Ragi / Nachni / Finger Millet / Red Millet Nutrition and Health Benefits
Ragi is an integral part of millet family (Siru Thaaniyangal) and is know to exist in Indian cuisines 1000's of years ago. Ragi (finger millet) is still popular in south India and kezhvaragu in tamil nadu, it's called as Nachni in north India.
As most of the millets, like Bajra, ragi is no exception for its nutritious contents. Ragi has exceptional health benefits compared to wheat and rice.
Though ragi is still available in India it does not have the popularity it deserves. Why is ragi not so popular? When kids can identify pizza, burgers along with its brands why is good food such as ragi and other millets are not known to kids. Truth is even current generation parents are not aware of these healthy foods.
Urban population has a perception that "Eating millets are for poor people". In reality the rich and affluent class need this poor mans food. Invest your time to know what good this cereal does to your health. We are sure you will save a lot more time and money by not visiting doctors and having healthy lifestyle.
Ragi is not processed food, it is a whole food (not polished). Ragi is available in supermarkets and online as ragi flour, powdered and packed.
Lets check out the health benefits, nutrition values and recipes made by Ragi - "The Super Cereal".
Climate plays a important role in the cultivation and consumption of food by the local people. Ragi is one such crop which is ideal for consumption by Indians.
Benefits of Ragi
A good source of high protein and amino acids
Is a rich source of minerals
Increases lactation in feeding moms
Prevesnts Skin Aging
Reduces “bad” cholestrol, prevents cardiovascular disease
Nutritional value of Ragi
Ragi Flour is 80% carbohydrate, followed by protein and fiber. It has the least amount of fat in them.
Rich in essential minerals
High in calcium, amino acids and traces of iron
Essential amino acids (Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Threonine and Tryptophan)
Acts as a good baby food due to its rich nutrient content
Great whole grain source of Calcium
Ragi Vs Other Grains (Wheat, Maize, Brown Rice)
Comparing nutrients of ragi with other whole grains we see obvious benefits of ragi. Ragi is high in starch, protien and iron (third highest iron content of any grain, after amaranth and quinoa)
Another major advantage of ragi when compared to wheat - Ragi is gluten free and it digests easily and feels light in your stomach.
Recipes made of Ragi
- Ragi Mudde
- Ragi Malt – Salty version
- Ragi Malt – Sweet version
- Ragi Ladoo
- Ragi Halwa
- Ragi Pakoda
- Ragi Cookies
- Ragi Dosa
- Ragi Semiya Upma
Ragi Malt is also called as Ragi Kanji, Ragi Poridge.
With all above analysis on ragi, its sad to know most people have never heard of ragi. In many places where it is grown, it's looked upon as a “poor person’s crop” or a “famine food.” In the United States, it is often used as birdseed.
Productions and consumption data shows a steady decline of ragi. In current pace ragi will soon get neglected and will disappear from our fields and food menu. Hope is still not lost with many startups focusing on organic food products and millets. Let's contribute our little bit of effort to promote healthy millets to change it's fortune.
Great recipes are now published in many blogs and cookbooks exclusive on millets. Include ragi in your diet and introduce it to your family. A bit of education goes a long way and we are sure your family will enjoy this nutritious ragi and other millets.
Excess eating of Ragi could lead to Kidney stones and hence caution is required to ensure moderate eating.