6 Benefits Of Including Ragi Flour Into Your Diet
Image Credit: Ragi Flour | Image Credit: Istock.com

It is believed that before the 1950s, whole grains like barley, brown rice, amaranth, and ragi were staples of the traditional Indian diet after which rice took over. A whole grain contains all three parts of the kernel namely the bran, germ, and endosperm whereas refined grains are processed to keep only the endosperm. This makes whole grains healthier as they contain fibre-laden bran along with other nutrients that are lost due to processing.  

Among many other whole grains that made a comeback in recent times, ragi is one of them. Also known as Finger Millet or Nachni in many parts of India, the grain originated in Africa and has been cultivated in Uganda and Ethiopia for many years. Ragi is regarded as a hardy crop that can grow in high altitudes and can withstand harsh climates, perfectly suited for India’s climatic conditions. According to Frontiers in Plant Science in their article, ‘Nutraceutical Value of Finger Millet [Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.], and Their Improvement Using Omics Approaches,’ finger millet is rich in calcium, iron, fibre, essential amino acids like lysine and methionine, polyunsaturated fatty acids and water-soluble vitamins.  


Ragi is most commonly used as a flour out of which ragi roti, chapati or paratha are made. It is important to include ragi flour in the form of roti or paratha in the daily diet owing to its multiple benefits. Apart from roti or chapati, ragi is often used to make porridge, cakes, and fermented foods like dosa and idli and many more. Take a look at some of the health benefits of ragi flour:  

  • Packed With Calcium  

Ragi is considered one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium when compared to other whole grains. The Journal of Food Science and Technology in their article named, ‘Health benefits of finger millet (Eleusine coracana L.) polyphenols and dietary fibre: a review,’ states that finger millet contains 344 mg of calcium in 100 g of ragi. Calcium is critical for healthy bones and prevents osteoporosis, a disease that weakens the bones.  

  • Helps In Controlling Diabetes  

Advances In Food and Nutrition Research in their article ‘Finger millet (Ragi, Eleusine coracana L.): a review of its nutritional properties, processing, and plausible health benefits,’ suggests that ragi improves blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people. It has more fibre, minerals, and amino acids than white rice. Besides, its low glycemic index helps to curb cravings and maintains digestive pace, keeping blood sugar in a safe range.  

Battle Anemia  

Ragi is packed with iron and thus is beneficial for anaemic patients and also for those who have low haemoglobin levels. When ragi is allowed to sprout, the Vitamin C level increases, leading to easy absorption of iron into the bloodstream. For added benefits, ragi can be consumed with a wide range of vegetables like porridge, upma etc.  

Helps In Weight Loss  

The presence of dietary fibre in ragi helps in managing weight in individuals. Dietary fibre keeps the stomach full for longer periods of time, preventing unnecessary cravings. This in turn helps in minimising appetite and allowing weight loss.  

  • Reverts Skin Aging  

Ragi helps in maintaining youthful and flawless skin. Essential amino acids like Methionine and Lysine are present in it, making the skin resist wrinkles and sagging. Ragi is also rich in antioxidants like phenolic acids and flavonoids, that help combat free radicals that cause skin damage and premature ageing.   

  • Prevents Cardiovascular Disease  

As mentioned earlier, ragi improves cholesterol levels owing to the presence of dietary fibre which reduces the bad cholesterol level and simultaneously increases the good cholesterol in the blood. The presence of calcium, magnesium, and potassium helps in regulating blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases.