What is Ragi Millet?
Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend towards healthy and natural foods, and millets have emerged as a popular alternative to traditional staples like wheat and rice. Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that have been grown and consumed by humans for thousands of years but have been largely forgotten in recent times. However, they are now making a comeback, with people rediscovering their numerous health benefits.
Millets are gluten-free and have a lower glycemic index than wheat and rice, which means they release glucose into the bloodstream more slowly and help maintain stable blood sugar levels. They are also high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious choice for people of all ages.
It is also known as Nachni or Finger Millet is one of the most popular millets in India. It is a versatile grain that can be used to make a variety of dishes, from porridge to dosa, and is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, iron, and fiber. Ragi is also a good source of protein and essential amino acids, making it an ideal food for vegetarians as well as vegans.
Nutrition Profile of Ragi aka Nachni
Let’s have a look at the nutrition profile per 100g of Ragi Millet as provided by Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (Source):
- Energy 1,283 kJ (307 kcal)
- Carbohydrates 53.5 g
- Dietary fiber 22.6 g
- Fat 1.9 g
- Protein 7.4 g
- Calcium 344 mg
- Iron 11.3 mg
- Magnesium 154 mg
- Phosphorus 183 mg
- Potassium 538 mg
- Sodium 2 mg
- Zinc 1.7 mg
- Water 11 g
Here are some of the health benefits of Ragi Millet:
HIGH IN NUTRIENTS
Ragi Millet is a nutrient-dense grain that offers several essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, and fiber. Calcium is a vital mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and teeth. Ragi Millet is one of the best plant-based sources of calcium, making it a great food for maintaining bone health. In addition to calcium, Ragi Millet is a good source of iron, which helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron is essential for healthy blood circulation, and its deficiency can lead to anemia. Ragi Millet is also rich in fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and prevent constipation. A diet rich in fiber is essential for maintaining good digestive health.
Ragi Millet is rich in antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids that have been found to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. These antioxidants prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A study found that consuming Ragi Millet for 60 days resulted in a significant decrease in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which are all major risk factors for heart disease (Source). Ragi Millet is also rich in fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. The high fiber content of Ragi Millet binds with the cholesterol in the gut, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS
Ragi Millet is an excellent food for people looking to lose weight. It is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great food to include in your weight loss diet. The fiber in Ragi Millet keeps you feeling full for longer, reducing the urge to overeat. A study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology found that consuming Ragi Millet for 30 days resulted in significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI) in overweight individuals (source). The high fiber content of Ragi Millet also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which can help to reduce cravings and prevent overeating.
GOOD FOR DIGESTION
Ragi is rich in fiber, which helps to improve digestion and prevent constipation. The high fiber content of Ragi Millet helps to keep food moving through the digestive system, preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. The fiber in Ragi Millet also feeds the good bacteria in the gut, which helps to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for maintaining good digestive health and overall well-being.
It is naturally gluten-free, making it an ideal food for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, which can cause digestive problems for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It is a great alternative to wheat-based products like bread and pasta, making it easier for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease to enjoy a varied and nutritious diet.
In conclusion, Ragi Millet (Nachni) is a nutritious and versatile grain with several health benefits. From its high nutrient content to its cholesterol-lowering properties, It is an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
Different Names of Ragi Millet in Different Indian Languages
It is a widely popular grain in India known by various names in different Indian languages.
In Kannada, Telugu, and Tamil, it is referred to as Ragi, while it is known as Mandua in Hindi and Nachni in Marathi. In Tamil Nadu, it is called Kezhvaragu, while in Odia, it is known as Madua. In other regions of India, it is called Kodra in Punjabi, Marwa in Bengali, Moothari in Kumaon, Nachni in Maharashtra, Kodo in the Garhwal region, and Mandia in Himachal Pradesh. The various names of Ragi Millet across India reflect its widespread popularity and importance in different regional cuisines.