Ragi - Nutrition, Health Benefits, Facts

Ragi – Health Benefits

Ragi, also known as finger millet, is a food with very high nutritional value. It is an easy to digest food, just like oats and is also rich in calcium and proteins. It has a low fat content and most of which is unsaturated fat, which is considered good for the body.

Nutritional Value

Ragi contains majorly carbohydrate, followed by proteins and fiber. It has the lowest quantities of fat. The carbohydrate content of ragi is about 80%.  Ragi is a good source of calcium and contains some iron also. Other minerals present in traces include niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.

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Ragi is also a good source of some essential amino acids, which are not synthesized in the human body and need to be taken from food sources. Some of the essential amino acids in ragi include isoleucine, tryptophan and methionine.

Health benefits of Ragi

Ragi is a great food with many nutritional benefits. It gives you ample health benefits and is easily available. It is a very helpful food in reducing weight and also prevents various diseases like anaemia, diabetes and osteoporosis. It also helps avoid stress and prevents anxiety as well. This cereal needs no polishing and can be consumed without any processing. This also helps in keeping the nutritional value of the food intact. Various benefits of consuming ragi include:

Aids weight loss

If you are trying to lose some pounds then ragi may be the food of your choice. It contains a special essential amino acid, tryptophan, which works by reducing appetite and preventing hunger for a longer time. The high content of fiber, after combining with water makes you feel full for longer. It is also a good diet in terms of fat. It contains a very low amount of fat and majority of its fat content is that of unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for health.

Helps in controlling diabetes

Because of the high content of dietary fibres and polyphenol derivatives, ragi is known to prevent the occurrence of diabetes in the long term. It is a richer source of fiber than any other grains of its class including wheat and rice. Due to its high fibre content, it slows down the digestion process and helps in maintaining blood glucose level to low. This cereal is also low on glycemic index and prevents late night hunger cravings as well.

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Lowers ‘Bad’ cholesterol

Ragi is also a great cereal for a healthy heart as it helps in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Several studies have shown its effect on reducing cholesterol levels. It reduces the deposition of this cholesterol in blood vessels, known as plaque, thereby preventing the narrowing of blood vessel lumen.  This reduces the chances of myocardial infarction or stroke. The amino acids methionine and lecithine help in cutting down excess fat from the liver and hence reducing cholesterol levels. It also prevents blood pressure or hypertension.

Bone strength

It is a great source of calcium. No other cereal stands even close to ragi in terms of calcium content. It has a high amount of calcium and vitamin D both, which are essential components for bone health. Ragi porridge should be regularly consumed by growing children and women after the age of 30 years. You can replace your calcium supplements with ragi to make it a natural way. It helps in bone formation in children and prevents the erosion of bone in adults. It is also a good food for you if you are already suffering from osteoporosis.

Helps you relax

It contains many antioxidants which fight the free radicals of your body and make your skin younger and fresher. Thus, it reduces the oxidative stress that is produced by oxidation of these free radicals. It is a natural relaxant and helps in preventing stress and related ailments like depression and anxiety. It also helps in regulating sleep pattern and prevents insomnia. It can also combat migraine and cerebral pain.

Prevents anaemia

Sprout some grains of ragi daily and consume it on a regular basis. They act as a good source of protein and will help you in getting over anaemia, if you are already suffering from it. Otherwise, it will surely prevent anaemia. Ragi sprouts also contain vitamin C, which is important for the absorption of iron form the food source. Add sprouted ragi on a regular basis and you will get rid of undesirable iron tablets and syrups.

Aids Digestion

Ragi is a cereal which is very rich in dietary fibre. This dietary fibre is very good for the digestive system. These fibres are insoluble themselves and aid in the movement of the rest of the substances through the intestines. They also retain water and ease bowel movements. It is a very good diet to prevent constipation. Include it in your daily meals to maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent digestive system disorders.

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