Why New Moms Should Have Ragi Regularly?

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Health Benefits of Ragi for Lactating Moms in India

Ragi porridge was my favorite food during pregnancy and exclusive breastfeeding. I used to have it at least once in 2 days and still would not get bored with it’s taste.
I still love eating it regularly. Not just because it is super healthy but because it is very delicious too. Let us get to know health benefits of Ragi/Nachani/Finger Millet.
Finger Millet is popularly known as RAGI in southern part of our country and also known as NACHNI in other parts of our country. Like oats, ragi is also one of the most nourishing food and easy to digest. It is loaded with protein and calcium and also contains iron, unsaturated fats and many other minerals too and does not contain Gluten. It is usually ground into a fine powder and is being commonly known as Ragi Flour.
100 grams of Ragi flour contains 72.6% of carbohydrates, 7.7% of proteins and 3.6% of fiber followed by least 1.3% of fats in it and also contains the edible portion and approx. 12% of moisture. Ragi is a kind of cereal which has got many nutrients for health benefits. It is believed to help in curing of many diseases like Diabetes, Anemia, Osteoporosis and brittle bones. It also helps in losing weight. Ragi doesn’t need to be polished before making its flour, thus can be used up in its pure form and with all the benefits of nutrients intact.
Having such high nutritional value it helps new mothers and kids by providing all the necessary nutrition. Regularly consuming Ragi helps in aiding many health issues.

INCREASING BONE STRENGTH:
Ragi contains a large amount of calcium and vitamin D, which no other plant source would provide. It is a good source of natural calcium which helps in strengthening the bones, maintains the bone health and reduces the risk of fracture in bones and also cures Osteoporosis.
INCREASES LACTATION:
Ragi improves the hemoglobin levels in lactating mothers. Lactating mothers should consume green ragi in their daily diet which will improve the production of milk. It enhances the breast milk with amino acids, calcium and iron which is important for mother as well as the child.
GOOD SOURCE OF PROTIENS AND AMINO ACIDS:
Ragi is a rich source of amino acids and proteins. It also contains minerals like Riboflavin, Thiamin, Niacin. The main amino acids like Tryptophan, Methionine, Isoleucine, Threonine and Vilene are present in ragi, help blood formation, depression, fighting anxiety, maintaining metabolism and muscle functioning and also raises the discharge of growth hormones.
Along with Mothers and babies, others too can have lots of advantages by consuming ragi on regular basis. Some of them are:
CONTROLS DIABETIC LEVEL:
It is being studied that regular consumption of ragi can minimize the diabetic level due to content of polyphenols and dietary fibers. Ragi contains a large amount of fiber as compared to wheat, rice, or any other grains. It is also being found that the person who regularly have ragi have less glycemic response i.e. they have lower ability of increasing the blood sugar level in their blood and maintains the sugar level in safe range. It absorbs the starch and lowers the digestibility of our body.
HELPS IN CONTROLLING WEIGHT:
It contains high dietary fiber content which helps in digestion. It also contains Tryptophan, it is an amino acid which helps in curbing your appetite. Being low on unsaturated fats this makes it ideal cereal for people looking to lose weight. Dietary fiber in ragi combines with water in the body and keeps you fuller for long. It also slows down your digestion due to which you are full for long without any additional calorie intake.
HELPS IN CONTROLLING CHOLESTEROL LEVELS:
Ragi has been tried and tested many times and it is proved that it helps in controlling your cholesterol levels. Amino acids in Ragi i.e. Lecithin & Methionine helps in controlling the cholesterol levels by cutting out extra fat from liver and Threonine prevents body from forming fat in the liver.
HELPS IN RELAXATION:
Amino acid profile of Ragi is so rich that is also helps in relaxation. Tryptophan mainly helps in fighting free radicals. It helps with anxiety, headaches, hypertension and depression. It also helps you sleep better. Ragi when consumed in raw or green form helps in controlling hypertension.
CURES ANEMIA:
Due to high Iron content it helps in increasing blood formation for people suffering from low hemoglobin levels. Ragi when in sprouted form contains vitamin C, which helps in absorption of iron in the body.
HELPS IN DIGESTION:
High content of dietary fiber in ragi helps proper digestion of food. It prevents constipation & promotes normal bowel movement. Fiber present in Ragi improves food movement along your intestines, also retains water in body for waste excretion. Consume Ragi on regular basis to strengthen your digestive system.
After going through so many benefits of Ragi it’s tough to not give it a try. It is an extremely nutritious cereal & helps in maintaining good health. Though high intake of Ragi could increase oxalic acid in body, thus it is not advised for patients having kidney stones.
Ragi being mostly used in form of flour, it can be enjoyed in many different forms and preparation. Like using the ragi flour to make roti, dosas, upma, cake and Ragi biscuits which are already available in market.
New moms in India especially in southern part of India are given Ragi porridge every day. No wonder Why!

RECIPE: Raggi/Ragi/Finger Miller Porridge:
Step 1: In a wok, take 1 spoon of butter, add 2 spoons of raggi powder, fry it for about 2-3 mins on low-medium flame, add a pinch of cumin powder (ajwain powder also tastes good) and salt then let it cool for around 5 mins.
Step 2: Boil 2 cups of water, let it cool a little bit so that when we add it to powder it would not form lumps. Now add the warm water to power with whisking continuously.
Step 3: After you have mixed it completely cook it for 5 mins without lid, stir continuously. now cover it with lid and cook for another 5 mins.
Done!
Tip 1: Please take care while cooking as the boiling porridge over flows, so keep the flame low and stir it in between.
Tip 2 :You may add half portion of milk instead of water only. Also try sweet version with some sugar instead of salt and cumin powder. You can also add some roasted sesame in salty version.

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About Author

Sapana

Software professional – now work at home mom

24 Comments

    • Sapana

      Hi Poonam, according to my knowledge and experience Raggi/Nachani is in fact body coolant and does not induce body heat. In Maharashtra its eaten more in summers.

    • Sapana

      Hi Maya, The best way to have finger millet /raggi is to sprout the whole grain, dry n powder it. Sprouting increases its nutrition and taste too. Sprouting makes it easy to digest Read this to know more on why and how to sprout the whole grains: http://www.gomama247.com/top-5-reasons-to-go-for-sprouted-wheat-grains-flour.html/
      (In short process: Soak the grains in water for about 12 hrs then drain n pack them in a cotton cloth keep it for 12 hrs, make sure its in moist atmosphere (You can wrap a wet towel around the pack) then dry the sprouts in air (no sun dry needed for finger millet). Powder it and keep it in refrigerator to keep its nutrition n taste for long time)
      I found this website in UK they sell whole finger millet too: http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatalog/Top-Op-Raggi-Whole-Whole-Millet.html#SID=3525
      I have added the recipe at end of the post above. Hope it helps. You can feed the same porriedge to a baby older than 10 months ( actually in India we start earlier)

  1. Pingback: Instant and Delicious Baby Porridge Recipes | GoMama 24/7

  2. Maddala raviteja on

    what will happen if a pregnant women take this ragi soup excessively(move than a required limit)?………. is it have any side-effect on baby?…….. answer plz @admin

    • Sapana

      Anything even if healthy food, in excess, has side effects. The grains like finger millet might increase some minerals levels to more than healthy limit. I can not comment on what exactly but avoid eating it in excess. If the pregnant woman is having it in porridge form then the quantity is not as much as compared to ragi-roti or ragi idli.

  3. Pingback: Calcium Rich Baby Foods: For Babies Below 1 Year | GoMama 24/7

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