Let’s discover the incredible health benefits of ragi, a grain that is loaded with fiber, phenolic extracts, and unique enzymes. Despite its high glycemic index, these components of ragi have been found to effectively manage blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for diabetics. This article offers delicious and nutritious ragi-based recipes, and we suggest easy ways to incorporate this grain into your diet for optimal health and wellness.

Diabetes management often involves a careful balance of diet, exercise, and medication. Among the various dietary options, some traditional foods are gaining recognition for their potential health benefits. One such food is ragi, also known as finger millet, a grain that is a staple in many parts of India. But how effective is this humble grain in managing diabetes?

Although some debate the benefits of this millet due to the medium glycemic index (GI) of ragi, research has found that its high fiber content and phenolic extracts play a vital role in managing blood sugar levels. Additionally, certain ragi enzymes make it an excellent dietary choice for diabetics. If you keep pondering whether ragi is good for diabetes, read on.

Exploring Ragi’s Nutrition for Diabetics

Ragi is packed with an abundance of fiber, protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Check out its impressive nutritional profile listed below:

Nutrient Amount / 100g
Energy 320 kcal
Carbohydrate 66.82g
Protein 7.16g
Dietary fiber 11.18g
Potassium 443mg
Calcium 364mg
Iron 4.26mg
Magnesium 146mg

Glycemic Index of Ragi:

Recent research has shown that the ragi glycemic index is 68, which is comparatively higher than other millets. Bear in mind that the cooking method and ingredients you choose can also impact the glycemic index of ragi flour-based dishes. Since the glycemic index of ragi is a bit on the higher side, it's a wise choice to exercise portion control and consume ragi in combination with other moderate-low glycemic index foods such as milk, fruits, and vegetables.

The Benefits of Ragi for People with Diabetes

Although the ragi glycemic index is high, it has been shown to have numerous benefits. Listed below are the reasons why there is a strong connection between ragi and diabetes control:

Prevention of blood sugar fluctuation:

Managing diabetes requires effective control of blood glucose levels after meals to prevent long-term complications. Unlike other carbohydrates that can cause spikes in your glucose levels, the body is unable to absorb and break down the fiber in ragi, thus preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. By adding ragi to your meals, you can help keep your blood sugar under control and in your target range. The phenolics in ragi also delay glucose absorption, which ultimately controls blood glucose levels.

Improves satiety

Regulating appetite in diabetes can be a complicated task, but the solution may be simpler than you think. Ragi, a grain rich in fiber, can help improve digestion and the absorption of carbohydrates and fat. This leads to a prolonged feeling of fullness and a reduced appetite. Thus, it can be a smart choice to utilise ragi for diabetes management.

Preserving the health of cells

Oxidative stress caused by diabetes can lead to the buildup of damaging free radicals that harm DNA, lipids, and proteins in the body, but there's a solution. Incorporating antioxidants into your diet has been proven to effectively protect against oxidative stress. Fortunately, ragi offers a powerful source of antioxidants that neutralise these harmful free radicals.

Better wound healing

Diabetes can interfere with wound healing, causing small wounds to escalate into more severe ones. Thankfully, antioxidants can come to the rescue by preventing tissue damage and boosting the healing process. With its abundance of antioxidants, ragi can be an excellent ally in this fight against impaired wound healing by preventing tissue damage and boosting the process of wound repair.

Despite its higher glycemic index, incorporating ragi for diabetes management can make a massive difference. And when combined with other moderate-low glycemic index foods, you'll be on your way to a truly effective diet.

Recipes with Ragi for Managing Diabetes

Ragi for diabetes management has a wealth of benefits and can be prepared by multiple preparation methods, such as soaking, germination, fermentation, puffing, and cooking. These techniques boost the bioavailability of proteins, starch, and minerals, making your meal both flavorful and nutritious. Check out these mouth watering and easy-to-make recipes that incorporate ragi into your meals:

Ragi Apple Porridge:

Indulge in this delectable ragi apple porridge, a sugar-free, nutritious, and satiating breakfast bowl that's ideal for all. Packed with essential minerals like calcium, iron, and fiber, this wholesome dish is the perfect way to kickstart your day.

Ragi Dosa with Sambhar:

Ragi dosa, made with ragi flour, is an excellent breakfast option for people with diabetes when accompanied by sambhar. After a long night of fasting, it will help prevent any spike in your blood sugar levels.

Ragi Dhokla:

Ragi dhokla incorporates the goodness of ragi and is a fermented food product that is steamed, making it all the more nutritious for diabetics.


Ragi, with its high fiber content and rich nutritional profile, indeed makes it a favourable addition to a diabetic-friendly diet. Research has shown that there is a clear link between ragi and diabetes management. However, managing diabetes requires a comprehensive and individualised approach. Incorporating ragi into one's diet should be considered a part of this approach, rather than a standalone solution. Before making any significant dietary changes, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or a dietitian to ensure that the changes align with your unique health needs and lifestyle. Experiment with ragi for diabetes management and watch as the power of healthier food choices better your well-being.