Finger Millet or Ragi is a cereal widely consumed by the people of south India and many African countries. It is known as a wonder grain for weight loss. It is rich in calcium and has a high fibre content. It is considered to be the best aid for people suffering from diabetes. It is also a common baby food in south India. Babies that are 28 days old are fed ragi porridge and this helps in easy digestion. This will help strengthen the baby’s bones by providing high calcium and iron to the body.
Facts About Ragi:
- Karnataka is the highest producer of ragi in India and contributes 58 per cent of the entire countries production.
- This cereal need not be polished, unlike other cereals, making it healthier to consume.
- It is considered the natural wonder grain for weight loss.
- Ragi keeps your body cool even during scorching summer days.
Health Benefits of Ragi:
Prior to the 1950s, whole grains like ragi, brown rice and barley were organically grown and considered a traditional diet until rice became India’s staple food. With the dawn of Information and Technology (IT), most individuals do stick to a planned diet thus making them prone to eating instant food. As a result, they develop heart diseases and cancerous tumours in their body.
Doctors suggest diabetic patients and normal people to consume ragi to avoid such diseases. This cereal has become absent for most teenagers. However, this article is focused on the benefits and wonders that ragi can offer in the long run.
1. High Protein:
Eleusinian is the major protein content that is found in ragi and has a lot of biological value. This protein helps prevent malnutrition and is considered to be a healthy source of protein for vegetarians. Methionine content constitutes 5 per cent of the total protein found in ragi. Ragi has been grown for hundreds of years and it can grow in high altitudes and withstand harsh weather conditions. Ragi has a lot of carbohydrates and is placed at the peak of food grains by most dietitians. Ragi cannot be polished like other grains because it is too tiny and this makes it possible for us to consume it in its purest form.
2. Natural Weight Loss Agent:
Ragi has high amounts of fibre in it that keeps your stomach full and stops you from unwanted cravings. This helps in weight loss. It reduces the level of blood sugar in your body and turns it into insulin. Ragi is best suited when you consume it in the morning. Ragi contains a type of amino acid called Tryptophan that helps you lose weight. Tryptophan reduces your appetite and thus you don’t feel hungry often.
3. Prevents your Skin from Ageing:
Ragi is a natural skincare agent and an anti-ageing cereal. Important amino acids like Methionine and Lysine are present in ragi that protects your skin from risks of rashes, wrinkles and skin dullness. The antioxidants found in ragi fight stress in your body that help reverse the signs of ageing. It rejuvenates the skin cells, thus making you look fresh and healthy.
Ragi also has Vitamin E, which is very useful for your skin. Vitamin E acts as a natural assistant for body wounds. This help lubricates the skin, forming a protective layer that enables your skin to grow.
4. Ragi is Good for your Hair:
Ragi is rich in proteins and helps prevent hair loss. It is highly recommended for people suffering from hair loss. Your hair requires a lot of protein because hair itself is made of protein. Keratin is the main protein found in your hair. Lack of protein can lead to loss of hair and if you begin consuming ragi, it will strengthen your hair and reduce hair fall.
Ragi is also said to prevent premature greying of hair. This is usually caused due to the oxidation of tissues, and the antioxidants present in ragi will effectively prevent the damage to tissues, thereby, reducing the possibility of having grey hair. Magnesium content can be found in ragi that is responsible for controlling hair loss. Ragi also increases blood circulation in your body that helps in hair growth.
5. Ragi has loads of Calcium:
There is no cereal that comes close to the amount of calcium available in ragi. Calcium is needed for human bones to develop and prevents osteoporosis, meaning bones become weak and fragile. So instead of popping calcium pills, it is recommended that you drink ragi porridge (ragi kanji). 100 grams of ragi consists of 344 milligrams of calcium which is high and very good for your bones.
6. Increases Production of Mothers Milk:
Lactating women must consume more green ragi as it increases haemoglobin levels thus increasing the production of mothers milk among women. This also called increased levels of lactation. A lactating mother must add green ragi to her daily diet and it will increase amino acids and breast milk, calcium and iron which is very important for the mother and the child.
Regular consumption of ragi can help reduce your risk of diabetes. This is because polyphenols and dietary fibres are prevalent in ragi. Ragi has huge amounts of fibre when compared to other whole wheat grains. Consuming ragi on a regular basis lowers the level of blood sugar and stabilises your sugar level. Ragi acts as an absorbent such that it absorbs starch and lowers the digestibility of your body. This is why most people who consume ragi don’t feel hungry very often.
The dietary fibre present in ragi helps your intestines digest food smoothly. Ragi improves the movement of food in your body, such that, it smoothens the flow of food through your intestines and retains the water in your body for the purpose of waste excretion. Thus ragi is a highly nutritional cereal and helps you maintain good health. However, you can relish different ragi dishes and ensure you have a healthy life. Ranging from dosas to ragi balls, this healthy cereal will keep you fit and healthy all day all long.
9. Ragi Keeps you Relaxed:
One amazing benefit of eating ragi is that it acts as a natural relaxant for your body. Consuming ragi helps you deal with anxiety, insomnia and depression. It stabilizes all of these anxiety disorders and keeps you relaxed the whole day. It does cool your thinking and keeps you calm. Literally, ragi acts as a coolant for your body on a hot summer day.
10. Prevents Colon Cancer:
Ragi is known to help prevent cancer because it contains fibre and phytonutrients that prevent the risk of colon cancer. Lignan, a type of nutrient found in ragi is converted into mammalian lignan by your intestine and this protects women from the risk of having breast cancer. Consuming ragi daily can reduce our risks of developing cancer.
Two Tasty Ragi Recipes for Losing Weight
Now that you know ragi has numerous benefits, you may find it hard when you taste it for the first time. All you need is to do is get used to its taste and you’ll stay healthy as you age.
Ragi Onion Masala Dosa:
Masala dosa may be an all-time favourite of every home in south India, but what if it can become more healthy. We’ll, ragi flour needs to be added to the dosa batter to make ragi masala dosa. Eating it with potato curry will ensure you have a healthy and tasty breakfast.
Ingredients of Ragi Onion Masala Dosa:
The below ingredients is for 2 servings. Ragi masala dosa can be prepared in 35 minutes. Here is a list of ingredients you need to have before preparation:
- 1 Cup of ragi flour
- ¼ cup of rice flour
- ¼ cup of yoghurt
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 chopped green chilli
- 1 tablespoon of coriander leaves
- Cooking oil
- ½ cup of water
How To Prepare Ragi Onion Masala Dosa:
Step 1: Add the ragi flour, rice flour, sliced green chillies and curd to a bowl and mix it with ½ cup of water and salt. After mixing, keep the batter aside for 30 minutes. Make sure the batter is smooth and slightly watery.
Step 2: Add the chopped onions and coriander leaves and mix them well. Heat 1 tablespoon of salt in a small pan and then add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
Step 3: Once the mix has been heated add it to the ragi dosa batter. Then take a frying pan and keep heat it on medium flame. When the pan is medium hot, pour a scoop of ragi onion masala dosa onto it and fry for 30 seconds till it turns light brown. After 30 seconds flip the dosa using a spatula and cook for 30 seconds. Your tasty and healthy onion ragi masala dosa is ready to be served.
To prepare soft, tasty, and healthy ragi idlis, You need to get all of the below ingredients ready first. The ingredients mentioned below are for 3 to 4 servings and takes 30 minutes for cooking idlis.
Ingredients of Ragi Idli:
- 1 cup of idli rice
- ½ cup of urad dal
- ¼ cup of thick poha
- 1.4 teaspoons of methi seeds
- 1 cup of ragi flour
- ⅓ cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of rock salt
How To Prepare Ragi Idli:
Step 1: Firstly you need to prepare the idli batter to make tasty ragi idlis. So first soak the urad dal in water and keep aside for 3 to 4 hours.
Step 2: Take another bowl and soak idli rava in water and keep it aside for 1 hour.
Step 3: Next, take the urad dal and grind it using a mixer. You can add some more water to smoothen it.
Step 4: After the fermentation of idli rava is done, you need to add ragi flour and idli rava to the urad dal batter and mix it well.
Step 5: Once this is done, keep the batter aside for 8 to 10 hours to ferment.
Step 6: After fermentation is done, add salt and cooking soda to the batter and mix it well. Your ragi idli batter is ready to be cooked now.
Eating Ragi is good, But not in Excess
Excessive eating is bad and most importantly ragi must be consumed in a limited way such that your reliance on it doesn’t determine your eating habits. Excessive intake of ragi can increase the quantity of oxalic acid in the body. However, this is strictly not recommended for people suffering from kidney stones. Ragi comes power-packed with healthy nutrients that fight diseases and relaxes your body to function with ease. Thus, this cereal must be added to your daily diet to ensure a healthy and balanced diet.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.