Varagu rice, known popularly as Kodo millet, is a type of grain that is widely considered a healthy alternative to white rice. Being rich in protein, Varagu rice boasts several health benefits, including muscle repair. Continue reading to discover more health benefits of Varagu rice.
Varagu rice or Kodo millet is cultivated in several parts across Asia, including India, Vietnam, Nepal, and Thailand. Originally from West Africa, this highly nutritious grain goes by different names in different parts of the country. For instance, it is called Kodra in Gujarat and Punjab, and Harka in Karnataka. The name Varagu is commonly used in the state of Tamil Nadu. The flavour of Varagu rice is similar to white rice, and like other grains, this rice can be incorporated into a number of foods, including upma, dosa, and idli.
Although Varagu rice is healthy and nourishing, it is critical to introduce it into one’s diet slowly and gradually. The body requires time to get accustomed to new foods, and consuming too much of the grain suddenly may cause digestive issues. It is also recommended that one steers clear of the polished variety of Varagu rice that is frequently sold in the market. Despite being attractive to look at, polished Varagu rice tends to be low in nutritional content. Therefore, ensure to purchase the unpolished version of the rice to fully reap its health benefits, which are as follows.
Boosts Heart Health
Varagu rice is abundant in antioxidants, which, which according to the National Library of Medicine, shield the body from various afflictions and infections. This grain is also rich in a substance called phenolic extract, which is known to regulate one’s cholesterol levels, helping safeguard the body against heart disease, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions. Plus, antioxidants have properties of free radicals, which are believed to defend the body against certain types of cancers.
Fortifies the Nervous System
Varagu rice is an excellent source of Vitamin B, specifically, niacin, B6 and folic acid. The grain is also rich in minerals and nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Additionally, Varagu rice comprises a substance known as lecithin, which is believed to be vital in the smooth functioning of the nervous system. Thus, including Varagu rice in one’s diet helps in the healthy operation of the nervous system owing to the grain’s high vitamins and nutrients content.
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Varagu rice is a great source of protein, with every 100 grams of the grain containing 9.8 grams of protein. Proteins release amino acids that help in the speedy repair and recovery of bones and muscles. Proteins derived from Varagu rice also help one build muscle strength, boosting overall fitness and health. Similarly, to make up for the lack of meat in one’s diet, Varagu rice acts as a good protein option for vegetarians.
Aids in Weight Management
Varagu rice is composed of high levels of fibre; it also has a lower amount of calories compared to competing grains, such as white rice. Soluble fibre, when digested, expands in the stomach, and thus, ensures one is full and satiated. In this way, consuming Varagu rice aids in weight management by eliminating any unnecessary pangs of hunger. Varagu rice is recommended over white rice to people battling conditions like obesity.
Helps Manage Diabetes
Kodo millet or Varagu rice is regarded as a boon for diabetic patients as it is known to prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels as well as naturally boost the levels of insulin within one’s body. It is also believed that Varagu rice drastically lowers the levels of glycated hemoglobin in the body. This results in the creation of liver glycogen, which helps provide more energy to diabetics.