What you feed your child at the young age, becomes their food habit. It lays a strong foundation for your baby’s future lifestyle. However, for your child to be healthy and strong, A healthful and a wholesome diet is what needed and if you are looking out for the options, Ragi is definitely one of your saviours. Ragi nutritional value is high and so is the Ragi health benefits. It is one of the healthiest grains which you would undoubtedly want to include in your child’s diet. But what are the Ragi benefits and the possible side effects of Ragi? We have explained everything in detail in this article.
Table of Contents:
What Is Ragi?
Ragi (also known as “Finger millet” in English and “Bhakri” in Marathi) is packed with all the necessary nutrients such as proteins, iron and calcium which are needed for your growing baby. It also contains amino acids such as phenylalanine, methionine, isoleucine, and leucine. The scientific name of ragi is Eleusine coracana.
Ragi is a cereal crop belonging to annual herbaceous plant group. It grows in arid and semiarid areas and could be cultivated even in the drought-stricken areas. India is the leading producer of ragi.
[Read more: Ragi For Babies - Is It Safe?]
Ragi Nutritional Facts:
Ragi nutrition is high and so are the ragi health benefits. Ragi for babies is most assuredly nutritious cereal. The ragi nutrition profile is as follows:
How And When To Give Ragi To Your Baby?
Ragi is an extremely versatile cereal. You can offer ragi to your baby in the form of ragi porridge prepared from ragi flour or ragi atta. Ragi porridge can be served along with curd, fruit juice, vegetable soup, buttermilk, etc. Just like this, you can try different kinds of accompaniments with ragi porridge.
Since Ragi is known to take a bit of time for its complete digestion, ragi for baby could be given in the morning or in the afternoon. This would help in the complete digestion of the ragi in your little one’s digestive system. Also, as ragi is known to offer a cool effect on the body, it is best to avoid ragi during winter and when your baby is suffering from cold.
[Read more: Ragi Porridge Recipe]
Health Benefits Of Ragi:
1. Good For Bones: One of the important ragi health benefits is being excellent for the bones of the growing baby. Ragi is a non-dairy source which contains a high amount of calcium. This helps in the bone development of your baby and also mitigates the chances of bone fractures and eliminate the need for an iron supplement.
2. Excellent For Teeth: The high content of calcium in ragi nutrition, helps in the development and maintenance of teeth. It prevents osteoporosis - it is a disease that could weaken the bones and teeth. As per a nutritionist, it is best to give ragi for babies in the form of ragi porridge.
3. Helps In Digestion: The dietary fibre in the ragi could promote the digestion and also help in making your baby feel full.
4. No Obesity: The healthy amino acids in the ragi could take away excess fat and reduce cholesterol levels. Since it removes fat around the liver as well, it keeps the natural detoxifier healthy. It also keeps the obesity at the bay.
5. Prevent Anaemia: Children are bound to have anaemia if their diet doesn’t contain all the necessary nutrients. But ragi could help in preventing that. The high content of iron in ragi benefits the children by avoiding the possible anaemia.
6. Promotes Absorption Of Iron: Ragi contains a high amount of Vitamin C. It increases when Ragi is allowed to sprout. This vitamin C can promote the absorption of iron, which in turn can help in preventing and treating anaemia.
7. Avoids Malnutrition: If your baby doesn’t consume essential nutrients, he might suffer from malnutrition. Ragi health benefits include avoiding that. Since ragi nutrition is high, it would prevent the malnutrition in your baby, if included in their daily diet.
8. Treats Insomnia: Tha antioxidant-rich ragi could have its own ragi health benefits. The antioxidants relax the body and promote good sleep in babies. And also the sense of feeling full could help your baby to fall asleep soon.
9. Treats Anxiety And Headache: In this case, as well, the ragi benefits is due to the antioxidants present in it. Along with promoting good sleep in children, it also treats anxiety and headaches.
10. Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes: The fibre content and polyphenol content in the ragi could reduce the risk of diabetes. Ragi porridge or Ragi roti made from ragi atta or any ragi dishes could have a low glycemic response and as a result, the chances of diabetes reduces.
11. Controls Diabetes: If you are already suffering from diabetes, ragi would definitely control it. Since ragi has a low glycemic index, it lowers the food cravings and also keeps the blood sugar level within the safe limit.
12. Muscle Formation: Ragi nutrition contains a high amount of proteins and the ragi health benefits include the muscle formation in babies. The proteins play its role in the muscle formation and help in the growth and development of your baby.
13. Gets Digested Quickly: The low cereal fat and higher fiber content is good for baby’s health and best to be included in the baby’s diet. You baby’s tummy could be filled easily and as one of the best ragi health benefits, it could be digested without much hassle.
14. Easy To Cook: Ragi benefits the mothers in the way they always wanted it to. With so much of things going around, mothers obviously look out for the options where they could cook easily and quickly and ragi is definitely their go-to. The ragi cereal could be combined with veggies or other options of ragi dishes are ragi porridge, ragi halwa, ragi dosa, etc. And other obvious ragi benefits are your baby will love it and it is healthy too.
15. Gluten-free Ragi: Ragi is gluten-free and hence no chances of causing adverse effects on babies having gluten-related disorders. Also since it is easily digestible, it is less susceptible to abdominal discomfort and causes no colicky.
16. Natural Coolant: ragi itself has a cooling effect on the body. Ragi along with buttermilk acts as a natural coolant. Since it can get assimilated easily into the gut, it keeps the gut related issues in your baby away.
17. Synthesises Red Blood Cells: The whole concept of producing red blood cells is to avoid anaemia and keep the baby in good health. This ragi health benefit is due to high calcium and iron content in Ragi.
18. Boosts Immunity: One of the excellent Ragi health benefits is the ability to boost the immunity. By boosting immunity, Ragi helps in the overall growth and development of the baby.
19. A Complete Food: Ragi is known as the best replacement for wheat and rice. The ragi nutritional value is more beneficial than wheat and rice. Also as said before, even the babies with a gluten allergy can consume it safely.
20. A Practical Ingredient: Ragi is versatile. It can go with any recipes such as porridges, smoothies, parathas, khichdi, ladoos, etc. And something to notice about it is, you can get it at a very affordable price. Hence, health and taste - both at an affordable price.
21. Reverts Skin Ageing: The important amino acids such as Methionine and Lysine make the skin less prone to wrinkles and sagging of the skin. The Vitamin D in the ragi helps in maintaining the good health. Vitamin D acts as a calcium molecule carrier.
22. Promotes Skin And Hair Growth: The important amino acid methionine promotes healthy growth of skin and hair of your child.
23. Controls Anxiety: Ragi can soothe the fussy baby by releasing the anxiety and improving the mood of your child. It comforts the crying baby.
24. Treats Migraines: The antioxidants such as Tryptophan and the amino acids are the natural relaxants which could be useful in treating the migraines. Ragi health benefits also include fighting depression.
25. Prevents Constipation: Along with easily being digested for its higher fiber content, it also maintains a baby’s body water level and hence promotes the healthy bowel movements and as a result, constipation could be avoided.
Side Effects of Ragi for babies:
Just like the coins have two sides, side effects of ragi do exist.
‣ Aforesaid, the ragi has a cooling effect on the body. Hence, it is best to be avoided in winter and it could make the baby suffer from cold.
‣ High consumption of ragi could increase the oxalic acid amount in the body and this could cause kidney stones and urinary calculi. Hence, patients suffering from kidney stones should avoid ragi consumption.
‣Consumption of high amounts of ragi can inhibit the absorption of iodine. Iodine deficiency can lead to goitre.
That being said, as long as you switch from ragi to other foods from time to time, your baby will be fine. Ragi health benefits definitely have upper hand over the side effects of ragi. So, to enjoy the healthful life and ragi nutrition, saviour the ragi breakfast recipe and provide all the essential nutrients to your body.