One of the most highly consumed foods in South India is Ragi (Finger Millet). It is a cereal that is also widely grown in Asia and Africa. This crop is generally grown at higher altitudes. In India, Karnataka is the highest producer of Ragi. It is one of those cereals that need not be polished, because of which, it a much healthier food when compared to its counterparts.
Ragi helps in weight loss – When compared to other cereals, the natural fat content in ragi is way lower, and the fat content is in unsaturated form. Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight, ragi can be the best replacement for rice or wheat. It contains Tryptophan (amino acid), which reduces the appetite.
There are many more benefits attached to ragi consumption. Below mentioned are some of them.
Natural relaxant – The excessive amount of amino acids in ragi helps in keeping the body relaxed naturally. Some of the common ailments such as anxiety, headaches or even depression can be tackled with ragi. Tryptophan (amino acid) plays a big role in putting our body into a naturally relaxed state.
Rich in calcium – Calcium is one of the main factors when it comes to bone development. No other cereal is as good as ragi when it comes to calcium content. It is best to start including Ragi in your diet to reap its benefits. If you are taking calcium pills, you wouldn’t need it anymore with ragi in your daily diet plan.
Reduces the risk of stroke – Ragi helps in preventing high blood pressure. The cholesterol levels present in blood can be controlled as well, leading to less plaque formation and blockage of vessels. Thereby, the risk for hypertension as well as stroke goes down drastically.
Rich in Fiber – In comparison with rice, ragi is rich in fiber. As a result, ragi aids digestion and makes you feel full for a longer span of time. The amino acids present in ragi helps in bringing down the cholesterol levels of your body by clearing off the excess fat in the liver.
Ideal for people with diabetes – The high fiber and polyphenol content has one more quality. Diabetic patients can create a restrained build in the glucose levels. Diets that include ragi have a lower glycemic response. This is because of the inclusion of the bran in ragi, as the grain is too small to be polished and milled.
Ragi is gluten-free – People who prefer gluten-free diet can definitely incorporate ragi into their daily consumption as it is completely gluten-free. Not many cereals have this advantage, as gluten one of the major nutrients in all cereals.
Good for Infants – Ragi is a great food option for infants. It promotes better digestion and is high calcium and iron content. This helps in bone growth and overall development of the infant. You can find specially processed ragi powder exclusively for infants, they are easily available in the market.
Which is better Ragi or Rice?
Definitely, ragi is better than rice. Ragi can help you lose weight easily as tryptophan present in ragi curbs appetite. It is also fiber-rich, the high amount of fiber combines with water and keeps you full for a longer period of time. It is also low in unsaturated fats, all of these qualities make it the best food if you are trying to lose weight.
The high percentage of fiber content completely slows down the rate of digestion and keeps us full for longer period of time. Ragi has also proved to be a miracle food since ancient times. It brings down the blood cholesterol levels and is a great food.
Ragi Flour Nutritional Value
Ragi flour is high in carbs, which is around 80%. However, the good news is that the fat percentage is very less. It is also rich in fiber and has a small percent of protein. 100 grams of ragi roughly has 336 KCal of energy in them.
Best time to consume Ragi
The best time to consume ragi is in the morning. It will fill you up and make you feel totally energized. You can either have ragi malt or have ragi roti for your breakfast along with a veggie salad.
Ragi for weight loss – A Success Story
Shivani Maheshwari, a 25-year-old woman lost 32 Kgs by including ragi in her diet. It took her close to 1.6 years to achieve this goal. She weighed 87 Kgs and was in the worst shape of her life. She decided to change by eating healthy food and exercising regularly. Shivani now looks stunning after the weight loss. Click here to read about Shivani’s weight loss journey.
Side-Effects of Ragi
Ragi is safe when consumed in a moderate amount. However, excessive consumption of ragi can cause an adverse effect. Ragi contains goitrogen, (a substance that hinders the production of thyroid hormones and iodine uptake). Deficiency of iodine is a major health problem that leads to the development of enlarged thyroid gland, also known as goiter. Goiter causes anxiety and depression.
Here is a video clipping that shows how to ragi malt can be prepared at home.
Another video that can guide you through the ragi roti preparation process.
Ragi is fully packed with healthy nutrients such as proteins, calcium, iron, and vitamins. It is a complete food that works wonders for our overall health and well being. By including ragi in your daily diet, you will notice a significant difference in the way you feel. Replacing junk food with a ragi malt or roti can make your life way better.