Seeing our grandparents live up to a healthy, ripe old age of 90+, many of us today can only say “I wish’. One of their secrets was a good nourishing diet. And for that, they always looked at their kitchen shelves. Among the nutrition-rich food products, we could find there was ragi or ‘nachne’. Called ‘Finger millet’, this grain is the most reasonable source of nutrition especially in South India where it is a staple diet.
What’s all this raag about Ragi…
Loaded with goodness and promises of health, ragi is a wonder millet which is easy to prepare and delicious to eat. Easily available, this food product needs to be on everyone’s kitchen shelf, especially in today’s rushed times.
To make it easier on the millennial, we list here some incredible facts:
Pro in protein content
Ragi contains eleusine which is easily digested by the body. Apart from that, it is also a treasure house for important proteins like cystine, tryptophan and other amino acids vital for one’s health. The methionine content makes it ideal for a vegetarian to get wholesome protein nourishment. If you are into bodybuilding and follow a vegetarian diet, it would be a great idea to introduce ragi, like a delicious cup of ragi malt in your regulars. Because it is a low-absorbed food, it is popular as a weight-loss food. Another happy point is it is low in fat too. Show off those biceps!
Nachne is higher in fibre as compared to wheat or rice. It is also rich in phytochemicals. For those who are unaware, phytochemicals are those beneficial compounds found in plants that aid in slow digestion. This, in turn, controls blood sugar as well as the absorption of starch. Moreover, ragi boasts a low glycemic index which helps diabetics maintain their optimum blood sugar levels. You can add a fistful to your atta or have ragi idli, dosa or bhakri. So, keep your diabetic worries at bay and enjoy nachne.
Note: If you are suffering from diabetes or any other health ailment, please get a go-ahead with your doctor before you incorporate ragi into your diet.
Believed to improve health help in fighting cancer
Ragi is a power plant which helps us to be energetic while also punching out cancerous cells. The antioxidants such as tannins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and phytates found in the husk of finger millet are believed to successfully prevent oxidation or damage of cells and battle the ageing process keeping metabolic diseases at bay. Cell damage could lead to cancer. Add ragi to your diet and watch your health improve.
Helps prevent osteoporosis
Nachne is an excellent source of organic calcium with more than 20 times more calcium than any other cereal. Calcium is the core component to maintain bone health and strength. If you make it a habit of taking this millet porridge from a young age, it will strengthen your bones and the chances of getting osteoporosis are very low. Introduce it to the diet of growing kids. A quick breakfast of ragi malt will keep them energetic and alert for a long. Build it into the diet of seniors. Let them begin their day with ragi dosa or ragi idli, it is by far better than supplements. It will reduce the chances of fracture, a chance we cannot take when it comes to grandparents.
Bad cholesterol, what is that?
Studies have shown ragi to be a strong opponent to an increase in the risk of any cardiovascular diseases. This wonder has the potential to bring down the level of triglycerides thus reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) cholesterol oxidation. LDL when oxidized cause inflammation of the arteries resulting in the increased risk of getting a stroke or a heart attack. Munch on a ragi laddoo or practice. There are many delicious recipes that will help you introduce this millet into your diet. Go on become heart friendly.
Want to look young naturally? We mean the natural way, the organic way. Have more of ragi. The antioxidants, as well as the phenolic acid content, help us look younger and longer. These compounds slow down the cross-linking of collagen fibres. Cross-linking is an ageing process that reduces the elasticity provided by collagen. Ragi is potent in aiding the lessening of this self-deflating ageing process thus making our skin shine longer.
The wonder millet
Ragi is loaded with minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous. While it combats osteoporosis, it also boosts haemoglobin levels in someone suffering from anaemia. 90% of Indian women are known to have a low haemoglobin count; taking ragi regularly will make every drop count! Let’s give our seniors more of this wonder millet and help them decrease their anxiety, migraines and lead happier lives.
Fed to babies
In the South, babies are especially fed ragi when they are transitioning from their mother’s milk to food. The reason is, along with being a wholesome and filling meal, it is rich in calcium which helps in the development of bones (which is very crucial at this stage in their lives). The iron content further helps to keep anaemia at bay.
Different ways ragi can be enjoyed.
There are multiple ways in which ragi can be incorporated into the diet. As mentioned before, you can add it to your atta while making chapati or your regular dosa batter. Karnataka is famous for its ragi mudde where ragi is cooked with water and made into softballs. Or, include it in your milk for a power-packed solution.
Know more about ragi:
- Finger millet is known to fight various bacteria.
- Ragi is usually cultivated without pesticides as insects, worms and pests rarely feast on ragi.
- It is the most economical way to get nutrition and remain healthy.
- This millet contains high dietary fibre which keeps your hunger pangs under control for a longer time. No wonder it is called the ‘weight loss food’.
- Because of its high calcium content, it is advised to take a measured amount of ragi/ ragi flour every alternate day. Beware of kidney stones.
- As always, speak to your doctor before introducing ragi in your diet especially if you are on a special diet.