Health benefits of Ragi
Finger millet is better known in india as Ragi. It is one of the important cereals which is cultivated in the country, Karnataka is the largest producer of ragi in India, contributing 58% of the country’s production. Ragi is a crop which can withstand severe drought conditions and can be easily grown throughout the year. Ragi is high in protein and minerals in comparison to all other cereals and millets. Ragi also contains vitamins B, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid. Due to the high content of dietery fibre it aids in digestion and prevents over-eating and makes you feel fuller for a long time. The amino acids, Lecithin and Methionine helps in decreasing the cholesterol levels of your body by getting rid of the excess fat in the liver. On the other hand, Threonine hinders the formation of fat in the liver and provides overall reduction of body cholesterol. Finger Millet also contains the amino acid threonine which hinders fat formation in the liver, and helps to bring down the cholesterol levels. The high fiber content of ragi also helps to manage cholesterol problems. Due to its high content of polyphenols and dietary fiber ragi exhibits anti-diabetic and antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It is known to protect against tumors and atherosclerosis. Being low in fat and gluten free, ragi is easy to digest. Ragi contains amino acids Lecithin and Methionine which helps in bringing down cholesterol levels by eliminating excess fat from Liver. Calcium is a significant factor when it comes to bone development and prevention of osteoporosis.
In southern parts of India, it is a recommended food by doctors for infants of six months and above because of its highly nutritional content. Malted ragi grains are grounded and consumed mixed with milk,boiled water or yogurt.Homemade ragi malt is one of the most popular infant foods. Lactating mothers are recomemded to include ragi in their diet as it enhances milk production and enrich the milk with the essential amino acids, iron and calcium required for the nutrition of the mother and the baby. Ragi contains good source of natural iron. Patients of anaemia and those low with haemoglobin levels can start including ragi in their diet. Once ragi is allowed to sprout, the vitamin C levels increase and lead to further absorption of iron into the bloodstream. Vitamin C is known to aid the absorption of iron.