Weight loss to anti-ageing: Health benefits of ragi you just cannot miss out on
Ragi is a whole grain that is gluten-free and a staple in South India. It is rich in fiber that helps with weight loss and diabetes.
There's a lot of interest in ancient grains these days. Before the 1950s, whole grains such as barley, brown rice, amaranth and ragi were staples in our traditional diet after which rice took over completely.
A whole grain is one which contains all three parts of the kernel - the bran, germ and endosperm while refined grains are processed to retain only the endosperm. This makes whole grains healthier as they contain the fiber-dense bran and along with other essential nutrients that are not lost due to processing.
Ragi is one such super grain that has recently made a comeback. It is a hardy crop that can grow in high altitudes and withstand harsh weather conditions, making it perfectly suited for the Indian climatic conditions.
We tell you some amazing benefits of ragi. Ragi flour is prepared by either crushing dried grains or spouting, drying and then grinding them. The good thing is that Ragi is a rich source of good carbohydrates and since it is too tiny to be polished or processed it is mostly consumed in its purest form.
Loaded with Calcium: Ragi flour is one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium when compared to any other grains. According to the National Institute of Nutrition in India, 100 grams of Ragi contains 344 mg calcium. Calcium is critical for healthy bones and teeth and prevention of osteoporosis - a disease which weakens the bones. It is extremely beneficial for growing kids and can be given in the form of Ragi Porridge.
Helps in Controlling Diabetes: The grain's seed coat is abundant in polyphenols and dietary fibres as compared to rice, maize or wheat. The low glycemic index lessens food cravings and maintains the digestive pace, consequently, keeping blood sugar within the safe range. It is best to add it to your morning meal or have it for lunch in order to keep your system on track the whole day.
Reverts Skin Ageing: Ragi works wonders for maintaining young and youthful skin. Vital amino acids like Methionine and Lysine present in it make the skin tissues less prone to wrinkles and sagging. Ragi is also one of the very few natural sources of Vitamin D which is mostly derived from sunlight. Vitamin D is a carrier molecule for calcium, which accounts for vitality.
Battles Anemia: Ragi is an excellent source of natural iron and thus a boon for anemic patients and also for those with low haemoglobin levels. Once ragi is allowed to sprout, the Vitamin C levels tend to increase and lead to easy absorption of iron into the bloodstream. For the optimum absorption of iron, you can consume it in the form of Ragi Dosa or Ragi Balls, with plenty of vegetables and a generous squeeze of lime or a bowl of tangy Sambar.
Relaxes the Body: Regular consumption of Ragi is highly beneficial in dealing with conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia. The presence of antioxidants, mainly Tryptophan and amino acids, helps as they work as natural relaxants. Ragi consumption is also useful for migraines. What better way there is than to calm yourself down by munching on some healthy and crisp Ragi cookies?
Helps in Weight Loss: The high amount of dietary fibre combined keeps the stomach full for a longer and prevents unwanted cravings. This in turn leads to a minimised appetite and weight loss. Ragi flour lowers your blood sugar levels in the body by activating insulin. It is best consumed in the morning to make the most of its qualities and keep you full through the day.
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