“Surprising Truth Revealed: Ragi Beats Milk as a Calcium Powerhouse and Dairy Substitute!”

Ragi: A Calcium-Rich Alternative to Milk for Lactose Intolerant Individuals

Calcium is an essential mineral that is crucial for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. While milk and dairy products are the most commonly known sources of calcium, there are other alternatives for those who are lactose intolerant or do not prefer milk. One such alternative is ragi, also known as finger millet. Here’s what you need to know about ragi and its benefits as a calcium-rich food source.

Ragi: A Valuable Source of Calcium
Registered dietician and clinical nutritionist, Ushakiran Sisodia, confirms that ragi is a valuable source of calcium. In fact, 100 grams of ragi contains approximately 364 mg of calcium, making it a nutritionally significant food source, particularly in vegetarian diets. Additionally, Dr. Adrita Banarji, a consultant physician at Godrej Memorial Hospital, mentions that ragi has the potential to naturally reduce calcium deficiency and manage blood glucose, blood cholesterol, obesity, and hypertension, thereby reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Ragi Recipes for Wholesome Benefits
Ragi can be consumed in various forms and is suitable for different age groups. Yogita Chavan, a dietitian at Godrej Memorial Hospital, suggests that ragi flour can be used to make a variety of recipes like dosa, idli, porridge, rotis, and upma to get wholesome benefits of ragi. Ragi is also gluten-free and can be consumed by gluten and dairy-sensitive individuals.

Ragi as a Complement, Not a Substitute
While ragi is a superfood that is rich in calcium and contains fibre, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium, it is important to acknowledge that ragi alone cannot replace milk or other dairy products in your diet. Milk provides not only calcium but also a well-balanced distribution of other essential nutrients like protein, vitamin D, and B vitamins. Furthermore, milk contains first-class protein, which has a high biological value, meaning it’s complete with all the essential amino acids your body requires for proper growth and repair. Therefore, ragi should complement, not substitute, other vital food sources in your diet.

Milk Alternatives for Calcium Intake
In case you are not a fan of milk or have an allergy, there are other viable alternatives you can consider for your calcium intake. Dairy products like yoghurt or buttermilk are excellent substitutes, rich in calcium and also harboring probiotics, making it beneficial for gut health. Additionally, nuts and seeds, such as cashews or almonds, are good sources of calcium. Dry coconut also provides calcium along with other essential nutrients. Keep in mind that these should be consumed in moderation due to their high-caloric content.

Maintaining a well-rounded and balanced diet is key to achieving optimal nutrition and overall health. Incorporating ragi into your daily diet is indeed a beneficial choice, given its high dietary fibre content, low glycemic index, and high calcium content. However, it should complement, not substitute, other vital food sources in your diet.

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