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10 Incredible Health Benefits Of Gluten Free Finger Millet That You Need To Know
Ragi comprises vast array of key nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, iron, calcium, antioxidants, proteins, fibers, sufficient calories and beneficial unsaturated fats. Having ragi-based foods like ragi upma or ragi parathas for breakfast activates the digestive juices and ensures complete assimilation of nutrients found in ragi which are absorbed into the bloodstream and transferred to vital organs in the body namely the heart, brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.
Supplies Essential Amino Acids
Ragi is composed of certain key amino acids, making it a unique plant-based source of high-quality proteins.
It offers methionine, a sulphur-based amino acid to revive skin and hair health, valine and isoleucine which repair injured muscle tissues and threonine to enable proper formation of teeth and enamel and protect the mouth from gum disease.
Supports Gluten-Free Diet
A significant number of young adults and older people tend to develop an intolerance towards the gluten proteins in cereals like wheat that unfortunately is a regular ingredient in Indian dishes. Ragi being organically gluten-free, can easily be substituted for wheat, to prepare chapatis, dosas and sweets or mithais, and is often recommended for patients with celiac disease. It is important to keep in mind though, that the best time to consume ragi is in the morning, for being fiber-rich, its digestive process is more elaborate and it is usually not okay to eat ragi at night, especially for those with digestive problems and gluten allergies.
Fortifies Bone Density
Finger millet, being a fantastic source of natural calcium, strengthens bones in growing children. It also restores optimum bone density in older people, assisting in alleviating osteoporosis symptoms. While younger people can consume ragi daily, middle-aged and older adults need to eat measured servings of ragi, to augment bone health, while steering clear of gastrointestinal and kidney disorders.
Keeps Blood Sugar Levels in Check
Finger millet, although being high in calories and carbohydrates for instant energy, also comprises a plethora of phytates, tannins, polyphenols – plant chemicals that slow down the digestion process. This lowers high blood sugar in those with diabetes mellitus, making ragi a valuable addition to a diet for diabetes. Also, owing to its low digestibility and rich fiber content, ragi is the top food of choice for adults, for accelerating weight loss and managing other lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity.
Iron deficiency anaemia affects countless Indian men, women and children every year, leading to excessive fatigue and low productivity levels. Ragi is a powerhouse of iron, serving as a boon for people who experience low haemoglobin levels in blood, thus effectively treating anaemia.
Boosts Nervous System Function
Eating ragi in controlled portions on a daily basis assists in enhancing nerve impulse conduction, activating memory centres in the brain and relaxing the mind, due to elevated levels of the amino acid tryptophan. As the tryptophan brings about an equilibrium in the levels of serotonin – a neurotransmitter, ragi helps in treating anxiety and insomnia, by maintaining good moods and promoting sound sleep.
Augments Heart Health
Ragi is completely devoid of cholesterol and sodium, so recipes made with ragi flour can safely be consumed by those with heart ailments. Furthermore, the abundance of dietary fibers and vitamin B3 or niacin help to enhance good HDL levels and diminish bad LDL levels. This averts plaque and fatty deposits in heart vessels, easing cardiac muscle function and improving heart health.
Ragi for Pregnancy and Lactation
Sprouting some ragi grains overnight and consuming it next morning has massive health benefits for both pregnant and lactating women. Due to the immense iron and calcium content in ragi, it helps in stimulating milk production and balance hormonal activities.
Contributes towards Child’s Nutritional Needs
The comprehensive nutritional content in ragi makes it a perfect food for meeting a growing child’s ever-expanding nutrient requirements. A kanji or malt made with ragi flour is often fed to infants and young kids, particularly as a weaning food in the southern states of India. Owing to its starchy content, ragi does increase weight in young children, assisting in their routine development.
Ragi eases bowel syndrome
IBS refers to irritable bowel syndrome, a commonly occurring intestinal disorder that causes unbearable pain along with abnormal bowel movements, flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation. Ragi is blessed with goodness of dietary fibers with quantities higher than many other cereals such as wheat, barley and oats. Eating foods with increased fiber content positively influences bowel movement, regulating faecal bulk and promotes optimal passage of food and other materials within the intestines. In this manner, consuming a meal with ragi porridge for breakfast stimulates healthy metabolism, remedies IBS symptoms and even assists in averting the risk of colon cancer.
Thus these are some of the 10 incredible health benefits of gluten free finger millet that you need to know.
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