Although the ‘millet diet’ frenzy has swept the country in recent years, millets aren’t a recent discovery. They have been a part of the Indian diet for millennia. One such millet, ragi, is known to have numerous health benefits. However, is ragi good for weight loss? Learn more about the nutritional content of ragi and how it can be consumed to aid in weight loss.Contents:
Ragi or finger millet is a crop that is native to Africa. It is grown extensively in major regions of Asia and Africa for its nutritional value. It is a whole grain that is harvested from the seeds of the Eleusine coracana crop.
The grains have a long shelf-life of over 10 years, if stored in the proper condition. Ragi is often used as an alternative to wheat and other grains. It is a rich source of carbohydrates and dietary fibre. However, due to the rich dietary fibre, ragi may be relatively lower in net carbs than most grains.
Ragi is an excellent source of carbohydrates (mainly starch), dietary fibre, calcium, copper, and manganese. It also has moderate amounts of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and B-complex vitamins. Ragi is also packed with antioxidants like polyphenols and amino acids like tryptophan, both of which have numerous health benefits.
The following is the nutritional profile of 100 g of dry ragi according to several nutritional analyses published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Composition of Ragi grains per 100 g
350 to 360 kcal
5 to 10%
65 to 75%
1 to 2%
15 to 20%
Ragi is beneficial for weight loss because of the:
Fibre is an important addition to your diet if you are trying to lose weight. Fibre takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, and thus keeps you feeling full for a longer time. This can lower your calorie intake by preventing overeating.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that has many functions in your body. It is essential for the production of serotonin, a “feel-good” hormone that boosts mood and also acts as an appetite suppressant. Thus, consuming ragi can help curb your hunger and reduce your calorie intake.
There are various ways to add ragi to your daily diet. The following are some ragi recipes for weight loss that you can try.
Ragi porridge: Ragi, when used to make a porridge, can be one of the best ways to promote weight loss. It is easy and quick to cook. You can make ragi porridge or ragi malt for weight loss by cooking ragi flour with just water, chopped nuts, and jaggery. If you wish to have ragi porridge for dinner, you can make it more filling by adding milk.
Ragi roti:Ragi roti for weight loss? Yes, it is an excellent addition to your diet and an easy way to lose weight, as Indian households consume rotis at least once a day. Making your rotis from flour made with ragi grains instead of wheat can help you cut down on calories. Ragi rotis are also more filling due to the presence of fibre and tryptophan.
Ragi dosa: You can make this South Indian breakfast dish more healthy by replacing about half (or full, based on your preference) the portion of rice used to make the batter with ragi. The fermentation that the batter undergoes makes ragi dosa even more nutritious. Alternatively, you can make instant ragi dosa batter by soaking ragi flour and ground oats in curd.
Ragi, though more filling, is a relatively calorie-rich grain when compared to others like jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), or rice. Consumption of a moderate amount of ragi may help you maintain a healthy weight.
It is best to limit your consumption of ragi and other whole grains to a total of three servings a day. Each serving size is roughly 15 to 16g of uncooked ragi grains or flour. This roughly amounts to 45 to 50g of uncooked ragi grains or flour a day.
You may consume ragi at any time of the day. You may add it to your daily meals in the form of different foods as mentioned above. Adding ragi to your breakfast can help you cut down on mid-day snacking or overeating. It can also make for a satisfying dinner.
Despite the fact that ragi comes with various health benefits, it can have some downsides as well. However, people who consume ragi as a part of a balanced diet and in the recommended serving size may not experience any adverse effects.
Certain compounds present in ragi act as anti-nutrients and may cause some side effects on excessive consumption of ragi. These side effects include:
As ragi is high in carbohydrates, overconsumption can lead to weight gain.
The nutrients in ragi can provide multiple health benefits including:
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