1. Rajgira is rich in easy to digest protein which build body muscles
Rajgira has about 13 percent protein. This translates into 26 grams per cup of raw Rajgira, which is much higher than most other grains. The protein in Rajgira is called “complete protein” because it contains Lysine, an amino acid that helps in building body muscles. Lysine is missing from or is present in negligible quantity in other grains.
Lysine is a building block for protein. It is also an essential amino acid that plays a role in calcium absorption. Since our bodies can’t produce essential amino acids, we need to obtain them from food. Lysine plays an important role in supporting our immune system. Lysine is absent from most vegetables and grains.
A study published in American Journal of Food Science and Technology in 2018 claimed that Rajgira also has other important amino acids in the right concentration and proportion to help the body absorb protein in Rajgira.
Rajgira contains primary proteins called albumin and globulins that are more soluble and easier to digest when compared to prolamins found in wheat.
2. Rajgira is rich in Calcium and Iron that improve bone health
Rajgira is one of the richest sources of calcium. It has been found to decrease the risk of calcium deficiencies. It helps heals fracture and even strengthens the bones because it is rich in calcium, protein and iron that are essential nutrients for bone health.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, Rajgira is one of the ancient grains which can boost your bone health.
A 2013 study found that including Rajgira in your diet is an effective way to meet your daily needs of calcium and other bone-healthy minerals like zinc and iron.
According to Pamela Durkin at Alive.com:
“When it comes to bones, Amaranth offers a payload of minerals renowned for keeping them strong—calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Mother Nature also wisely added high amounts of the amino acid lysine to this mix.”
“What’s lysine got to do with bone health? Plenty—it helps the body absorb calcium and decreases the amount of calcium lost in urine. Lysine also plays a role in the formation of collagen, a substance crucial for sturdy bones. Furthermore, studies indicate lysine and L-arginine, another amino acid, work together to make bone-building cells more active.”
(Pamela Durkin is a registered nutritional consultant and freelance health journalist based in Victoria, BC, Canada)
3. Rajgira improves immunity
Rajgira or Ramdana is the only grain to contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin C. Antioxidants help improve immunity. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cell production that in turn improves your body’s ability to fight infections. It can also contribute to faster healing and repair of cells as it helps in the production of collagen.
Rajgira leaves are high in vitamin C, A and folate. It is also rich in zinc and Vitamin E that boost your immunity.
This research paper from Tufts University explains how Zinc Boosts Immune System in Older Adults.
4. Amaranth is good for your heart
A study published by the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research showed that Amaranth grain has cholesterol-reducing properties. It has plenty of fibre, which is known to reduce plaque build-up in our arteries. It also has phytonutrient that along with fibre, help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and balance our blood pressure.
Rajgira is rich in Potassium which further boosts heart health by relaxing the blood vessels. Potassium reduces strain and tension in the arteries and blood vessels, lowering our blood pressure.
Another study done in 2007 showed that Rajgira has phytosterols, which have cholesterol-reducing properties. It also has a significant amount of squalene that helps reduce inflammation throughout the body, reducing the risk of heart disease.
5. Amaranth grain improves food digestion
Soluble fibre found in Amaranth grain helps in improving digestion. The dietary fibre can eliminate constipation, bloating, cramping, and more serious conditions, like colon cancer and gastric ulcers.
Fibre attaches to cholesterol in the digestive system and takes it out of the body. It benefits your heart as well as helps in digestion. Dietary fibre also helps your body in absorbing nutrients from the food. As Rajgira is a nutrient rich food, its dietary fibre helps the body absorb these nutrients.
Some research studies indicate that that Rajgira grain may have probiotic properties. Probiotics help improve digestion by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
6. Rajgira is gluten-free and helps fight obesity
Many of the common grains we eat today have gluten. But many people cannot digest it. It can also cause obesity. Gluten-free food is in vogue these days. Shelves of grocery stores are filled with high priced gluten-free food and snacks.
Rajgira is an excellent choice for people who cannot digest gluten or want to avoid it because of a weight problem. Your Grandma ate gluten-free food every time she fasted without having heard the word gluten.
Now you know why Rajgira was her first-choice food during fasting!
7. Ramdana helps fight inflammation
Inflammation can cause many common diseases, including heart problems. Many studies have found that Rajgira or Ramdana may have anti-inflammatory benefits. In one test-tube study, Rajgira was found to reduce several indicators of inflammation.
It may even help in the treatment of arthritis. A report from The Arthritis Foundation suggests that Amaranth grain can maximize nutrition while minimizing inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of Amaranth grain come from magnesium and phytochemical that are present in high concentration.
8. Amaranth is believed to have anti-cancer properties
A study by Molecular Biology Division, Institute for Scientific and Technological Research at San Luis Potosi in Mexico reported that Amaranth grain contains phytochemical compounds like rutin and nicotiflorin and peptides with the ability to help lower hypertension and incidences of cancer.
The researchers also identified the health benefits of lunasin (a peptide) in Amaranth. Lunasin is also present in soybeans and is thought to have cancer-preventing properties. Many studies link soyabean with a lower rate of vertain cancers in Japan.
The protein in Rajgira can strengthen healthy cells that are otherwise destroyed in chemotherapy and can play a vital role in treating cancer.
According to a Bangladeshi study, Amaranth grain can stop cancer cells from spreading.
9. Rajgira oil improves hair and skin health
Rajgira oil contains Squalene, unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. These are essential nutrients for healthy skin and hair. Lysine found in Rajgira can strengthen your hair. Lysine has been linked to a stronger, healthier hair, better roots, and a reduction in hair loss.
Rajgira oil is often used in beauty products to protect, moisturize, and nourish the skin and hair. You can also extract the juice from the leaves of Rajgira plant and apply to your hair after shampooing. The iron and minerals in Rajgira improve health of your hair and may prevent premature greying.
10. Rajgira grain has Folate which is beneficial during pregnancy
Folate is considered one of the most important vitamins during pregnancy. Folic acid is a man-made form of a B vitamin called Folate that plays an important role in the production of red blood cells. It helps a baby’s neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord. A Folate deficiency can lead to neural tube defects in the newborn.
In fact, many countries have regulations for mandatory fortification of some food items like wheat flour or cereals with folic acid.
11. Rajgira can help with Anaemia
Anaemia is caused by lower levels of iron in the body. Rajgira is rich in iron and can help people with Anaemia. In studies done on Kenyan children, adding Rajgira to their diet improved their anaemic symptoms.
12. Rajgira may help in preventing Diabetes
Rajgira can increase insulin levels in the body and bring down sugar levels in the blood. Surprisingly the anti-diabetic and antioxidative properties on Rajgira help keep your blood sugar levels in check even though its GI is high. But more research is needed to prove this beyond conclusively.