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Natural wonder – ragi

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Ragi, also known as finger millet is a dark brown/red colour cereal. Being low in calories and rich in nutrition, it’s a wonderful food for all. 20 grams serving of ragi provides 66kcal of energy. Packed with calcium, iron, amino acids and anti-oxidants, ragi is truly a natural wonder. We tell you the reasons why you must essentially include ragi in your diet.

10 reasons why ragi is a natural wonder

1.An excellent source of calcium, ragi is recommended for bone health of children, adults as well as old people. It contains 344 mg of calcium per 100 gm. Ragi makes post menopausal women less prone to developing bone diseases like osteoporosis.

2.Ragi is considered to be the best weaning food for infants. Doctors recommend infants above age 6 to have ragi as it is high in iron (3.9mg/100gm).

3.It’s for the same reason that ragi helps improving iron deficiency (anemia) and increases hemoglobin levels in the body. Ragi enhances milk production in new moms and protects pregnant women from developing anaemia.

4.Ragi is a coarse fibrous grain having very low glycemic index and is gluten free. Thus, it’s an excellent food for diabetic and obese people. It considerably reduces release of blood sugar in the blood thereby preventing sugar spikes.

5.Large amounts of dietary fibers present in this wonder grain eliminates intestinal and bowel problems. It is one of those bulk forming laxatives that aids in smooth bowel movement. This way it secures the health of the intestine, colon and rectum.

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6.Ragi is an ideal substitute for rice and must be present in your weight loss diet. Much low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates, it gives you ample energy without adding on to pounds. Furthermore, the fibers keep you full for a long time and the amino acid tryptophan reduce your food cravings. You can soak the seeds overnight to sprout  and have it the next day.

7.The combined effect of amino acids tryptophan, valine and isoleucine regulates metabolic reaction, protein synthesis and muscle co-ordiantion. Ragi is a good supplement for people with high cholesterol and fatty liver because the amino acids lecithin and methionine bring down fat content of the liver and reduce LDL levels.

8.The anti-oxidants present in ragi tone the body naturally and keep it cool. It relaxes the system and considerably alleviates insomnia, migraine, depression and headache.

9.One cannot overlook the benefits of ragi on the skin. The seeds can be ground to be used as a facial/body scrub or you can make a paste out of them and apply it to improve the texture of your skin. Ragi prevents premature ageing of the skin.

10.The amino acids and antioxidants present in ragi quintessentially protect individuals from developing degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s disease.

You can have ragi in plenty of ways. Make tortillas, porridge, cakes, or simply have it raw form after sprouting. However, a word of caution- consumption of ragi is not advised to people with uric acid problems. Otherwise, eat ragi and stay fit!

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 11, 2015

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