Ragi has long been a part of our diets. But over the past few years it has disappeared so much so that kids today might not even know what Ragi is.
The Ragi plant is similar to wheat with the inflorescence containing spikelets. These spikelets, while harvesting bear the actual grain within different layers of the crop. The actual grain is small red balls and surprisingly for most, can be used in multiple delicacy preparations.
But what makes Ragi a super food?
Ragi is one of the most nutrient food which can help people at any age. It helps control many diseases which otherwise can be controlled only through medication, sometime life long. Some of the key nutrients in Ragi are Phosphorus, High Fibre, Magnesium, Vitamin B1, Calcium. This superfood is so astoundingly rich that one cup of Ragi (approximately 6 chapatis) can take care of over 50% of the daily requirement of the mentioned nutrients.
How do all of these nutrients help us?
The rich fibres help one feel fuller for a longer time thereby avoiding unnecessary / binge eating. Also, these insoluble fibres help with digestion. Ayurveda lays special emphasis on digestion and quantity of food to be eaten and goes on to say one should only at about 70-75% of ones capacity for better digestion. Better well-being is a by-product of good digestion and Ragi helps in both controlling the diet and improved digestion. This high content of fibres in Ragi also helps reduce the bad cholesterol and increases the effects of good cholesterol.
Ragi is also very rich in anti-oxidants. This helps fight against infections and helps against the risk of caner.
This gluten free miracle helps in a diabetic condition as well. The magnesium content of Ragi helps insulin response by lowering the resistance. The magnesium also helps in maintaining the nerve function and normal heartbeat.
One of the biggest benefit of Ragi is its calcium content. Studies believe it has 5-30 times more calcium than any other cereal and three times more than milk, popularly known as the best for calcium (https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/powerhouse-on-your-plate/article2825447.ece). This high calcium content helps with bone development for children and bone density improvement in old age.
How does one consume Ragi?
As mentioned earlier, one can make rotis out of it instead of wheat / maida and have as usual. Stuffed rotis and Ragi Dosas is what comes as close to the everyday rotis. For the bakers, Ragi bread and cookies are also options. And finally for the ones with the sweet tooth, Ragi Laddoos and halva will make sure you stay healthy while enjoying your favourite dessert. Ministry of Ayush has actually gone ahead and published a recipe for Ragi Banana Smoothie (https://ayushportal.nic.in/pdf/Food_Recipes_From_AYUSH.pdf).
Whenever we interact with people of any age, we strongly recommend Ragi Halva (for this recipe and many more: https://isha.sadhguru.org/in/en/blog/article/7-health-benefits-of-ragi-6-great-ragi-recipes) along with Good 4 Joints for both quick relief from joint pain for the elderly and long term bone development for one and all. Ragi provides the required dose of calcium, cow ghee provides the requisite lubrication between the bones, sugar makes it soothing for the taste palette and Good 4 joints seeps deep and makes the pain slip away.