Does Consuming Ragi Help in Diabetes?

Introduction

Diet plays an important role in managing and treating diabetes. Grains are the best food for diabetes control. Other than whole grains, vegetables, certain fruits, and lentils are good for managing diabetes. Ragi is such a whole grain that works wonders in controlling the disease. Also known as finger millet, ragi is a nutrient-rich versatile grain that grows in hot and dry climatic regions. Ragi can reduce calcium deficiency and is a rich source of prebiotics. It has properties that can lower blood sugar levels as well. Therefore, it is a nutritious choice for people with high diabetes. 

Glycemic index of ragi

The glycemic index or GI is a rating given to food items according to the number of carbohydrates they contain. GI levels show how each food item affects your blood glucose levels. The lower the glycemic index of a food, the better it is for diabetics and the safer for them to consume. The glycemic index of raw ragi is 71, which might be high, but when you cook ragi, the glycemic index comes down to 55.

Nutrients in ragi

Why is ragi the best food for diabetes control? The answer is simple. It is rich in nutrients and high in fiber. The nutrients that we get from 100 grams of ragi are:

Nutrients Amount available
calories 387
proteins 11.02 g
carbohydrates 73 g
water 8.67 g
vitamin B1 0.421
folate 85
vitamin B2 0.29
vitamin B6 0.384
vitamin B3 4.72
vitamin B5 0.848
vitamin K 0.9
vitamin E 0.05
sodium 5 mg
calcium 8 mg
selenium 2.7 mg
potassium 195 mg
zinc 1.68 mg
manganese 1.632 mg
iron 3.01 mg
phosphorus 285 mg
copper 0.75 mg
magnesium 114 mg

Is ragi good for diabetes?

  •         Ragi or finger millet has huge amounts of calories and carbohydrates, which provide instant energy. However, it also has high amounts of tannins, polyphenols, and phytates, which help slow down the digestion process and thus don’t let the sugar levels spike up. This makes ragi one of the best food for diabetes control.
  •         Ragi is rich in polyphenols, a micronutrient that is present in all plant-based products. Polyphenols have high amounts of antioxidants; this makes them good for diabetic patients because they help reduce cell degeneration.
  •         High amounts of albumin and protein in our urine can create complexities for people with diabetes. As seen in a scientific study, the consumption of ragi helped reduce albumin and creatinine in the urine and blood.
  •         Ragi is rich in fiber content, and fiber-rich foods help to stabilize sugar levels. Consuming ragi can also be beneficial for those who don’t have diabetes. 
  •         The presence of fibers in ragi makes it a heavy food. When you have ragi for breakfast, it keeps your hunger cravings at bay, in a way discouraging you from munching on unhealthy food in-between meals. It also maintains the digestive system, thereby maintaining blood sugar levels.
  • Ragi is considered a superfood for type 2 diabetes because its low glycemic index prevents a spike in our blood sugar levels. Ragi also helps to prevent the complications arising from uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. 

Other health benefits of ragi

  •         A type of nutrient known as Lignan is found in ragi. Lignan has been found to prevent breast cancer in women.
  •         Consumption of ragi helps keep the intestines healthy and aids digestion. Ragi also helps retain water in our bodies.
  •         Ragi contains amino acids and high-quality proteins. It can aid in healing injured muscles and keep teeth enamel healthy. Consumption of ragi also reduces gum diseases.
  •         Ragi is rich in iron and, therefore, helps treat anemia.

Conclusion

Hope we were able to answer your question ‘is ragi good for diabetes?’ Ragi is a highly nutritious and fiber-rich millet that works wonders for diabetes. You can try out several recipes with ragi that are perfect for diabetes, like ragi dosa, ragi porridge, or ragi rotis. 

Diabetes can greatly impact different organs like the heart, kidney, and liver. However, ragi is known to be good for the heart, kidney, and liver, thus not only keeping diabetes in check but also protecting the different organs from its effects.