ANCIENT OR NEW AGE? THE POWER OF RAGI DECODED
Turns out the new age mantra of Millets such as Ragi as wonder food is not so new age after all. Evidence unearthed in Cishan, North China , puts millet cultivation as far back as 83006700 BC, more than 10,000 years ago. Our own Yajur veda identifies Black Ragi( Shyaamaka aka Finger millet) .Thus, the use of Ragi in India dates back to 4500 BC at least.
So, why the sudden spurt of interest in all things Millet? Changes in lifestyles have made us sedentary. We simply do not do enough physically either because there is no need to or there is no time to.
Add to this changes in food habits and eating patterns . Compound it with the advent of fast food oozing fat and bursting with carbs. You now have a time bomb waiting to blow! The intensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have not made things any easier on general health either. Respiratory problems, allergies and even some cancers are some of the unfortunate outcomes of â€œmodernâ€? cultivation methods. The more enlightened of us have thus turned to Organic farming and products . The composition of Ragi, or Finger Millet, is what makes it a super food today. Make it organic to reap the full benefits of Ragi.
Bust that gut Ragi is 88% carbohydrate. But this is no reason for an OMG moment . Itâ€™s complex! Complex carbs are more nutritive as they contain mostly fibre and starch. They digest more slowly, thus they give you a feeling of fullness and curb your appetite. The other payoff of these complex carbs is that they help manage post meal blood sugar spikes. They are slow to digest and are released slowly into the bloodstream as a result. Ragi is ideal for preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes. 100 g of Ragi also contains only 1.5 g of fat. This makes Ragi a low calorie energy giver. The high fibre content of Ragi is especially good for bowel movement. It promotes regularity and bulk.This is of special importance in the elderly who face difficulty because of degenerating pelvic muscles , limited mobility or inadequate fluid intake. The traditional Ragi Kanji can be either sweet or savoury and it will aid in adding fibre as well as liquid to a diet.
No Bones about it Ragi is Calcium rich. Calcium is needed to build bones and maintain bone strength .As you age, it is calcium that protects you from Osteoporosis, the wearing away and thinning of bone matter. Healthy teeth need adequate amounts of Calcium. Ideally, our teeth must last till we do. Eating is not only essential but undeniably pleasurable. Calcium also helps blood clot, regulates your heart rhythm, sends neural messages, contracts your musclesâ€Ś the list goes on.
Leave Cholesterol at the curb Ragi is a storehouse of many vitamins : Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin. Niacin, in particular aids in Cholesterol control. This is necessary to guard against heart disease. Cholesterol in humans is of 2 types: LDL which is the villain and HDL which is the Hero. The main goal of cholesterol treatment is to lower LDL and increase HDL. Niacin increases HDL cholesterol. It also lowers Triglycerides or fats in the blood. Proteins viz amino acids â€“ hard to pronounce but you need them! Ragi contains Tryptophan, Threonine, Valine, Isoleucine and Methionine amino acids.Methionine is important for the growth of blood vessels and helps in eliminating fat from the body.
Gluten free : nothing to sneeze at Ragi is gluten free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat , Barley and Rye. There are people who are sensitive to it and this may manifest as nasal and eye irritation, nausea, difficulty in breathing and diarrhea. Organic Ragi flour makes a good substitute for wheat.
Queen of the Millets Not only is Ragi beneficial if included in your diet, it is very versatile. Bring out the chef in you. The internet is flooded with recipes, creative , simple, challenging , traditional, not so traditional, downright futuristicâ€Ś.. Your kitchen awaits. Reap the goodness of Organic Ragi flour. Unleash your creativity.