Thursday, January 17, 2013

Article # 212. Helath Benefits of RAGI



Health Benefits of Ragi

Ragi is one of the most favorite cereals in the South Indian cuisine and has many health benefits. It is a nutritious millet and it is easy to digest as well. Since it does not contain gluten, it is a wonderful grain alternative for people who are gluten-sensitive. Ragi is rich in calcium, fiber, protein, iron and other minerals. It is a low fat cereal and most of the fats are in the unsaturated form.

Not all foods which are good for health would prove to be bad for your taste buds! You can enjoy the taste of Ragi by including it in various meals. Healthy ideas include ragi porridge, ragi roti, ragi ball, upma, steamed cakes and biscuits.

Below is a quick checklist of how Ragi is beneficial for you.



Aids in Bone Development: Ragi, an excellent source of calcium, contributes towards bone health. The cereal is beneficial for growing children and older people who need a constant supply of calcium for healthy growth and maintenance of bones. Consumption of Ragi can reduce the risks of fractures and osteoporosis to a considerable extent. 

Aids in Weight loss: Ragi reduces excess appetite and helps to control weight gain. Fibers in ragi give you a feeling of fullness, and the slower digestion rate of the cereal allows you to take less calories. This supports the process of weight loss.

Acts as a Relaxant: The amino acid called Tryptophan present in Ragi acts as an excellent natural relaxant and helps to fight anxiety, insomnia and depression. The amino acid also helps in treating migraine headaches.



Reduces High Glucose Levels in the Blood: Ragi shows antioxidant properties and contributes towards a slow digestion process. Hence it helps to control blood glucose levels in a diabetic. 

Acts as a Good Source of Protein/Amino Acids: Ragi is a rich source of amino acids which is beneficial for the human body. Valine is an essential amino acid which helps in repairing tissues, metabolism and muscle coordination. It is also vital for maintaining the nitrogen balance of the body. Methionine is another essential amino acid lacking in most of the other cereals. Methionine helps the body process and eliminate fat, and is the primary source of sulfur in the body. Isoleucine is good for blood formation, muscles repair, bone and skin health.

Lowers Blood Cholesterol Levels: The essential amino acids present in Ragi help to reduce cholesterol by removing excess fat from the liver. Threonine, another amino acid, prevents the formation of fat in the liver and this, in turn, brings down the cholesterol level in the body. 

Prevents and Treats Anemia: Ragi, being a good source of iron, can be considered as a useful cereal for anemic patients. 

Regular intake of ragi can prevent many health conditions such as malnutrition, premature ageing and the development of degenerative diseases. Green ragi is a remedy for blood pressure, heart weakness, liver disease, asthma and lack of milk production during lactation period.

 

Ragi in your breakfast

With its nutritional benefits, ragi comes across as a health food one can bank upon.

If you are exploring for a healthy breakfast alternative and do not know which cereal or whole grain to look up to, you can think of ragi or finger millet as one of the options.
Including ragi will not only let you experience different taste but also different texture.

While whole grains like wheat, oats and brown rice come across as other health food options, ragi occupies its unique place. In southern India ragi is had in various ways. One way is to cook ragi in water with garlic, salt and some masala and ginger if you like that taste.

Teaming the cooked ragi along with curds is also another healthy breakfast option. Many housewives and chefs also have come up with innovative recipes with ragi. Like many south Indian women come up with their own recipes of ragi dosa combining ragi with other ingredients to make the ragi dosa batter.

The ragi dosa tastes different and also looks different. But it makes for a healthier alternative to rice if diet food is what interests you.



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