Ragi or nachni also was known as foxtail millet is a cost-effective source of various nutrients. Notably, it is a rare source of the amino acid methionine.
The whole grain of ragi may be ground into flour or decorticated before grinding to produce either a fine particle product or flour, which is then used in various traditional foods. Depending upon the recipe requirement, you can ground it into a fine or coarse powder.
You can use ragi to make roti and dosas, and even mix it with other flours to make a variety of dishes like bread, idli, cake etc.
11 Super Health benefits of Ragi, Ragi Flour + Healthy Recipes
1. High in Protein : One cup of whole Ragi Flour (144 grams) gives about 10.3 grams of protein. Very good source for Vegetarian. Protein is cricital to manage the wear and tear of the cells in the body and help transport oxygen to various parts of the body.
2. Ragi Benefits due to High Fiber : One cup of whole Ragi Flour gives about 16.1 grams of fibre. This fibre will keep you fuller for a longer time and avoid you from binge eating. Ragi flour being rich in insoluble fibre helps easy digestion and hence relieves constipation. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and goes through your stomach without being processed helping other foods move through your system and out. Insoluble fibre keeps you healthier with a better digestive system (1).
3. Antioxidant Rich : Ragi has many antioxidants which help fight the body against infections. Antioxidants prevent oxidation and thus may help in reducing risk of cancer (2) (3).
4. Gluten Free : Great healthy option for those who are intolerant to Gluten. Ragi flour, is far more healthier to use in Indian Breads like Whole Wheat Roti. Try Ragi Roti
5. Good for Diabetics : Ragi benefits in diabetes. Ragi flour creates a much lower surge in sugar levels compared to wheat. Ragi is rich in Magnesium which improves insulin response by lowering insulin resistance. Having very low magnesium will result in the pancreas not secrete enough insulin to control our blood glucose (4).
6. Good for Toddlers : Jowar, Ragi and Date Porridge is a wholesome food that will keep your Baby & Toddler satiated and active for at least a couple of hours.
7. Good for Heart : Ragi flour is rich in Magnesium. 100 grams of Ragi have 137 milligrams of Magnesium which is 50% of your recommend daily allowance (RDA). Magnesium helps maintain nerve function and normal heartbeat (5). Being high in Fibre, Ragi benefits to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the effects of good cholesterol (HDL) (6).
8. Ragi Benefits in Endurance : Being high in fibre, protein, lowering blood pressure means more RBC (red blood cells) to give energy. All these factors enhance performance of endurance athletes like runners, swimmers and bikers.
9. Builds strong bones and teeth : Once up Ragi flour has 481 mg of Calcium which is 49% of RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). Calcium is a mineral that makes bones stay strong. The human body consistently remove small amounts of calcium from our bones and that has to be topped up with Calcium rich foods. Ragi Flour is the richest source of Phosphorus which helps build strong bones and teeth (7).
10. Helps produce Red Blood Cells : Ragi benefits in Anemia. Nachni flour is a good source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) which helps in RBC production and forms ATP which body uses for energy.
11. Healthy skin formation : Being rich in Vitamin B3 (Niacin), enables healthy skin formation and preventing wrinkles and skin diseases (8).
Nutritional Information for 1 cup Ragi Flour
One cup of Ragi Flour is 144 grams, which makes 6 rotis.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
10.5 grams of Protein
103 grams of Carbs
1.87 grams of Fat
407 mg of Phosphorus : 67.9% of RDA (about 600 mg for adult)
16.56 grams of High Fiber = 66.2% of RDA (about 25 to 30 grams)
197 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 56.3% of RDA (about 350 mg )
0.6 mg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine : 50.4% of RDA (about 1.2 to 1.5 mg)
495 mg of Calcium (Ca) = 49.5% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
3.31 mg of Zinc = 33.1% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
5.6 mg of Iron (Fe) = 28% of RDA(about 20 mg for women)
26.3 mcg Folate, Vitamin B9 (FA) = 26.3% of RDA (about 100 mcg)
0.27 mg of Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 = 24.8 % of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
10.5 g Protein = 19.1% of RDA (55 g)
1.58 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 13.2% of RDA (about 12 mg)
587 mg of Potassium (K) :12.5% of RDA (about 4,700 mg)
60.4 mcg of Vitamin A = 2.5 % of RDA (about 2,400 mcg)
Healthy Food with Ragi
Kick start your morning with this healthy multigrain bread. The wholesome flours and seed add to the fiber content of the bread. Replace your regular dosa with this nutritious Nachni dosa. As a variation, you can even add grated carrots or finely chopped onions and green chilies to the batter before making the dosas.
For starter, you can simply replace whole wheat roti with Nachni roti. The rustic flavor and earthy aroma will warm your soul and content you. Enjoy it with a hot bowl of dal or sabzi. Since it will taste a bit different your kids may take time to adapt to it. For them you can make this Ragi Roti Stuffed with Paneer, the medley of flavors from peppy chutney and spiced paneer with some crunchy onions is surely a finger-licking combination! If your child loves Italian food then you can sauté the paneer with some pesto sauce and make Ragi Roti Stuffed with Paneer Pesto which is quite unique and innovative.
Looking for a healthy alternative to binge during office hours? Combine these three wholesome flours with pepper and til to make this Multi flour Chakli, a perfect jar snack. Nachni Soya Puri is another healthier option.