Ragi, or finger millet, was a staple food for many Indians a generation ago, particularly in the southern states (Eleusine coracana L.). However, most people’s diets now don’t include this once-popular grain. Finger millet’s nutritional and therapeutic significance to the human body is unexpected and sad. Because of its adaptability and compatibility with India’s climate, it is of even greater significance.
The advantages of finger millet and recipes for ragi laddus, biscuits, and pagodas will be discussed here. Finger millet is a staple food in Uganda and Ethiopia, where it has been grown for thousands of years. The crop has been identified in archaeological digs in the Harappan Civilization in India, where it was likely introduced about 4000 years ago.
Benefits of Ragi
Ragi Is An Excellent Source Of Protein
Compared to rice, the protein level of the grain is equivalent. However, certain ragi types have shown a higher degree of activity than that. What’s more, this protein is one of a kind. Eleusinian, the primary protein fraction, has a high biological value, which means that it is readily absorbed by the body and used.
Total aromatic amino acids (TAAAs) are also present in high concentrations. If that is too technical for you, know that these nutrients are critical for human health and that most cereals lack them. To avoid malnutrition, finger millet is essential because of its high protein content. Methionine, which makes up around 5% of the protein in the cereal, makes it a very suitable source of protein for vegetarians.
Osteoporosis Is Prevented
Low calcium levels in the body are linked to a decrease in bone mass, increasing a person’s fracture risk. To avoid osteoporosis and maintain healthy bones, we must consume a suitable quantity of calcium. According to a study, finger millets have the most excellent calcium level of all grains. Ragi contains 344mg of calcium per 100g, which helps to strengthen bones.
Minerals May Be Found In Ragi, Which Is A Good Source
Minerals are abundant in ragi, as well. Compared to other cereals, it has between five and thirty times as much calcium as other cereals. Phosphorus, potassium, and iron are also abundant. To keep your bones strong and healthy, you need calcium. People at risk for osteoporosis or low hemoglobin levels might choose finger millet as an alternative to over-the-counter supplements.
The study “The Lost Crops of Africa” released by the United States National Academies reminds out that, “the world’s attitude toward finger millet must be corrected. This is one of the most nutrient-dense cereals in the world.” According to the research, Finger millet is credited with keeping people in Uganda and southern Sudan healthy and fit despite just eating one meal a day.
Helps Maintain A Healthy Blood Pressure Level
Because of its high fiber content, ragi may help keep arteries and blood vessels clear by acting as a laxative. As a result, blood sugar levels are kept under check. -glucan, arabinoxylans, and cellulose are just a few of the polysaccharides found in ragi. They slow down the absorption of cholesterol by increasing the viscosity of the components in the stomach.
Control Of Diabetes With Ragi
There is a growing need for foods rich in dietary fiber and beneficial phytochemicals because of the fast growth in the incidence of diabetes. To treat illness, phytochemicals, a diverse set of chemical substances originating from plants, are thought to be helpful. Consuming whole grains, which include these nutrients in their natural form in the seed coat or outer layer, is typically recommended.
Finger millet has a higher seed coat in polyphenols than other grains, such as barley, rice, maize, and wheat. For instance, it contains 40 times the phenolic content of rice and five times the phenolic content of wheat.
Like foxtail millet, it’s the second most popular millet after Kodo millet. Finger millet has also been found to regulate blood glucose levels, hyperglycemia, and oxidative stress. In people with diabetes, finger millet has shown the potential to speed up wound healing.
Slows The Ageing Process Of The Skin
It contains amino acids like methionine and tryptophan, which help to protect the skin from oxidative stress. As a result, ragi may help reduce wrinkles and delay skin aging. Ragi’s amino acids boost skin collagen production. It improves the skin’s health and increases its flexibility of the skin.
Ragi for Babies
This mineral is crucial for developing a child’s body as they grow. Since ragi contains a high calcium concentration, it is an excellent food for growing infants since it helps them create strong bones. Preventing malnutrition in youngsters is also a benefit of ragi because of its high protein content.
There Are Antimicrobial Qualities That Make Ragi An Excellent Choice
For example, finger millet has been proven effective against bacteria that cause food poisoning, Salmonella sp., which causes typhoid fever, and Staphylococcus aureus, one of the most common causes of skin and soft tissue infections such as abscesses.
Research Shows That Ragi May Be Effective Against Cancer
It’s also a good source of antioxidants, a popular topic in health literature in recent years. Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative stress, leading to cancer and aging. There are phenolic acids, flavonoids, and tannins in finger millet seed coatings, all of which have antioxidant qualities. According to research, esophageal cancer is less common in those who consume millet than in those who eat wheat or maize.
Wheat vs. Ragi
The high nutritional content of ragi rotis lures more Indians away from wheat, which is the country’s most widely grown food crop. According to studies, Ragi has more dietary fiber, calcium, and phenolic compounds than wheat. Wheat chapati includes 264 calories, 1.3 grams of fat, 55.81 grams of carbs, 9.61 grams of protein, 486 grams, and 239 milligrams of potassium per 100 grams. On the other hand, Ragi provides 328 calories, 7.30 grams of protein, 72 grams of carbs, 11.50 grams of dietary fiber, 3.9 milligrams of iron, 11 milligrams of sodium, 344 milligrams of calcium, and 408 milligrams of potassium.
Cultivation Of Ragi In The Present Day
In a society in need of healthy foods and magical treatments, most people have never heard of ragi should come as no surprise. It is sometimes referred to as a “poor man’s crop” or a “famine food” in the regions where it is cultivated. As birdseed in the United States, it is a popular choice.
The eastern section of Africa, mainly subsistence farmers, still relies heavily on maize, even though the crop is declining across Africa. However, it has been mostly ignored in India and is quickly fading.
According to official agricultural production figures, Finger millet was collected from 1.8 million hectares of land from 1998-99. Since then, those figures have dropped by 95% from 2013-to 14. Only 99,000 hectares yielded 90,000 tonnes. It’s a pity since this is a tough crop that can thrive even in the driest climates. Varieties of finger millet may be produced everywhere, from monsoon-prone regions to arid deserts, including the Himalayas, where they can reach altitudes of 2300 meters.
Finger millet’s fortunes may, hopefully, improve. The following dishes use a lot of ragi, and if you like them, you should include more of them in your diet. One little step in the right direction, indeed. Many ragi-based goods are also available for home delivery via Isha Shoppe in India.
Ragi is a nutritious food crop that may be consumed by individuals of all ages and in all circumstances. Ragi is a critical element of a vegan diet because of its high nutritional content per 100g and since it is gluten-free. It is a great diet supplement for individuals dedicated to making good food choices daily.
When You Eat Ragi Every Day, What Happens?
Regular consumption of ragi reduces and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Ragi is absorbent, which means that it takes in starch and slows down digestion. It also helps with sleeplessness, depression, and anxiety. Even if we don’t have cancer, it might lower our risk.
What Is the English Name of Ragi?
Because of the five spikes on the grain’s head, ragi is usually referred to as “finger millet” in the English-speaking world.
Does Ragi Increase Weight?
On the other hand, Ragi is an excellent fiber source for those attempting to lose weight. Ragi also aids in the prevention of obesity. In addition, it keeps diabetes under control, preserving a person’s good health and vitality.
Who Shouldn’t Eat Ragi?
People with kidney, constipation, diarrhea or thyroid issues should avoid ragi. They may hurt it.