Ragi is considered a ‘superfood’ as it has approx. 10 times higher calcium content than other grains. Turning regular ragi grains into “sprouted ragi” can have some pretty intriguing nutritional benefits. Once, you soak the ragi grains and they hang out in water, they germinate, causing their outer layers to split open, allowing a dormant seed to become a live plant. When this happens, anti-nutrients break away, and the newly emerging sprout consumes some of the grain’s starches, thereby altering the food’s nutritional content.
This process of changing ragi grains to tiny little plants is quick & easy, but the nutritional benefits are huge. Below we will give you 10 reasons why you should Sprout Ragi and then use it for feeding your baby.
1. Increased Bioavailability and Absorption of Calcium
The process of germination and sprouting Ragi increases calcium levels by almost 20%(1). In addition to this, the body can absorb more calcium easily, because sprouting reduces anti-nutrients which otherwise lock up minerals and are hard to be digested by the body. There is no cereal whose calcium content is close to Sprouted Ragi’s nutrition. And we all know how important bone development is for growing babies, right?
2. Increased Bioavailability of Iron and better absorption
Sprouting Ragi increases iron content by almost 10 times(1). Simple milled Ragi contains about 5mg of Iron per 100g, once you sprout, it changes to 51mg of Iron per 100g. That is the beauty of soaking & germination. Nature does all the work, we just need to consume it the right way to get the maximum benefit.
3. Significant increase in Nutrients
Just like calcium and iron, there are other vitamins & minerals whose nutrient content increases in the process of germination. So feeding sprouted Ragi in the form of porridges, dosa, idlis, cookies is like giving a multi-vitamin & multi-mineral supplement pills but only naturally.
4. Significant Reduction of Anti-Nutrients
There are many anti-nutrients like Phytic Acid, Polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, trypsin inhibitors that are produced by plants during its metabolism. These anti-nutrients binds with Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper & Zinc that makes it very hard for our body to digest & absorb these minerals. Soaking & Sprouting Ragi reduces levels of anti-nutrients effectively, therefore making all these nutrients available for easy absorption.
5. Its easier to digest by little tummies
Soaking & Sprouting help diminishing some fat content and help convert the dense ragi grain’s protein into simpler amino acids for easier digestion. This is very important for babies as their bodies are yet to get acquainted with the process of digesting new solid foods.
6. Increased levels of anti-oxidants
We are all exposed to free radicals through the environment, household chemicals, toxic food, etc. These damage & oxidize the cells leading to faster ageing. To prevent this we need to consume a lot of anti-oxidants. Consuming Sprouting Ragi increases the anti-oxidant activity in our body and helps prevent a lot of damage that could have otherwise been caused by the free-radicals.
7. Increased Levels of B12
Ragi is by itself is known to be very nutritious and an abundant source of vitamins and minerals so when this wonder grain is sprouted into the beautiful little plant it also naturally grows a vitamin that most vegetarians lack in and that is Vit B12.
8. Keeps them Full For Longer
Feeding Sprouted Ragi porridge will ensure to keep the baby full for a longer time. For growing toddlers, it’s an effective way to keep them from craving for unhealthy bites. Along with this quality, Sprouted Ragi contains an amino acid known as Tryptophan, which highly contributes to its relaxing effects. The presence of a high amount of antioxidants promises both the baby and the mother a good night’s sleep.
9. Rise in Protein content
Ragi grain is known to have protein by itself but when we sprout this beautiful grain into a sprout, the protein levels increase over two folds. Therefore Sprouted Ragi can help meet daily requirements of proteins making your growing baby stronger, add weight and preventing fatigue.
10. Eliminates Starch in a Higher Extent
Ragi is said to naturally have properties to balance sugar levels in body, so once the germinating process is complete, there’s less starch in each sprouted ragi, the proportion of protein and fiber within each ragi grain becomes higher, which also means that they automatically have a lower glycemic index than their non-sprouted counterparts.
In short, your baby will be able to get a lot of vital nutrients that are multiplied in the process of sprouting and its little developing body will be able to absorb most of it easily.
If you’re wondering how to make sprouted ragi powder for your babies, check out our recipe for homemade sprouted ragi powder for babies. If you are super busy to make it yourself, don’t worry! You can buy 100% organic sprouted ragi porridge mixes free from sugar, salt, milk powder chemicals, pesticides and added flavors, directly from our store.
Note: Always consult your health care provider before introducing new foods to your baby.