15 Incredible Health Benefits of Ragi

ragi
ragi dosa recipe 1

Ragi displays a rather impressive nutritional profile, encompassing all the essential macronutrients – carbohydrates, fibers, fats and proteins, along with noteworthy levels of key micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Start Using Ragi in your regular diet and enjoy all the health benefits of it. Read the following article to know all about Ragi its Scientific, Ayurvedic, Nutritional Facts, Uses for Skin & hair, and also I have shared few of my Ragi Recipes. As soon as I got to know about its wonderful nutritional benefits, I have added Ragi in my daily diet.  It really helps in weight loss, & it has helped me a lot in loosing my weight, so those who want to cut those extra ponds start using Ragi in your daily diet . 

Also trust me as soon as you start including this Gluten free Ragi in your diet you will see a lot many changes in your overall health:

  1. It will boost your immunity (Vitamin C)
  2. Make you feel light all day.
  3. Your bones will be much more stronger (High Calcium Content).
  4. Helps in weight loss
  5. Helps in Gluten- Free Diet.
  6. Its a  Good source of protein and Amino Acid.
  7. Treats Anemia
  8. Reverts Aging
  9. Increases lactation
  10. High fiber content
  11. Improves Digestion
Ragi Finger Millets

Few Incredible Facts About Ragi

Ragi, scientifically called Eleusine coracana, is an annually cultivated cereal crop, vastly found in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia, such as in Ethiopia, India And Sri Lanka. Being densely packed with a host of nutrients, ragi confers valuable health benefits such as enhancing digestion, reducing the risk of heart disease, slowing down ageing and managing diabetes.

The common English name of Ragi is finger millet, owing to the appearance of the head of the grain comprising five spikes and thus, resembling the five fingers attached to the palm of the hand. This variety of annual grass grows up to a height of 1 to 2 m, belonging to the Gramineae botanical family. Leaves measure between 30 and 70 cm, being narrow and green. The straight or sometimes curved branches hold seeds arranged in florets, which can be brown, red or purple in colour. Widely distributed across several states in India, its local names include “Ragi” in Kannada, Hindi and Telugu, “Nachni” in Marathi, “Madua” in Bengali and “Kezhvaragu” in Tamil.

Finger millet crops are drought-resistant, tolerating slightly acidic to alkaline soils as well. This makes it ideal to propagate these plants through the year, in different geographical terrains across India, be it in the mountains or in the plateaus. Upon developing, the seeds of the ragi plant are dried, cleaned and stored as grains. Thus, commercially available ragi is either in the form of salubrious super-grains or threshed under high pressure and sold as flour, after applying various processing techniques such as milling and malting.

The humble millet Ragi, is, in fact, an ultimate super-food! Buy our nourishing ragi products today, to enhance overall health!

Due to the immense popularity of other cereal crops such as rice and wheat, ragi had taken a backseat in the Indian food and nutrition scene for a long time, although they were a highly regarded nutritious yield in ancient agricultural practices more than 2000 years ago.

In the past three to four decades, thanks to in-depth research and the thrust by the UN FAO (United Nations Food And Agriculture Organisation) on incorporating millets in daily diet, to tackle malnutrition and a myriad other commonly occurring ailments, ragi has made a significant comeback as a frontrunner, for maintaining optimal health.

Ragi Nutrition Content

Ragi displays a rather impressive nutritional profile, encompassing all the essential macronutrients – carbohydrates, fibers, fats and proteins, along with noteworthy levels of key micronutrients – vitamins and minerals. It has negligible levels of cholesterol and sodium, to promote heart wellness. In addition, ragi contains considerable quantities of vitamins C and E, to boost immune, skin and hair health.

The B complex vitamins – thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid as well as calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus are also found in ample amounts in ragi flour, truly justifying its status as a wholesome breakfast cereal and a superfood.

raagi dishes

The nutrition values in a 100 g serving of ragi flour, according to the nutrient database of the U.S.D.A (United States Department Of Agriculture) are as follows:

Ragi Calories – 385

Macronutrients:

  • Total Fat 7%
  • Saturated Fat  3%
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 5%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 2%
  • Cholesterol 0%
  • Sodium 0%
  • Total Carbohydrates 25%
  • Dietary Fiber 14%
  • Sugars 2%
  • Protein 10%

Micronutrients:

Minerals:

  • Calcium 26%
  • Iron 11%
  • Potassium 27%

Vitamins:

  • Thiamine 5%
  • Riboflavin 7.6%
  • Niacin 3.7%
  • Folic Acid 3%
  • Vitamin C 7%
  • Vitamin E 4.6%

Ragi is, in fact, a favourable fibre rich Indian food, that serves as an alternative to other routine cereal and grain crops in the Indian diet regime such as rice, wheat or barley. It has the distinction of being a relatively rare plant source of crucial essential amino acids namely isoleucine, tryptophan, valine, methionine and threonine, thus complementing both vegetarian and vegan diets.

Ragi Health Benefits:

1. Holistic Breakfast Food

Ragi comprises a vast array of key nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, iron, calcium, antioxidants, proteins, fibers, sufficient calories and useful unsaturated fats. Following a deep sleep at night, the stomach and intestines display peak levels of metabolism in the morning. Hence, 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Treats Anemia

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. 

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Ragi For Pregnancy And Lactation

Sprouting some ragi grains overnight and consuming it next morning has massive benefits for the health of pregnant and lactating women. Due to the immense iron and calcium content in ragi, it is ideal to stimulate milk production and balance hormonal activities in expecting women and young mothers.

9. 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.

10. Ragi For IBS

IBS refers to irritable bowel syndrome, a commonly occurring intestinal disorder that causes unbearable pain along with abnormal bowel movements, diarrhoea, flatulence and constipation.

Ragi is blessed with the 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.

instant ragi idli

Ragi In Ayurveda:

Ragi is an age-old nutrient-dense crop, that defined the agrarian scenario and food culture in several ancient civilizations. Its therapeutic applications are hence, of a tremendous magnitude, in Ayurveda – the traditional Indian system of medicine. The olden Ayurvedic scriptures praise the healing potential of ragi, in successfully battling hypertension or high blood pressure, averting cancer, treating depression and remedying liver disorders.

1. Effect On Doshas

Ragi, in essence, has a madhura rasa (sweet taste) with intrinsically laghu and ruksha gunas (light and dry qualities). It possesses ushna virya (heating potency), balancing the kapha (earth and water) dosha (element) while excessively influencing pitta (fire and water) and vata (air and ether) doshas. Moreover, it fosters the positive and equalizing states of mind namely sattva and rajas, effectively eliminating tamas or a negative mindset.

2. Lowers High Blood Pressure

Being rich in dietary fibers, ragi flushes out Ama toxins from improperly processed foods and hence circumvents them from getting clogged in blood vessels namely arteries, veins and capillaries. The unobstructed transport of blood and nutrients to and from the heart is thus facilitated, lowering high blood pressure i.e. hypertension.

3. Remedies Liver Dysfunction

Ragi is heaped with antioxidants, which provide for the prompt removal of harmful free radicals from the system, especially in the liver and gallbladder. In this manner, a balance between the bodily tridoshic states is attained wherein all unwanted fatty accumulations are wiped out of the body, ensuring healthy liver function.

4. Ameliorates Depression Symptoms

Comprising neurotransmitter regulating properties, ragi efficiently boosts the positive state of mind – sattva and suppresses lethargy or tamas. This works wonders in uplifting moods, sharpening the intellect and rehabilitating the brain from depression symptoms.

Ragi Uses For Skin And Hair:

Aside from being a panacea for practically every illness bothering the internal organs in the body, ragi flour also enhances external appearance by revitalizing skin and strengthening hair. This is chiefly owing to its amazingly high amino acid content and potent antioxidants. Moreover, the slightly coarse attribute of ragi flour makes it a wonderful exfoliating agent, that completely removes dead cells from the face, body and scalp, apart from providing a refreshing look and radiant glow to skin and hair.

1. Supplies Anti-Aging Benefits

The seed coat of ragi grains is composed of phenolic acids and flavonoids – two classes of antioxidants that are excellent free radical terminators with remarkable anti-ageing properties. This promotes new skin cell formation, concealing fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, the vast reserves of amino acids in ragi help boost collagen, maintaining suppleness and smoothness of skin.

2. Cures Hyperpigmentation

Applying an herbal mask of ragi with some milk and honey or other natural infusions is a superb solution to get rid of suntan, UV ray damage and irregular skin complexion, due to the skin-tightening, protective and rejuvenating traits of ragi.

3. Reduces Acne And Boils

Ragi is imbued with tannins, which are plant compounds with anti-inflammatory qualities. Thus, it aids in decreasing acne, pimples and boils, besides brushing away dark spots and scars.

4. Prevents Hair Fall

Consisting of formative amino acids such as methionine and lysine, a ragi hair mask as well as ragi in the diet enriches hair growth and renews texture of tresses. This controls hair fall and averts premature greying and balding.

5. Anti-Dandruff Solution

Ragi possesses innumerable essential amino acids and carotenoids that confer useful hair growth and anti-microbial characteristics, when applied as an herbal paste to dandruff-prone scalp. It soothes the hair roots or follicles, thereby repairing damaged scalp as well as dry and brittle hair, besides guaranteeing relief from incessant itching.

health-benefits-of-ragi

How To Include Ragi In Diet:

Ragi or finger millet is indeed a superfood, offering a multitude of essential nutrients for growth and development of all body organs, besides rectifying several health concerns like anemia, anxiety, skin infections and hair fall.

Being available both as nutrient-dense grains as well as processed flour, ragi can be easily utilised to make staple desi dishes like dosas, rotis, idlis, upma, puttu, parathas, adai as well as desi mithais like halwa, barfi.

One of the best ways to have ragi is in the form of a simple malt, by heating it with some milk and jaggery, which serves as a wholesome breakfast drink.

Is It Good To Eat Ragi At Night?

Ragi abounds in proteins and complex carbohydrates, which are macronutrients that require ample time for breakdown and assimilation in the system.

It is hence recommended by nutritionists and dietitians to have ragi malt or ragi flour-based rotis, puttu or dosas in the morning for breakfast, or during the afternoon for lunch. This is because the gastrointestinal acid secretions are stimulated at this time of day, hence facilitating the fast absorption of nutrients from ragi.

However, the wealth of minerals and healthy fats in ragi are known to calm the brain and promote sleep. Hence having a small portion, such as half a glass of ragi malt or ragi kanji at night can help treat insomnia and other issues of low moods.

Keep in mind to consume it at least 2 – 3 hours before going to bed, to allow for the ragi components to metabolize and release energy.

Side effects of Ragi:


The finger millets are rich in minerals; it has a lot of health benefits. But you have to consider some side effects that are consumed by the finger millet.

1. Finger millet cause thyroid

The finger millet has the goitrogen component, which interferes with the production of thyroid hormones, and it may resist the iodine uptake by the thyroid gland. The person who is suffering from the thyroid should consider with their doctor before consuming ragi.

2. Finger millet may cause kidney stone

Consuming the finger millet at a moderate level will not cause any problem, but if you are consuming more than the general level may increase the oxalic acid level in the body because it has a high level of calcium. The patient who is suffering from the urinary calculi or kidney stone should avoid the consumption of finger millet.

3. Finger millet may cause goiter

The iodine deficiency in the body leads to the goiter; it is the development of enlarged thyroid gland. The symptoms of the goiter are anxiety, dry skin, depression, and slow thinking. So if you are suffering from g

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Pallabi Ghosh

Pallabi Ghosh

Hello! I am Pallabi Ghosh. I am an Actress, Model, Fashion Expert & Health Enthusiast & recently a Blogger. I have started writing to share all my knowledge & experience on Health, Beauty, Fitness and Fashion that I have learned these many years through my acting and modelling career.