Benefits of Ragi (Finger Millet), especially in the winter season! Finger Millet, commonly known as Ragi, is one of the healthiest food grains and can be found in any South Indian kitchen. A staple diet in South Indian villages, Ragi has high-fibre content and is full of essential vitamins and minerals. While its health benefits have been recognized locally since time immemorial, Ragi is now receiving national and international acclaim for being one of the healthiest super grains. It is a robust, high-altitude crop, capable of growing in harsh weather conditions – making it a perfect fit for the Indian climate. Ragi is packed full of good carbohydrates, and owing to its small size, it is harder to polish or process, which means that it is consumed in its purest, unprocessed form.
Let us take a look at why you should include Ragi in your daily diet
- Ragi is one of the best foods for controlling diabetes and losing excess weight. As compared to maize, wheat or rice, the grain's seed coat is abundant in dietary fibres and polyphenols. It is best for diabetic patients as the low glycemic index maintains the digestive pace and lessens food cravings. Substitute rice with Ragi balls, and you’ll notice the difference soon.
- Ragi is rich in calcium. When compared to any other grains, do you know that ragi is one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium? 100 (one-hundred) grams of Ragi contains 344 (three hundred and forty-four) mg calcium, according to the National Institute of Nutrition in India.
- Ragi’s seed coat is composed of phenolic acids and flavonoids - two classes of antioxidants that are excellent free radical terminators with remarkable anti-ageing properties. Another fun fact is that the vast reserves of amino acids in Ragi help boost collagen, maintaining suppleness and smoothness of the skin.
- Being available both as a nutrient-rich grain as well as processed flour, ragi can be efficiently utilized to make staple desi dishes like dosas, rotis, idlis, upma, puttu, parathas, adai as well as desi mithais like halwa and barfi.
- Being rich in dietary fibres, Ragi flushes out Ama toxins from improperly processed foods and hence, prevents them from getting clogged in blood vessels.
- Ragi is a precious cereal crop that can be consumed by people of all ages. However, it must be said that much like any other crop, it should also be consumed in moderation. Though the harvest is pretty much harmless, it is common sense to assume that excessive consumption of anything can lead to future complications.
Most of the diseases that have become quite common these days are a result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits. Diseases like diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, colitis, and most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by consuming healthy foods. The logic is simple: seasonal produce comes with nutrients and properties that the body needs to battle the change occurring in the environment. All grains and millets that are harvested and sold during the winter season are great for including in your diet. They have a low glycemic index, a high concentration of fibre, and plenty of essential vitamins and minerals."