6 Top Health Benefits & Uses Of Ragi For Weight Loss, Babies, Diabetes & Pregnancy:
1. Ragi For Babies:
I would highly recommend giving ragi for babies as I have personally used only ragi for my son when he was a baby. Instead of boxed cereals I would suggest giving ragi porridge to babies, it is highly nutritious. It is cheap, highly nutritious, prevents infant constipation as it is high in fiber and above all tastes so very good. To make it, boil water in a pan along with jaggery, once it dissolves strain to remove impurities, add the ragi flour mixed with little water into the jaggery water and cook till thick, add few drops of homemade ghee and delicious breakfast for your baby is ready. It can be given for kids too, once the kids like the taste they will continue having it.
2. Ragi For Weight Loss:
When it comes to weight loss any food that is low in calories, high in nutrition and has a high satiety value is very good. A homemade ragi dosa has only around 60 calories but keep us satiated for a long time, just compare it with a slice of white bread which has around the same calories. I will be hungry after eating bread within minutes that is why I love our traditional recipes, they keep us satiated for a long time but doesn’t pile on the pounds. Good choices with ragi while on a diet are ragi dosa made with minimal oil, ragi kalli | ragi mudde and if you feel like having bread try using ragi flour in the recipe. But you can’t make the bread fully with ragi flour, it will be hard, start with 1/4 of the flour in the recipe and you can slowly increase to your preference. I make ragi bread at home and serve it warm with honey drizzled on top, tastes delicious and it is quite filling too…
3. Ragi For Pregnancy:
When I was pregnant, the first few months I was continuously vomiting and barely could eat anything. But during the last trimester it was the opposite, I was always hungry and would crave spicy things in the evening. Since store bought greasy snacks would give me heart burn, I never had any of those, if I craved for something spicy and crunchy, my mom would make me ragi pakoras in the evening. Just 2 or 3 ragi pakoras would fill me up and the best thing about ragi pakoras is if made without onions it can be stored for a long time. Also ragi mudde | kali can be had regularly for lunch with dal often with little bit of homemade ghee, it will prevent nutrient deficiencies especially if you are a vegetarian. Eating healthy during pregnancy will ensure that there is enough breast milk after delivery.
4. Ragi For Diabetic Patients:
Since ragi is filling and is low in calories, it is ideal for diabetic patients as it keeps the blood sugar levels stable. But I would suggest not taking ragi in the form of porridge and to take it in the form of dosai or idli or roti as taking porridge in any form does spike up the insulin levels more. A hearty breakfast of ragi dosa with onion chutney or tomato chutney will tide us over till lunch without any need to snack in between. It will also fit in easily with a persons daily calorie requirements.
5. Ragi For Dogs:
By now you would have realized how extensively we use ragi in our home and it extends to our pets too :). Our dog Bruno (Labrador) loves ragi porridge, in our family we give only ragi porridge to the dogs and it is a common saying in our village that dogs who eat ragi porridge are hale and healthy and it is very true. This is also a common practice in our village and you will find most of the homes serve only ragi porridge for the dogs. We never buy boxed dog food (never have) at home, we only give him ragi porridge (made without salt) mixed with homemade yogurt. But to train dogs to eat ragi porridge you have to introduce it when he is a puppy itself…
6. Ragi For Women: Prevents Anemia & Osteoporosis
I feel very very sad to write this because I see the usage of grains and millets diminishing in villages, previously (15 to 20 years back) most of the time the breakfast in most of the workers homes will be ragi porridge with dal curry as an accompaniment. Now as slowly packaged food is making it’s way into the villages, people are slowly switching over to convenience food. Grinding and pounding grains in the traditional grinding stones is a breeze for village women but nowadays women are not able to do that kind of work. Even last week a dear worker of ours was complaining of leg cramps which is unheard of few years back. I truly wish we stick to our traditional foods that are so nutritious, cheap, close to home and produced by our local farmers. It will keep us especially us women healthy and prevent conditions like anemia and osteoporosis which almost all the middle aged women are suffering….