polyphenols and dietary fibers. Ragi contains a low glycemic index, a value given to foods based on the speed with which they increase blood glucose levels. It acts as an absorbent and absorbs starch, lowering your digestibility.
The rich fiber content of Ragi helps the process of digestion. It aids the movement of food through your body and intestines while retaining water in your body. Peristalsis is the involuntary movement of the intestinal canal which causes the movement of food. The fibers in Ragi make peristalsis a lot less straining and smooth, thus also relieving constipation. They also maintain your intestinal health.
Prevents Skin from Ageing:
Ragi works well at maintaining young and youthful skin. It is an all-natural anti-aging whole grain that is full of amino acids like methionine and lysine. These amino acids give you good skin and prevent wrinkles, sagging, and dullness. It also fights stress due to its antioxidant content. Stress is responsible for causing skin aging in people of all age groups. Ragi makes you look healthy, fresh, and young.
Ragi is rich in protein with about 7.30 g per 100 g. This high protein content is excellent in preventing hair loss. Since Keratin protein is the main component of your hair, Ragi vastly benefits your hair and fights hair loss. It strengthens your hair, thereby also reducing hair fall. Not just that, it is also known to stop premature greying of hair caused due to the oxidation of tissues. The antioxidants present in Ragi counteract this oxidation.
With about 3.9mg of iron per 100g of Ragi, it is a good source of iron. Low levels of hemoglobin in your body cause Anemia. Iron is essential in hemoglobin production. Sprouted Ragi is also rich in Vitamin C, which eases the absorption of iron into the bloodstream.
Relaxes your Mind:
Ragi is highly recommended to treat mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and insomnia. This is due to the high content of antioxidants in Ragi, especially Tryptophan and amino acids. These are excellent natural relaxants. Moreover, it is also effective at reducing migraines. For this reason, using Ragi is a good practice as it also helps prevent these conditions from developing in the first place.
Helps in Weight Loss:
The rich fiber content in Ragi keeps your stomach full for an extended period. Thus, it prevents untimely and unwanted cravings. Its low glycemic index prevents the food from quickly turning into blood sugar. Ragi also turns blood sugar into insulin. Consuming Ragi in the morning promotes weight loss. The amino acid called Tryptophan also reduces your appetite. Thus, you feel hungry less often. This method of reducing weight is way better and healthier than starving yourself.
Excellent for Mothers:
Ragi is known to increase the level of hemoglobin in your blood. Lactating mothers should consume green Ragi daily as it aids better production of milk. It also enriches the milk and is healthy for the mother and child alike due to its amino acids, calcium, and iron. Calcium helps restore the mothers’ bone health after pregnancy and helps develop stronger bones for the baby. Iron promotes hemoglobin production, which is beneficial for both mother and child.
There are many ways of making delicious Ragi dishes. A few suggestions include Ragi Wheat Bread, Ragi Chapatti, Ragi Dosa, and our all-time favorite – Ragi Cookies!
We hope you find your special dish and benefit from the incredible nutrients of Ragi!