What is Ragi? Know its Benefits and Uses
Consuming nutritious grains is very important for health. Apart from nourishing the body, it helps in protecting against many physical and mental diseases. Ragi is also one of those healthy grains in which all the minerals, vitamins and many other essential nutrients are present, therefore ragi is considered good for many health problems.
Ragi plant grows up to 1 meter high. Its fruits are spherical, flat and wrinkled and the seeds are spherical, smooth and dark-brown in colour. Apart from this, Ragi is known by different names in different places Kejhavargu in Tamil, Ragi in Kannada and Telugu. Its botanical name is Eleusine coracana.
Benefits of Ragi
For bone development-
Ragi is considered a good source of calcium which strengthens the bones. Apart from this, the antioxidants present in it help in preventing diseases like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, it promotes bone health. Therefore, it is beneficial to consume ragi in the form of porridge in your diet for the development and strength of bones.
To lose weight-
Consuming ragi porridge helps in controlling the increasing weight because tryptophan is an amino acid found in ragi. It has antiobesity (weight-reducing) properties. This amino acid works to control appetite by which weight gain can be prevented. Therefore, ragi is a good option for weight loss.
Ragi flour proves beneficial to overcome the problem of type-2 diabetes. It has low glycemic and antidiabetic (blood sugar lowering) effects which work to provide relief in type-2 diabetes.
To reduce cholesterol-
Ragi is an effective medicine to reduce cholesterol because the amino acids present in ragi removes the excess fat stored in the liver due to which the amount of cholesterol present in the body is reduced. Apart from this, an amino acid called threonine is also found in ragi. It does not allow excess fat to accumulate in the liver. As a result, the cholesterol in the body remains under control.
Beneficial for anaemia
Anaemia (lack of red blood cells) is believed to be the main cause of iron deficiency in the body. It is considered to be a grain rich in iron, therefore, its consumption removes the risk of anaemia and fulfils the iron deficiency in the body. For this, ragi flour, porridge can be used in the form of other dishes.
For heart health-
Ragi is considered good for heart health because it contains special elements called iron, magnesium which works to reduce high blood pressure by controlling increased cholesterol. At the same time, it also reduces the risks of heart disease due to problems related to the arteries. Therefore, ragi is also considered beneficial for heart health.
Beneficial in digestion power and constipation-
Ragi porridge or flour proves beneficial in increasing digestive power. The dietary fiber present in ragi is good for intestinal health. At the same time, ragi has a laxative (relieves constipation) effect which works to remove the problem of constipation. Therefore, it is advised to consume ragi to increase digestion power and to remove the problem of constipation.
Helpful as Anti Cancer-
Consumption of ragi is beneficial for the prevention of cancer. Ragi has amino acid properties like methionine, cysteine and lysine. All these properties work to protect against cancer. It also destroys cancer cells due to which the chances of getting cancer can be reduced to some extent.
Beneficial for lactating mothers-
Breastfeeding women must include ragi in their diet because the nutrients present in ragi are helpful in increasing the milk of the mother. It also provides essential iron, calcium and amino acids in milk. Apart from the mother, these nutrients are also very important for the children.
Beneficial for the brain-
The antioxidants and amino acids present in ragi work to relax the body. Also, the tryptophan amino acid found in it calms the mind. Apart from this, it helps to overcome problems like anxiety, stress, depression, headache and insomnia.
Beneficial for skin-
Apart from health, the consumption of ragi is very effective for the skin. It takes care of the skin perfectly. The ferulic acid present in it protects the skin from damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Apart from this, ragi has anti-ageing properties, which reduce the signs of premature ageing. For this, ragi can be used as a face mask.
Uses of Ragi
- Rotis or parathas made from ragi flour are consumed.
- Ragi porridge is eaten as breakfast.
- It is also used to make Idli or dosa.
- Ragi is used as a face mask.
Side effects of Ragi
- Since ragi is a good source of calcium, excessive consumption can cause kidney stones.
- It is rich in fiber content. Therefore, excessive consumption of it can cause stomach related problems like gas, flatulence or abdominal cramps.
- People who are allergic to ragi or its products should avoid its consumption.
Where is Ragi found?
Ragi is generally the main crop grown in various places of India, Afghanistan. It is cultivated in mountainous areas in India. Apart from this, it is also found in high mountain regions.