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Wonderful Health Benefits of Ragi (Finger Millets)

Updated on September 30, 2018
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Lakshmi Menon is a published author who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is also a travel enthusiast.

Health Benefits of Ragi (Finger Millets)

Finger Millet (Ragi) is widely cultivated in Asia and Africa. Botanical name for Ragi is Elucine Coracana. The names of ragi in other languages are Taidalu ( Telangana ), Kelvaragu, Aariyam (Tamil), Panjapulle (Malayalam) Maduva (in some parts of north India) and Nachani (Marathi).

Ragi is considered as a highly nutrient food in India, and it is cultivated from ancient times in India. It is known to be a drought resistant crop, resistant to pests and diseases, and short growing season as compared other major cereals. It is considered as high energy nutritious food to help in reducing malnutrition, nourishing the common population and to help in preventing many diseases. Since it is gluten free all can use it safely.

Ragi mudde
Ragi mudde | Source

Nutrient value of Ragi

Nutrient value of 100 gms of ragi -

Carbohydrate - 72.6

Protein - 7.7

Fibre - 3.6

Fat - 1.3

Calcium - 350 mg

Iron - 3.9 mg

Niacin - 1.1 mg

Thiamin - 0.42 mg

Riboflavin - 0.19 mg

  • Because of its amazing health benefits, Pediatricians recommend Ragi food for infants till the age of 6 in many parts of India. It is also gluten free food.
  • Ragi is rich in minerals like thiamine, calcium and iron.
  • Ragi is also rich in carbohydrates, and low in fat, and hence helps in reducing obesity.
  • Ragi is a boon for people suffering from diabetes.
  • Ragi is a good laxative for people suffering from constipation.
  • Ragi can be used as a substitute for people allergic to milk.
  • Ragi is good for obese people because its digestion is slow and glucose is released very slowly into the blood.
  • Eating roasted ragi is a tonic for the people suffering from high blood pressure, liver diseases, heart weakness, asthma and lack of milk production in lactating women.
  • Regular use of ragi protects from malnutrition, degenerative diseases and premature aging.

Health Benefits of Finger Millets (Ragi)

The dietary fiber and polyphenols in finger millet are known to offer several health benefits such as antidiabetic, antioxidant, hypocholesterolaemic, antimicrobial effects and protection from diet related chronic diseases to its regular consumers.

Finger millet is high in fibre which is helpful in preventing constipation.

Millet is gluten free and hence it is best option for people suffering from celiac diseases who is unable to use wheat.

For people suffering from liver diseases, high-blood pressure, heart weaknesses and asthma, roasted green finger millet is helpful.

For lactating mothers, if they do not have adequate milk production finger millet can help them.

For diabetes, consuming millet is good since digestion of finger millet takes place at a slow pace and glucose is released slowly into the blood..

For weight loss, finger millet is an excellent food since it contains an amino acid called Tryptophan which lowers appetite and helps in keeping weight in control, and it gives a feeling of fullness.

For bone health, the high calcium content in finger millet is helping to strengthen the bone.

For prevention of cancer, since millet is rich in phenolic acids, tannins and phytate it may reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer.

Millet decreases Triglycerides and C-Reactive protein.

For babies, because of its amazing health benefits, Pediatricians recommend Ragi food for infants. It is also gluten free food.

Finger millet is also antitumerogenic, atherosclerogenic and antioxidant. ,

Who Should Avoid Using Finger Millets?

Ragi is not good for people suffering from urinary calculi as it increases oxalic acid.

How to Use Finger Millets (Ragi)?

Ragi can be used as powder in the form of porridge, puddings, pancakes, biscuits, roti, bread, balls, noodles, and other snacks. It can also be used for making idlis and dosas either with rice or without rice.


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