Suddenly the food trend has changed, now going gluten-free seems to be the norm and people are looking beyond the tried and tested grains such as rice and whole wheat. Yes, there is a wealth of grains to explore which is healthy and adds so much variety to our daily diet. Explore options such as ragi, brown rice, barley, quinoa, and amaranth. Why is it known as the whole grain, because it consists of three of the bran, germ, and endosperm? Refined grains are so processed that it contains only the endosperm and stripped of all nutrients. So, obviously, the whole grains are far healthier as they are fiber-full and the nutrients are not washed away due to processing. Ragi too is enjoying its importance in the nutrition world. It can be easily grown and suited to Asian weather conditions, there are incredible ragi health benefits, and it is easy on the pocket as well.
You can get ragi flour by undergoing a process such as spouting, drying and then grinding it. When you are trying to lose weight, the first thing you give up is carbohydrates, but carbohydrates are great for your health, especially when they are whole-grain. Ragi is one of the purest forms of carbohydrates. It is gluten-free and very good for babies as well. You can have it in different forms such as chapatis or porridge and make it an integral part of your diet.
If you want to know the effective health benefits of ragi, check it out here.
#1. It is Calcium Enriched:
Generally, people think that drinking milk can provide them with the right amount of calcium. But what about people who are lactose-intolerant? What should they do? Well, they can easily add ragi to their diets as it is very nutritious and is a great source of calcium as well. The National Institute of Nutrition in asia clearly states that a 100 grams of Ragi contains 344 mg of calcium. We also know the importance of calcium for our bodies as they are great for building strong bones and teeth and helps prevent the bone- debilitating, osteoporosis.
#2. Helps in Combating Diabetes:
The grain’s seed coat is richly enriched with dietary fibers and polyphenols of the best kind, particularly when compared to other popular grains in the dietary block such as rice, whole wheat or maize. It also has a low glycemic index that stops your blood sugar levels from escalating and going haywire. It puts a lid on your sudden cravings optimizing your sugar levels in the process. Have it as a porridge as a breakfast or as nachni roti in your lunch, it helps keep you satiated and you are able to maintain your diet well for the most part of the day.
#3. Turn the clock back, when it comes to skin aging:
Your diet plays a major role in how is your skin going to look several years down the line. Ragi helps you stay young and fresh for years together thanks to the presence of vital amino acids such as Methionine and Lysine. These components help stay your skin wrinkle-free. More importantly, ragi contains vitamin D, yes it is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D and we all know how crucial is vitamin D for our immunity and health. If that was not all vitamin D also helps in the absorption of calcium. So, stuffing yourself with calcium-enriched foods may not do the trick, you have to optimize your vitamin D levels to help assimilate the calcium better. Now you know, why ragi is a must-add to your diet!
#3. Helps shed the extra pounds:
It is full of dietary fiber and hence keeps you full for longer hours. If you are someone who keeps going for unhealthy snacks to satiate the cravings, ragi can be your best bet. Once you are able to rein in your unruly appetite you will be able to downsize your calorific consumption and it will lead to weight loss. Having it in the morning is the best way to keep a tight rein on the hunger. You will then be able to make healthier dietary choices. That’s why they say, never skip your breakfast, you are much more likely to cheat on your diet on an empty stomach.
#5. Fights Anemia:
Many of us have low hemoglobin levels and suffer from anemia and instead of popping iron capsules, we look for natural sources of iron that will help combat anemia without the unpleasant side-effects. Ragi is a godsend for people who are combating various health issues, anemia being one of them. Sprouting the ragi increases the nutrient value of the grain several times over and it especially increases the vitamin C level, which helps in the absorption of iron. There are so many different ways of exploring ragi, you can have it as a dosa, ragi laddoos, idlis, and ragi malt and so on. Blend it with other grains to make it more nutritious and filling.
#6. Promotes relaxation:
What do you do when you are stressed out? Well, I don’t know about you, but I tend to binge. The more stressed I get, the more cups of coffee I consume, not to forget the packets of chips and those irresistible cupcakes available just a phone call away! Facepalm!! That is why you need foods that will help destress you and fight stress-related disorders such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Ragi contains Tryptophan and amino acids, that helps relax your body. Make some ragi cookies at home to munch on whenever you are stressed out. Don’t reach out for sinful desserts to minimize your stress levels. It gives you an initial high and then leads to an inevitable crash, the reason you should steer clear of them stressed or otherwise.
Now that you know the benefits of ragi, find out different ways to add it to your diet. Finger millet or ragi is, in fact, ideal to maintain your optimal health. It is easy to make, tasty and very very nutritious!