Ragi or finger millet is a wonder grain that can provide holistic health benefits. With zero cholesterol and sodium, ragi is high in dietary fibre, calcium, iron and other essential micronutrients. Consuming it on a regular basis can also prevent cardiac ailments, aid weight loss, help with blood sugar management in diabetes to cholesterol control. Ragi is also a summer-friendly grain as it keeps your body cool in hot weather. As per Ayurveda, ragi helps reduce Ama (toxin) and also cut cholesterol. Ragi is a storehouse of protein and mineral and is a good source of protein for vegetarians. (Also read: Ragi to Jowar; 4 summer-friendly grains and how to consume them)
What is ragi
Ragi, is a millet and its scientific name is Eleusine coracana. It is found in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia, such as in India, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. Ragi looks like mustard seeds in appearance. It can be powdered and consumed as ragi flour in dishes like dosa, roti, idli, upma, paratha, halwa, barfi. In India, Karnataka is the highest producer of ragi. Good thing about ragi is that it can be consumed in its original form and doesn’t need to be polished like other grains which makes it ever healthier.
Nutritionist Sakshi Lalwani in an interview with HT Digital talks about benefits of ragi and delicious summer recipes you can try.
Benefits of ragi
1. High in calcium, iron and fibre
Ragi is abundant in calcium and is excellent for bone health. The wonder millet is also a storehouse of iron and fibre which can boost immunity and keep your digestive system on track.
2. Gluten-free and easy to digest
Ragi unlike wheat is gluten-free and those who have gluten intolerance can easily switch to this grain. Ragi is also good for digestion.
3. Can help regulate blood sugar levels
Ragi being high in fibre and keeps one full for longer. This can be beneficial for people with diabetes as it helps prevent blood sugar spikes.
4. Known to reduce the risk of heart disease
Ragi has dietary fibres that helps increase HDL cholesterol and control bad cholesterol levels. This can help reduce chances of heart disease.
5. Great for weight management due to its low glycaemic index
For those aiming to lose weight, ragi can be a good choice as the grain has a low GI and curbs cravings.
Summer ragi recipes
1. Ragi milkshake: Blend cooked ragi with milk, banana, and honey for a tasty and nutritious summer drink.
2. Ragi dosa: This traditional South Indian dish is gluten-free and a great source of protein. Mix ragi with water, onion, coriander and spices, then cook it like a pancake.
3. Ragi salad bowl: Mix cooked ragi with vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber, and tomatoes for a refreshing and filling summer salad. Add a dash of lemon juice and some herbs for flavour.
4. Ragi popsicle: Mix ragi flour with coconut milk, sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract before pouring it into ice pop moulds. Freeze them and enjoy a healthy and tasty cold treat on hot summer days.
5. Ragi pancakes: Mix ragi flour with eggs, buttermilk, and oil to make fluffy and nutritious pancakes. Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup for added sweetness.
Give these recipes a try and you will surely enjoy the nutritional benefits of ragi while satisfying your taste buds in the process.
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