Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that has impacted millions of people worldwide. Diabetes can be controlled by following a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits. People with diabetes need to be extra cautious while adding food items to their meals. Some food items can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels, while others help reduce insulin resistance and control sugar levels in the blood.
Ragi, also known as finger millet or nachni, is a gluten-free grain that has been part of the Indian diet for hundreds of years. It is a fibre-rich food that is a good source of nutrients. Ragi contains good carbohydrates that are easy to digest. Now the question arises—Is Ragi good for diabetes?
Before answering that question, we should understand the nutritional profile of ragi.
Every 100 gms of Ragi contains the following nutrients:
- Protein: 7.7 gm
- Fibre: 11.5 gm
- Fat: 1.5 gm
- Carbohydrate: 72.6 gm
- Iron: 3.9 mg
- Calcium: 350 mg
- Magnesium: 137 mg
- Manganese: 5.94 mg
- Phosphorus: 283 mg
- Potassium: 408 mg
Glycaemic Index of Ragi
The glycaemic index is a critical factor for patients with diabetes. This value indicates how fast the blood sugar levels increase after food intake. Food items with low glycaemic index are digested slowly and do not cause a sudden increase in blood glucose levels. Foods with a high glycaemic index are digested faster and cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels.
Ragi flour has a glycaemic index of <40. This low glycaemic index prevents a sudden increase in blood sugar levels. Hence, ragi is considered a diabetes control food.
Benefits of Ragi for Diabetes
- Ragi is a diabetes control food that slows down the release of glucose from the food.
- Ragi is a rich source of polyphenol. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties and prevent diabetic complications like heart disease and cancer.
- Magnesium in ragi increases insulin sensitivity and counteracts insulin resistance in type-2 diabetes.
- Ragi is a rich source of calcium and helps to increase muscle strength. It also prevents osteoporosis in old age and patients with diabetes.
- Antioxidants in ragi reduce oxidative stress in the body. It also helps to reduce inflammation due to its antioxidant properties.
- The high content of dietary fibres in ragi makes it a filling and good diabetes-control food.
- As ragi is gluten-free, it can be used by patients with autoimmune conditions like Celiac disease. The gluten triggers inflammatory reactions in these patients. Hence, it is advisable to substitute wheat, barley, and rice with ragi.
- Obesity is a common complication associated with diabetes. Obesity can lead to various health-related complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disorders, nerve damage, and skin-related issues. Ragi is a fibre-rich food that helps weight loss and prevents these complications.
Best Way to Consume Ragi
Looking at all the benefits associated with ragi, we have found the answer to the question, “Is Ragi good for diabetes?” To extract maximum benefits from a food item, we should consume it in optimal quantities. 10-20 grams of ragi should be consumed every day or alternatively. Soak ragi for 12 hours and ground the germinated grains into fine powder. This ragi powder can be used to make dishes like ragi chapati, ragi dosa, malt, and porridge.
Best Time to Consume Ragi
Ragi is a wholesome grain that must be consumed in the morning. It will maintain energy levels for the entire day, and as a diabetes control food, it will also help to control blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is a metabolic condition that affects millions of people around the world. Lifestyle changes and healthy eating habits can help control it. Patients with diabetes must choose food carefully to avoid a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. People with diabetes often wonder, “Is Ragi good for diabetes?” The answer is yes. Ragi is a nutrition-rich food with a low glycaemic index. It does not increase blood glucose levels and prevents diabetes-related complications. It improves bone strength, digestion, and energy levels in the body.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should not eat ragi?
People with kidney disorders, thyroid, diarrhoea, and constipation, should not eat ragi. Ragi takes time to digest and can cause sensitive reactions.
What happens if you consume ragi daily?
Ragi helps to keep you full and lose weight. It also reduces blood glucose levels and is beneficial for overall health.
Does ragi produce heat?
Ragi is known to produce heat in the body. Hence, it must be used in minimum amounts in summers and combined with milk.