Whole grains contain fiber-rich bran and several other nutrients which form an essential part of a healthy diet. One of the healthiest whole grains out there, finger millet or Ragi as it’s popularly known in India is a super grain that packs numerous benefits. Moreover, there are several ways Ragi can be incorporated into one’s daily diet so that you can take advantage of the gamut of benefits Ragi can bestow upon you. Let’s take a look at some of the many health benefits one-by-one.
- Protein & Mineral Rich
Ragi, one of the best sources of natural protein, contains a significant amount of proteins which is almost equivalent to the amount of protein contained in a serving of rice. Ragi includes a special protein, elusinin which is known to have a high biological value and can be easily absorbed in the body. Besides this, Ragi is also loaded with amino acids and healthy minerals such as Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Niacin, Thiamin, etc. which are considered crucial to human health. As a matter of fact, Ragi contains about 5 to 30 times the mineral content that is found in other cereals! Owing to the rich protein and mineral content, Ragi can help prevent malnutrition and is a boon for vegetarians as they often tend to be deficient in protein content.
- Packed with Anti-Microbial Properties
Ragi can keep you well guarded as it fights against a number of dangerous bacteria and microbes. Ragi keeps Bacillus cereus, a common bacterium that causes food poisoning at bay while also safeguarding you against Salmonella, another harmful bacterium that leads to the transmission of typhoid-like fever. Furthermore, Ragi prevents one from contracting numerous skin and soft tissue infections like cellulitis, abscesses, furuncles etc. by warding off Staphylococcus Aureus which is the root cause of these infections.
- Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Ragi contains high amounts of polyphenol and fibre which helps regulates blood sugar level. Diabetic patients, in particular, can incorporate Ragi in their diet as it helps in keeping blood sugar within the safe range. Individuals who consume Ragi on a regular basis have been known to have a lower glycemic response which aids in curbing food cravings. Additionally, Ragi is also extremely useful in helping heal the wounds of diabetic patients quickly.
- Aids in Weight Loss
Ragi contains a special Amino acid known as Tryptophan which proves quite useful in controlling appetite thus preventing you from feeling hungry often. It’s also loaded with fibres and these fibres play a huge role in keeping your stomach full for a longer period. These dietary fibres help slow down the digestion process thus helping your stomach feel content. Moreover, it’s low in saturated fats which make it an ideal snack for people looking to shed kilos. However, one should not get carried away and ensure that Ragi is consumed only in normal quantities. This is because excessive of consumption of Ragi increases the amount of harmful oxalic acid present in the body.
- Helps Keep You Young and Fresh
Ragi contains several antioxidants, phenolic content and other beneficial compounds that work wonders for maintaining young and youthful skin. Additionally, Ragi contains helpful amino acids such as Methionine and Lysine which makes an individual’s skin less susceptible to sagging and wrinkling. It’s also one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D which is essential for strong bones, for the growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as for boosting immunity levels.
Ragi also possesses properties of slowing down the cross-linking of collagen. Collagen provides elasticity to the tissues. Cross-linking is the process whereby links are formed within collagen muscles in skin, tendon and blood vessels. This makes Collagen less effective leading to the stiffness that is linked to ageing. Thus, consuming Ragi inhibits cross-linking of collagen and makes you look younger.
Ragi is a powerhouse of health benefiting nutrients and plays a role in treating a plethora of diseases such as Osteoporosis, Brittle Bones, Diabetes, Anaemia and much more. Additionally, it acts as a natural relaxant that mitigates stress and anxiety. You could incorporate Ragi in everyday food such as roti, dosa, kanji, vermicelli, malt, and ragi balls. It is definitely a power-food that you should include in your daily diet to reap its benefits.