Finger millet off late has become extensively popular food because of its various health benefits that it delivers. Finger millet is also known as ragi or ragi sankati etc. It is commonly consumed as a porridge. Finger millet is mostly grown and consumed in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa.
Finger millet is one of the wonder superior food good for various health and nutrition benefits. The ragi grain is ground and made into flour which is used for making flatbread, leavened dosa and unleavened roti. Ragi grain is malted consumed with milk, boiled water or yogurt. Finger millet is also used in common food stuffs such as idly and laddu. Fillet millet has numerous medicinal values such as:
Millets are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods thus are easy to digest and soothing foods. They are considered to be the least allergenic and most digestible grains. Compared to rice, ex., polished rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time hence lowers the risk of diabetes.
Millets are rich source in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Finger millet or Ragi is the richest source in calcium content, about 10 times more than rice or wheat. Ragi has low fat content and contains mainly unsaturated fat. It is easy to digest and does not contain gluten. It is considered one of the most nutritious cereals.
Finger millet or ragi is well known for numerous health benefits such as:
Lowering blood cholesterol: Finger Millet contains amino acids Lecithin and Methionine that aids in bringing down cholesterol level by eliminating excess fat from Liver. It also contains Threonine amino acid which delays fat formation in the liver, thus bringing down the cholesterol level of the body.
Losing weight: Ragi contains amino acid called Tryptophan that lowers appetite and helps in keeping the weight in control. Ragi gets digested at a slower pace thus keeps one away from in taking excessive calories. Also, fibers present in ragi give a feeling of fullness controlling excessive food consumption.
Diabetes: Finger Millet's phytochemicals help in slowing digestion process. Research studies have shown that diet based on whole finger millet has lower glycemic response i.e. lower ability to increase blood sugar level. This is due to presence of factors in ragi flour which lower digestibility and absorption of starch.
Bone health: Ragi is rich in Calcium that helps in strengthening the bones in our body. It is an excellent source of natural calcium for growing children and aging people. Ragi consumption helps in development of bones in growing children and in maintenance of bone health in adults.
Ragi keeps diseases such as osteoporosis at bay and could reduce risk of fracture. Do include finger millets in your daily meal. A little change in your food habits and intake of right balanced nutritious foods would do wonders to keep you fit and healthy.
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