Health benefits of Ragi (Finger Millet)
The Ragi (Madua) or Mandu we know it by many such names. In India, we know it by the name of Ragi or Mandua. In Nepal, it is known as Kodo. The English name of Ragi is finger millets and its botanical name is Eleusine Coracana. Let’s take a look at this infamous cereal (Mandu or Ragi), and the major health benefits.
What is Ragi (Finger Millet)?
Finger millet or Ragi basically originated from Africa and has been cultivated for so many years in Ethiopia and Uganda. In India, it came almost 4000 years back and was first spotted in the Indus River Valley (Harappan civilization).
Since then it has come into existence and has been cultivated in almost every part of India. In India, it is cultivated in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttrakhand, Odisha, Chhatisgarh, and Gujrat.
Karnataka is the prime Ragi producer state in India. It is known as coarse grain, so its importance is very less in urban areas, but if you talk about it in rural / villages, it is one of the main cereals which easily available in everyone’s homes. Our lovely rural people will eat Ragi in the form of Roti mixed with wheat flour, Laddu and rice.
Ragi (finger millet) can also be termed as wonder food or amazing food. It contains a good amount of nutrients such as proteins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, which is a boon for your body.
Nutrients in Ragi (Finger Millet)
Let us know what makes Ragi a wonder and amazing cereal, and why we are still unaware of the health benefits of this nutritious food.
Finger millets mean Ragi contains Proteins (6-8%), Carbohydrates (65-70%), Dietary fiber(15-20%), minerals (4-5%), high amount of calcium(344 mg per 100 grams) and potassium (408 mg per 100 grams). Ragi is rich in amino acids i.e. Tryptophan, Threonine, Valine, and Methionine. It also contains few antioxidants like phytates, polyphenol, tannins, and trypsin.
Health Benefits of Ragi (Finger Millet)
- Ragi contains a high amount of proteins
Ragi i.e. Finger millet is a special food and it contains a higher amount of proteins than other cereals. It contains some special types of proteins like elusinin which easily dissolve in our body and strengthens the cells. It has some special proteins such as tryptophan; cysteine and Methionine is found mostly in the form of antioxidants, which give healthy and long life to our heart, liver, and kidneys. If children are regularly consumed with Ragi Flour or any other form in the diet, it protects them from malnutrition.
- Ragi has a rich source of minerals
Ragi is the most nutritious grain in terms of minerals and is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Getting such an amount of calcium riched food becomes very important for the growth and strength of our bones. With its regular use, diseases like osteoporosis can be easily tackled. We all must give priority for use finger millet regularly in our diet.
The United States National Academies conducted a survey called “The Lost Crops of Africa”, in which Ragi was rated as a superfood. In this survey, it was found that people of Uganda and Southern Sudan included this grain in their diets, which increased their physical capacity and strength. Since then, Americans also include finger millets in their diet as healthy cereal.
- Ragi may help reduce LDL and Triglycerides
It has been found in most of the research that the minerals, proteins in Ragi like calcium, potassium, and niacin (B3) keep the heart healthy and flush out cholesterol and triglycerides. These minerals and antioxidants triglycerides In addition to lipid oxidation, cholesterol is prevented from the oxidative stage so that there is no inflammation in the arteries, and they keep supplying blood to the heart uninterrupted.
Ragi helps in preventing high blood pressure and reduces coronary diseases as well as chances of stroke. Therefore, adding Ragi or finger millet in any form will help protect your heart and manage cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Ragi keeps you young and extends aging process
We know that antioxidants and photochemical keep it in an upper category of food. If we regularly use it in our regular diet, then the body’s collagen does not cross-link with each other due to the rich nutrients and antioxidants and that’s why the elasticity of our body tissue is properly maintained.
On the return, it also affects tendons, skin, and even blood vessels remain healthy and young for a long time. Due to the regular production and maintenance of collagen, our skin remains young for a longer period. Therefore, young people should give priority to eating Ragi’s products and must include them in their diet irrespective of age.
- Ragi is one of the best food to lose weight
The best thing about Ragi is that it is a gluten-free cereal. It is well understood that by eating gluten-free food, you can lose weight easily. Apart from this, the amount of fiber in Ragi is also high. Being fibrous, it is also very beneficial for people with diabetes. It has a good amount of nutrients, due to which those people who have celiac disease must eat finger millet (Ragi).
It is an even better food for lactating and pregnant women because the absorption of iron is better due to the presence of vitamin C, due to which both mother and child get nutrients easily from Ragi
…says Dr. Rita Bakshi, Senior Gynecologist, and Founder, International Fertility Centre.
Looking at so many health benefits, we can say without hesitation that Ragi is indeed a superfood that must be used by all age groups in their daily diet. If you want beautiful, healthy, and pink health then feels free to eat finger millet daily.
Do share your feedback and suggestions so that we always write about some other foods and nutritious fruits.