By : Apeksha Thakkar Clinical Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Nutrigenomic Counselor
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Wonder millet, Finger millet ( Nachni/Ragi)

 

Finger millet, commonly referred as Ragi/nachni, is a nutritious millet, which is a great inclusion for health maintenance. It is local, cheap and complete food considering Indian diets.

Ragi or Finger millet generically known as ‘Eleusine Coracana’ is a gluten free, high calcium, iron, high fiber millet and a good source of protein. It has important amino acid called ‘Methionine’, an active amino acid directing synthesis of other amino acids.

Ragi is gluten free is easy absorbed in intestine. Ragi adds to the richness in nutritive profile, as it is also high in B class of vitamins and folic acid (significant in synthesis of red blood cells). Ragi, known for its wow factor, can blend flawlessly in any recipe, as primary or secondary ingredient.

Talking about its nutritional composition, Ragi has a gifted nutritional profile and is considered as balanced ingredient for maintaining nutrition integrity, here is the nutritional composition of the millet.

Energy

328 Kcal

Proteins

7.3 g

Carbohydrates

72 g

Fats

1.3 g

Calcium

344 mg

Phosphorus

283 mg

Iron

3.9mg

(The values are based on 100 g of edible portion)

 

Extraordinary qualities of extraordinary millet

Gluten free: - Being gluten free, Ragi is a great for those with constant complain of abdominal discomfort, gluten intolerance, celiac disease etc. Ragi is extremely soothing on GI system. This millet is light on digestion and does not pose any demerits.

High Tryptophan: -Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (which cannot be synthesised in the body), a precursor to brain chemical ‘serotonin’, which helps in relaxation of the brain neurons, inducing good sleep. People with history of insomnia, sleeping disorder or stress disorders, should include ragi in their meals.

High in Calcium and Iron: - Being extremely high in calcium and iron, it helps in synthesis of red blood cells production and prevents osteoporosis (brittle bones and bone loss) in small babies and adults. It is recognised as immunity booster and plays a very important role in overall development.

Natural coolant: - Ragi in combination with buttermilk acts as a natural coolant and a probiotic, thriving growth of good bacterial strain in gut, keeping gut in best health. It increases gut efficiency many folds.

Hands-on ingredient: - Ragi can combined well with any recipes like porridges, smoothies, parathas, khichadi, ladoos etc. Ragi is locally available and is reasonably priced.

One shot meal: - Ragi recipes are usually quick enough to make and it is amongst the non-perishable ones. Ragi recipes are time saving and nutritious, from deserts to breakfast items, Ragi can be rotated accordingly.

A complete food: - Ragi can be used as a better replacement to wheat and rice for its complete nutritional profile as it is unprocessed. It can safely be consumed by anyone irrespective of the age, Ragi is well tolerated by all. It is easy to digest and loaded with almost all vital nutrients.

Weight management: - Ragi millet can be a great inclusion for any weight loss or weight gain management diet plan. Ragi is amongst few food items which can pose positive effect on nutrition and malnutrition. It manages to provide just right calories and nutrient supply ensuring sustainable results. It is also great to take care of ailments related to insulin resistance, liver and heart.

Superior antioxidant load: - Ragi millet is high on phenolic compounds, which have essential role to protect body against harmful oxidative stress, having anti-inflammatory effect on body.   

 

Ragi flour can be used in preparing upma, idlis, dosas, ladoos etc. Ragi malt can be used to make porridges, dry fruit laddos, milkshakes etc. It is always better to dry roast the flour or malt before using to enhance richness of flour due to its high levels of polyphenolic compounds, which have high antioxidant properties. Ragi flour, Ragi malt can be used in making various delicacies, having excellent nutrition profiling, augmenting growth and development.

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