Ragi - Many names, many benefits

Ragi - Many names, many benefits

By Neha Ranglani  on: 07 August 2015
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Ragi has always been known as a highly nutritious foodgrain, rich in calcium. You might notice the power of ragi when you visit the Maharashtrian countryside. Known colloquially as 'nachni', a staple diet of these 'naachni bhaakris' and 'pitla' has been the main reason behind generations of lean yet robust kids.

Finger millet is the English equivalent of ragi. Also, predominantly, used in South India, it is also a rich source of protein, fiber, iron and other minerals. 
It is more nutritious than other cereals and has a host of health benefits.


Weight loss
Ragi is very high on fiber. Hence, it digests slowly, keeping you full for a longer time and helps you avoid excessive food consumption. This helps you shed kilos and keeps you fit.


The high fiber in ragi helps to clear bowels smoothly everyday and prevents constipation.


Due to its slow digestion rate, ragi helps lower blood sugar levels. Hence, diabetics can enjoy ragi rotis/pancakes without the fear of affecting their sugar levels.


Bone strength 
Ragi is very rich in calcium. It can be easily substituted for milk (in case of lactose intolerance) to get your daily calcium dose. You can also have ragi flour kanji as a great source of calcium. Ragi porridge can be given to growing children for bone development and to elders to avoid osteoporosis.

Gluten free 

Ragi is free of gluten which is found in wheat and its products. Hence ragi can be easily taken by gluten sensitive people.


Cholesterol control 
Highly fibrous, ragi helps control and lower bad cholesterol levels.


Ragi is also rich in iron and hence can be beneficial for people with anemia.

Ragi mixed with milk works wonders for infants. For the elder kids, naachni khakrashighlight the health-conscious man's snack section during tea breaks. There is a huge list of South Indian dishes which feature several ragi permutations and combinations (eg. ragi idlis, ragi dosas, ragi rasam,etc.) 

All in all, in the company of ragi, you have no choice but to stay healthy!

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Minerals For Health
06 August 2015
Just like vitamins, minerals are also needed in small amounts by the body for normal processes. There are 16 essential minerals required for good health. Mineral sources are best found in natural foods rather than supplements. They are categorized as macro minerals which are needed in fairly larger quantities and micro minerals which are needed in small amounts.  Macro minerals Calcium: is needed for strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and nerve function. Sources: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese, broccoli, almonds, fish, green leafy vegetables, ragi, sprouts and sesame seeds. Magnesium: is required for healthy bones, converting blood sugar to energy, insulin secretion and function and for normal heart rhythms. Sources: whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, banana etc Phosphorus: is necessary along with calcium for bones and teeth development and to supply energy to the body. Sources: whole grains, milk, cheese, nuts, fish, eggs, meat, chicken etc Sodium: helps to maintain blood pressure and fluid balance in the body. Sources: salt, fish, butter, processed foods etc Potassium: along with sodium, works to regulate fluid in the body. Potassium also helps to maintain a regular heartbeat and low blood pressure and enables glucose in the body to be converted to glycogen, a form of energy that can be stored. Sources: fresh fruits and vegetables, coconut water, bananas, soups, tomatoes, dals and pulses etc Chloride: helps in regulating fluid balance in the cells long with sodium and potassium. Sources: table salt Sulphur: is essential to form proteins in the body and helps in eliminating toxins from the body. Sources: meat, fish, chicken, beans and pulses. Micro minerals Iron: is required for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the component of blood cells that transports oxygen around the body. Iron can prevent fatigue, protect against illness and disease and helps in absorption of vitamin C. Sources: meat, liver, kidney, chicken, beans, peas, green leafy vegetables, garden cress seeds etc. Manganese: is required for a healthy immune system. Also helps in normal metabolism and digestion. Sources: whole grains, pulses, nuts etc. Copper: Copper helps to form collagen, which is essential for healthy bones and connective tissue, production of red blood cells and is needed to absorb iron more easily, to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure and that it protects against damage from free radicals and the development of cancer. Sources: fish, shellfish, whole grains, nuts, potatoes, garlic, bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes, prunes and soya products. Iodine: is essential for the manufacture of certain hormones by the thyroid gland, that are responsible for regulating metabolism, converting fats into energy and stabilizing blood cholesterol levels. Sources: table salt, salt water fish. Zinc: is needed by every cell in the body, healthy hair, nails and skin, also for maintaining healthy immune system and reproduction system and promote growth. Sources: red meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, beans and wheat germ. Chromium: it improves insulin sensitivity and helps in controlling blood sugar levels. It also helps to breakdown fat and lower bad cholesterol. Sources: Shellfish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms and whole wheat bread. Fluoride: is important for healthy bones and teeth and protects teeth against tooth decay. Sources: drinking water, toothpaste Molybdenum: is required for DNA production and acts as an antioxidant. Sources: Liver, whole grains, yeast, pulses, leafy green vegetables.
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