Ragi, or finger millet, has become everyone's favorite millet. And why shouldn't it be? It is delicious, easy to cook and digest, and loaded with nutrients.
So What is finger millet?
Finger millet, otherwise called "ragi," is a nutritious cereal grain that is ordinarily filled in many regions of the planet. It is known for its little seeds and is a staple food in a few nations.
Being a rich source of high calcium content, Ragi is also touted as the most female-friendly cereal to fight calcium degeneration after pregnancy and during the ageing process. Ragi, or finger millet, benefits are a result of its nutrients, which include iron, calcium, antioxidants, and the amino acid tryptophan, which reduces appetite and helps in weight management.
We will uncover several other nutritional facts and discuss 8 healthy finger millet benefits that ensure why Ragi should be part of your balanced diet. Later, we will also touch on how to use Ragi with the help of 3 easy Ragi or finger millet recipes.
Ready? Let’s begin!
Table of Contents
Ragi or Finger Millet Nutritional Facts
Are you curious about the nutrients in Finger millet ?
Finger millet, or Ragi, has several nutrients, but a few, like iron, calcium, potassium, dietary fibres, and amino acids, are present in higher amounts to fulfil your daily recommended dose.
Also, Ragi has many nutraceuticals, including polyphenols, tannins, and phytates, which have anti-ageing and other relaxing properties.
Ragi or Finger Millet Nutritional Facts
Source: A study published on ResearchGate: (Hulse and others (1980); United States National Research Council/National Academy of Science) under “ Ragi, a boon to nutritional security”.
Well then, let’s see how these nutrients in Ragi or finger millets benefit our health and our lives as a whole.
8 Finger Millet Benefits You Shouldn’t Miss!
Ragi, or finger millet benefits are not new to India. Ayurveda speaks highly of the ragi or finger millet benefits as a source of several vital nutrients. These nutrients play various important roles in metabolism. Let’s see these 8 benefits of Finger millet with respect to its nutrients.
Ragi or Finger millet benefits weight loss
Do you know that the tryptophan amino acid found in Ragi helps control hunger? Yes! It lowers the appetite and keeps you full for longer hours, preventing excessive munching and frequent hunger pangs. If you are a weight-watcher, finger millet can do wonders for you.
Ragi or Finger millet benefits bone health
Bone degeneration is a common problem today. But you can control it with the help of Ragi. Finger millet benefits bone generation with its ample source of calcium. It is one of the best vegetarian or vegan sources of calcium.
That’s why it is good for babies, growing children, adults, and people with a history of osteoporosis or thyroid disorders. So, basically, it's good for all age groups!
Ragi or Finger Millet Benefits Diabetic Patients
Finger millet is an excellent food for diabetic or pre-diabetic individuals. The high fibre content, presence of tryptophan, and low glycemic index help control blood glucose levels. They lower the digestibility and absorption of starch in the blood, preventing glucose spikes in the blood.
Ragi or Finger millet for reducing blood cholesterol
Finger millet has Lecithin and Methionine amino acids, which keep cholesterol in check. It also burns the excess fat in the liver. Another amino acid found in Ragi, Threonine, prevents fat formation in the liver.
Thus, finger millet benefits people suffering from fatty liver disease and high cholesterol issues.
Ragi or Finger millet benefits anaemia
Anaemia is a condition where blood haemoglobin levels drop below normal levels. Ragi is loaded with iron; eating it regularly helps to recover from anaemia.
Ragi or Finger millet is helpful in managing anxiety, depression, and insomnia
Finger millet has phytates, polyphenols, and other antioxidants, which relax muscles and nerves and help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other sleep disorders.
Ragi or Finger millet proteins help in the body’s repair mechanism
Finger millet or ragi is a good source of protein. The amino acid composition in finger millets includes tryptophan, threonine, valine, isoleucine and methionine, which perform important functions like repairing body tissues, blood formation, bone formation and maintaining skin health.
Moreover, sulphur-containing methionine in Finger millet benefits the production of glutathione-the body's natural antioxidant. Methionine helps in removing fat from the body and in weight loss.
Ragi or Finger millet benefits health conditions like malnutrition, asthma, etc.
Needless to say, the nutrient-rich Finger millet can help overcome issues of malnutrition, anaemia, and osteoporosis, when consumed regularly. It is an essential cereal that can help kids grow adequately and develop a strong immune system and body.
Ragi is also recommended to women in post-pregnancy recovery, to increase lactation, and to people suffering from asthma, liver disorders, weak hearts, etc.
Other Finger millet benefits worth mentioning are its anti-ulcerative properties, which are helpful in relieving migraine, and its anti-ageing properties.Aren’t you in a hurry to start consuming finger millet and benefiting from it? You are not alone.
Let’s quickly roll over and see 3 scrumptious yet easy-to-cook finger millet or ragi recipes.
3 Recipes for Guaranteed Ragi or Finger Millet Benefits
Ragi or finger millet recipes are floating everywhere, from newspapers and magazines to online social media. It can be overwhelming to pick one that doesn’t involve too much effort but tastes superb. We have selectively chosen 3 Finger millet recipes that fit all age groups and satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Take a look!
Ragi Kanji or Finger Millet Kanji: A Savoury Drink you shouldn’t miss!
What if we told you that there’s a recipe that only takes a few minutes to make? It doesn’t involve a lot of ingredients, but it is nutritious, easy to carry, and packs a punch! Hold on to your brain wheels; it is Kanji.
Ingredients for Ragi Kanji
- Ragi flour
- Curry leaves,
- Mustard seeds
Cooking Instructions for Finger Millet or Ragi Kanji
- First, mix ragi with water and mix it well to get a lump-free puree.
- Then, cook it on a low flame till it turns glossy. Take it off the stove and let it cool.
- Add buttermilk and salt to the ragi mixture and mix it.
- Now, temper curry leaves, chilli, and mustard seeds in a little oil and pour it into the ragi mix.
- Mix it well, and check for salt and consistency.
- Serve it like soup in a bowl or a glass.
Ragi kanji works best to cool off summer heat and is a perfect alternative to your evening tea and coffee or morning smoothies.
Not a fan of Savoury Ragi Kanji? No worries! Try out Ragi malt, which has the guts to satisfy your dessert cravings. Especially good for weight-watchers.
Ragi Malt or Finger Millet Malt – A Guilt-free Sweet Beverage !
Ragi malt takes less than 15 minutes to cook. And the best part is that you just need 3 ingredients: ragi flour, water, and jaggery. That’s all!
The recipe is fairly simple, mix ragi flour with water and cook it on a low flame till it turns glossy. Let it cool and then add jaggery. Mix it well.
Your ragi malt drink is ready to serve.
It is a simple drink consumed in the northeastern part of India. Since it doesn’t have many ingredients, it has the sweet, nutty taste of ragi, which goes perfectly with jaggery. You can even skip the jaggery and use a sweetener of your choice.
The above are finger millet flour recipes. What if you have ragi or finger millet cereals and not flour? What can you cook with Finger millet grains? There are several dishes! You can cook Upma, dosa, pancakes, porridge, and most of all, Khichdi.
Let’s see how to prepare Finger millet khichdi now.
Ragi or Finger Millet Khichdi – For Wholesome Lunches and Dinners!
Ragi Khichdi is true to its literal meaning. It is clubbed with moong dal, rice, and vegetables and tempered with some cumin and garam masala, to keep it close to its authentic khichdi taste.
Adding ragi increases the khichdi’s nutritional value tenfold. It’s safe to say that you don’t have to compromise flavour for nutrition.
Ingredients for Ragi or Finger millet Khichdi
- Soaked Ragi or finger millet ½ cup
- Soaked moong dal ½ cup
- Rice 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric powder
- Garam Masala
- Ghee or oil
Cooking Instructions for Ragi or Finger Millet Khichdi
- Heat oil or ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin, green chillies, asafoetida, and turmeric powder. Temper for a minute.
- Then, add soaked ragi, moong dal, and rice to the tempered spices. Saute it for a minute or two.
- Then, add water and salt as required.
- Let it cook for 3 to 4 whistles on a medium-low flame.
- Garnish it with some garam masala, chopped coriander leaves, and ghee.
Serve Finger millet khichdi with green chutney, curd, and crispy papad for extra deliciousness.
These recipes are simple and don’t involve long hours of cooking, which is essential to retaining the nutrients in finger millet. You can be sure to get all finger millet benefits by consuming ragi through these recipes.
FAQs: Finger Millet - Benefits, Nutritional Values, Recipes, and More
Which vitamin is in Ragi?
Ragi or finger millet is a rich source of several vitamins, specifically Vit B6, folate, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin.
Is Ragi high in protein?
Yes, Ragi or finger millets are high in protein. In 100 gm of ragi, there is 11 gm of protein, which is the highest among all millets and general grains like wheat, rice and dal.
Is Ragi a hot or cold food?
Ragi has a cold nature. However, the properties of ragi are hot too. That’s why it can be consumed year around without worrying about changes in weather.
What is the best time to give Ragi?
Just like any other protein-and fibre-rich food, the best time to consume ragi is in the morning. Or, simply put, eat ragi during your active hours of the day. It will keep you full for longer hours while providing energy for your activities.
What are the health benefits of finger millet?
Finger millet offers numerous health benefits. It is wealthy in fundamental supplements, including calcium, iron, fiber, and cell reinforcements. Consuming finger millet can assist with working on bone wellbeing, help iron levels, and advance stomach-related well-being.
What is the finger millet botanical name?
The botanical name of finger millet is Eleusine coracana. It is a species of cereal grass and is cultivated for its edible seeds.
Is ragi rich in iron?
Yes, ragi is indeed rich in iron. Consuming ragi routinely can be helpful for people hoping to expand their iron admission. This can be especially significant for those with iron-inadequacy weakness or a more serious requirement for dietary iron.
These days, finger millet, or ragi, is a phenomenon among the superfoods you can’t ignore. And now we know that all the hype around finger millet uses and nutrition is true. Regular consumption of Ragi helps maintain not just physically strong bones, but a mentally strong persona as well.
Looking to add millets to your diet ? Keep reading :