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Jul 24

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Why to Eat Ragi?

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Ragi is becoming popular everywhere. Today many companies are coming with ragi products like ragi biscuits,ragi noodles, ragi vermicelli,  ragi dosa mix, ragi idlis, etc.

What is Ragi?

Ragi is a cereal , a highly nutritious food grain which is rich in calcium, protein, fibre, iron, B complex and other vitamins and minerals.
In south India, it is considered a complete food because of its nutrient content, infact they give ragi as first foods to the newborn.
In south it is known by the name of ragi, Maharashtran side it is called nachini. In English it is named as Finger millet.

Health Benefits of Ragi-

If you are looking for reasons to eat ragi then here are few-

Ragi for bone health

No other cereal comes close to ragi when it comes to calcium content. Ragi is rich on calcium and is very good for bones therefore it is given to children and those who are suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis . Ragi can be easily substituted for milk.

Good for nerves and brain function

Ragi is rich in B complex which us essential for nerves and overall brain function.

Great for weight loss

Ragi is high in fibre, and digest slowly, keeping you full for a longer time and helps in controlling hunger pangs.The natural fat content in ragi is lower than all other cereals. Also, this fat is in its unsaturated form. Thus, substituting it for wheat and rice is a good choice for people trying to lose weight. Ragi also reduces appetite.

Excellent baby food


In Southern India, where ragi is widely consumed, babies as old as 28 days are fed ragi porridge at their christening. It is believed that ragi promotes better digestion. The high calcium and iron content is useful for the bone growth and overall development of the infant. Specially-processed ragi powders for infants are available widely to be used during weaning.

Laxative

The high fibre content helps to clear bowel smoothly and prevents constipation.

Diabetes

Diabetics can enjoy ragi easily since the slow digestion rate helps lower blood sugar levels.

Cholesterol control

This whole grain also helps control and lowers cholesterol levels.

Prevents Anemia

Its high iron content makes it beneficial for people with anemia. Patients of anaemia and low haemoglobin levels can begin to include ragi in their diets as a domestic remedy.

Natural Relaxant

The ample amount of amino acids and antioxidants in ragi help the body relax naturally. Common ailments like anxiety, insomnia, headaches and depression can be battled with ragi.

Boosts lactation

Lactating mothers are urged to include ragi, especially when it is green as it enhances milk handling and imbibes the milk with the essential amino acids, iron and calcium required for the nutrition of the mother as well as the child.

Ragi is gluten free

Many people are allergic to glottal which is found in many things including wheat and wheat products. Ragi is a good option for them.

It counters hot weather’s effect on the body.

Ragi Nutrition Chart (Minerals)

Mineral Content Amount (Typical – mg)
Calcium 350
Iron 3.9
Niacin 1.1
Thiamin 0.42
Riboflavin 0.19

 

Ragi Flour Nutritional Value (Chart)

Content Amount (Typical) Amount (Range)
Carbohydrate 72.6 71.3 – 89.5
Protein 7.7 5.8 – 12.8
Fibre 3.6 3.5 – 3.9
Fat 1.3 1.3 – 2.7

 

Ragi Nutrition Chart (Amino Acids)

Amino Acids Content Amount (mg/g of protein)
Leucine 594
Valine 413
Phenylalanin 325
Isoleucine 275
Threonine 263
Methionine 194
Tryptophan 191
Lysine 181
Cystine 163

Ragi Vs Other Grains (Wheat, Maize, Brown Rice)

Below table shows how Ragi (finger millet) stands against other staple grains – Wheat, Maize and Brown Rice.

Ragi Nutrition Chart (Comparison)

Content (grams) Brown Rice Wheat Maize Ragi
Energy (KCal) 362 348 358 336
Carbohydrate 76 71 73 72.6
Protein 7.9 11.6 9.2 7.7
Fibre 1.0 2.0 2.8 3.6
Fat 2.7 2.0 4.6 1.5

We can make out from the chart that Protein content in Ragi is not on the higher side. It is least on Calories, Protein and Fat. It is relatively high on Protein.

Ragi Nutrition Chart (Mineral Comparison)

Content (mgs) Brown Rice Wheat Maize Ragi
Calcium 33 30 26 350
Iron 1.8 3.5 2.7 3.9
Niacin 4.3 5.1 3.6 1.1
Thiamin 0.41 0.41 0.38 0.42
Riboflavin 0.04 0.1 0.2 0.19

Ragi has very high amount of calcium which are way more than others. The Ragi also have traces of Iron. Other minerals are not present in high numbers.

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