Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ragi Health Benefits | How to Sprout Ragi

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Ragi is Great for Health

Do you make dishes from ragi?  If you are not making then you should, if you wish to reap the many ragi health benefits.  The links to recipes of dishes made from ragi are given at the end of the post.  Ragi in English is finger millet.  It is also known as, among others, kelviragu, kooragu, marwa, nachani or mandika. Ragi is indeed a divine gift to this world.  The ragi health benefits should make you to include the food prepared from it in your everyday diet.

Here are just a few health benefits of ragi:

Excellent Source of Calcium: If you drink milk to benefit from the calcium it provides, or you do not drink milk at all, then you may want to switch to ragi as it rich in calcium.  It is necessary for bone health.

Milk, as a source of calcium, is a dairy product.  An excessive consumption of such product(s) may actually be counter-productive.  An article says that, “dairy products can be high in saturated fat as well as retinol (vitamin A), which at high levels can paradoxically weaken bones.1

Ragi is low in fats too.  Most of these, anyway, are unsaturated fats.  So, ragi may be an excellent, alternative source of calcium.  More intake of food made from ragi and moderate consumption of milk perhaps is the way to go.

Good Source of Fiber: Ragi has the highest fiber when compared to brown rice, wheat and maize.  The consumption of dietary fiber may lower the risk of many diseases, including diabetes and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

A research study says that, “Cereal fiber intake was also associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Easy to Digest: It is easy to digest food made from ragi and it may be ideal for persons of all age groups.  A typical food made from ragi is ragi mudde.  It should preferably be soft for old people and for those who sit and work for a long time, such as computer professionals, to aid digestion.

Contains Amino Acids: Ragi has many of these acids, including Methionine.  What role amino acids play? Among others, these help develop resistance to diseases, control body processes, and muscle maintenance.

Methionine, one of the amino acids, in ragi promotes healthy skin and hair.  It is said that ragi has 3% of this acid and is said that this percentage is outstanding for a cereal grain.

Helps Reduce Weight: Tryptophan, an amino acid, in ragi, prevents excess appetite.  Ragi, therefore, can help control the weight.

More Iron in Sprouted Form:  A research finding says that, “ Sprouting ragi increases the bioavailability of its iron to 88%, comparable only to mother’s milk (and 8 times higher than cow’s milk).”

How to Sprout Ragi?

Sprouted Ragi has more Iron

  • Wash and soak ragi in water for 8-10 hours.
  • Drain the water completely.
  • Wash and drain again.
  • Spread the ragi on a dry cloth to let it absorb any excess water for about 30 minutes.
  • Transfer to a utensil or container.
  • Cover with a net-type lid or a cloth.
  • Set aside the utensil / container for 1-2 days.  In this period, check if the ragi has sprouted.
Ragi Recipes

A number of dishes can be made from ragi flour.  Some of the ragi preparations are ragi mudde, ragi malt, ragi dosa, ragi roti, ragi soup, ragi halbhai, ragi snacks like kodubale and chakli and ragi idli.

Does the ragi health benefits encouraging you to try ragi dishes? Here are the links to a few of the ragi recipes:

Ragi Malt


Ragi Mudde


Soft Ragi Mudde


Ragi Halbhai


Ragi  Soup


Ragi Dosa


Ragi Idli



1Calcium and Milk, www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/calcium-and-milk/

A Role of Starch of Eleusin Coracana Gaertn (Ragi Satwa) in Management of Malnutrition, International Research Journal of Pharmacy, www.irjponline.com/admin/php/uploads/891_pdf.pdf

Whole-grain and fiber intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, ajcn.nutrition.org/content/77/3/622.abstract?sid=d7a5dc8d-ef6e-4dd4-b418-fe65b0f28615

Health benefits of dietary fiber, www.nationalfibercouncil.org/pdfs/Fiber_Review_Paper.pdf

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