Sorghum is an ancient cereal crop that is highly used in Western countries. There are almost 30 different sorghum species available as of now, but the majority are fed to animals or added to processed products like syrup and alcohol. There are only a few varieties of sorghum harvested for human consumption.
Sorghum in English, Jowar in Hindi, Cholam in Tamil, and Jonna in Telugu are the few popular vernacular names of the grain.
In Western and Southern parts of India, sorghum is consumed as a staple where they milled it into flour and added to make Rotis (Indian bread), dosa, porridge, etc.
Because of the nutritional content, sorghum is the best addition to your regular diet. As it has a neutral flavor and light color, it can be easily added to many recipes.
Most people are now moving from refined wheat foods to sorghum because of its gluten-free energy pack, high protein, dietary fiber, other essential minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, etc.
As a member of the millet family, sorghum helps in various health conditions, ranging from indigestions, bone health, stomach aches, and heart health.
In this Article
Let’s look into its high nutrient compositions, health benefits, culinary uses, and some interesting recipes that you can make with sorghum.
Sorghum is an annual plant, so its lifespan is one year; it grows up to 3 to 4 meters height. It is erect, herbaceous, and a robust plant.
Both tropical and subtropical climates are suitable to grow this grain plant.
Soil is not a concern with sorghum as that can manage to grow in any soil types like loamy, sandy, and even clay soil types.
Sorghum tastes sweet and possesses a bland flavor. It is usually harvested in September and October.
The leaves of the sorghum plant are broad and coarse. They generally reach 5 cm in breadth and 0.75 cm in length.
The blossom takes place from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite.
Stem and Root
The plant has waxy, rigid, glabrous, and grass blades with a flat stem. It has a fibrous root system.
The plant branches are slender, alternate, dropping, and inflorescence.
The grains are round with tight heads and droopy panicles. The size is between 3 to 4mm in diameter.
The plant bears round to oval shape seeds.
Origin of Sorghum
Sorghum belongs to the Poaceae family, which is a grass family. It is an ancient cereal grain that is round or oval, small, and found in white or yellow colors. However, few other varieties, such as red, black, brown, or purple, are also available.
There are numerous species of sorghum being cultivated around the world. But, Sorghum bicolor is the most popular species. It is native to Africa. Besides, India, Australia, and some other Southeast Asian countries cultivate other popular sorghum species.
Sorghum is not accessible in Western countries, but it is the top fifth most harvested cereal crop globally, and its annual production is around 57.6 million tons. Sorghum favors the farmers with its ability to withstand heat, drought, and grow in different soil conditions.
In North America, sorghum was fed to animals and used for producing ethanol fuel. After knowing the nutritional profile of sorghum, the interest of people for adding it to human consumption is increasing.
As a grain form, sorghum is similar to rice and quinoa, and the cooking is also the same. Sorghum is also used as a ground powder or popped like corn. Sorghum syrup is also a famous sweetening agent used in various processed foods.
Sorghum Scientific Classification
|Scientific Name||Sorghum bicolor|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta (Seed plants)|
|Division||Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)|
|Family||Poaceae/Gramineae (Grass family)|
|Genus||Sorghum Moench (Sorghum)|
|Species||Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench (Sorghum)|
Synonyms of Sorghum bicolorSynonyms Andropogon Holcus Milium Panicum Sorghum Synonyms
- Agrostis nigricans (Ruiz & Pav.) Poir.
- Rhaphis sorghum (L.) Roberty
|Andropogon besseri Kunth||Andropogon bicolor (L.) Roxb.||Andropogon caffrorum (Thunb.) Kunth||Andropogon compactus Brot.||Andropogon dulcis Burm.f.||Andropogon niger (Ard.) Kunth|
|Andropogon rubens Kunth||Andropogon saccharatrus Kunth||Andropogon saccharatus (L.) Raspail||Andropogon sorghum (L.) Brot.||Andropogon sorghum f. pallidus Chiov.||Andropogon sorghum subsp. sativus Hack.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. abyssinicum Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. albofuscus Koen.||Andropogon sorghum var. ankolib Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. arabicus Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. bicarinatus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. bicolor (L.) Hack.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. bicolor (L.) Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. burmanicus G.T.Benson & Subba Rao||Andropogon sorghum var. cafer (Ard.) Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. cafer (Ard.) Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. caudatus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. cernuus (Ard.) Körn.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. cernuus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. corymbosus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. dochna (Forssk.) C.Chr.||Andropogon sorghum var. durra (Forssk.) Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. elegans Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. elegans Körn. ex K. Schum.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. eois Burkart ex Benson & Subba Rao||Andropogon sorghum var. globosus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. hians Hook.f.||Andropogon sorghum var. irungu G.T.Benson & Subba Rao||Andropogon sorghum var. leiostachyus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. miliformis (Hack.) Hook. f.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. miliiformis Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. neesii Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. nervosus (Besser ex Schult.) Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. niger (Ard.) Koern. & Wern.||Andropogon sorghum var. nitidus Chiov.||Andropogon sorghum var. obovatus (Hack.) Hook. f.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. obovatus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. pulcher G.T.Benson & Subba Rao||Andropogon sorghum var. rubens (Willd.) Alef.||Andropogon sorghum var. rubrocermuus Körn. ex Schweinf.||Andropogon sorghum var. rubrocernuus Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. rufescens Hack.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. saccharatum (L.) Alef.||Andropogon sorghum var. saccharatus (L.) Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. saccharatus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. sativus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. schenkii Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. schimperi Hack.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. splendidus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. subglabrescens (Steud.) Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. subglobosus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. submuticus Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. technicus (Körn.) Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. technicus Körn.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. truchmenorum (K. Koch) Koern. & Wern.||Andropogon sorghum var. usorum (Nees) Hack.||Andropogon sorghum var. usorum (Nees) Körn.||Andropogon sorghum var. vulgaris (Pers.) Stapf ex Hook. f.||Andropogon sorghum var. wightii (Hack.) Hook. f.||Andropogon sorghum var. wrightii Hack.|
|Andropogon sorghum var. yemensis Körn.||Andropogon subglabrescens Steud.||Andropogon truchmenorum Walp.||Andropogon usorum Steud.||Andropogon vulgare (Pers.) Balansa||Andropogon vulgaris Raspail|
|Holcus albus Steud.||Holcus arduinii J.F.Gmel.||Holcus bicolor L.||Holcus cafer Ard.||Holcus caffrorum (Retz.) Thunb.|
|Holcus cernuus Ard.||Holcus cernuus Muhl.||Holcus cernuus Willd.||Holcus compactus Lam.||Holcus dochna Forssk.|
|Holcus dora Mieg||Holcus duna J.F.Gmel.||Holcus durra Forssk.||Holcus ferrugineus Schrad. ex Roem. & Schult.||Holcus niger Ard.|
|Holcus nigerrimus Ard.||Holcus nigricans Steud.||Holcus pyramidalis Steud.||Holcus rubens Gaertn.||Holcus saccharatus var. technicus (Körn.) Farw.|
|Holcus sorghum Brot.||Holcus sorghum L.||Holcus sorghum var. caffrorum (Thunb.) L.H.Bailey||Holcus sorghum var. durra (Forssk.) L.H.Bailey||Holcus sorghum var. technicus (Körn.) L.H.Bailey|
|Milium bicolor (L.) Cav.||Milium compactum (Lam.) Cav.|
|Milium maximum Cav.||Milium nigricans Ruiz & Pav.|
|Milium sorghum (L.) Cav.||Milium sorgo Garsault|
Panicum caffrorum Retz.
Panicum frumentaceum Salisb.Sorghum
|Sorghum abyssinicum (Hack.) Chiov.||Sorghum album Roem. & Schult.||Sorghum ankolib (Hack.) Stapf||Sorghum anomalum Desv.||Sorghum arduinii (Gmel.) J.Jacq.||Sorghum basiplicatum Chiov.|
|Sorghum basiplicatum f. eburneum Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum f. jodolepis Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum f. leucolepis Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum var. atropaniculata Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum var. microcarpum Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum var. pallescens Chiov.|
|Sorghum basiplicatum var. paniculatellum Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum var. pseudoanfetum Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum var. rubellum Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum var. rubrogeminum Chiov.||Sorghum basiplicatum var. subflavescens Chiov.||Sorghum basutorum Snowden|
|Sorghum bicolor subsp. bicolor||Sorghum bicolor var. bicolor||Sorghum bicolor var. cafer (Körn.) Fosberg & Sachet||Sorghum bicolor var. caffrorum (Retz.) Mohlenbr.||Sorghum bicolor var. cernuum (Ard.) Ghi?a||Sorghum bicolor var. exaristatum Doronina & Ivanjuk.|
|Sorghum bicolor var. miliiforme (Hack.) Teplyak.||Sorghum bicolor var. obovatum (Hack.) Fosberg & Sachet||Sorghum bicolor var. rotundulum (Snowden) Fosberg & Sachet||Sorghum bicolor var. saccharatum Mehrotra, Aswal & B.S. Bisht||Sorghum bicolor var. sikkimense (Snowden) Teplyak.||Sorghum bicolor var. subglabrescens (Steud.) Fosberg & Sachet|
|Sorghum bicolor var. subglobosum (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum bicolor var. technicum (Körn.) Stapf ex Holland||Sorghum caffrorum (Retz.) P.Beauv.||Sorghum caffrorum var. albofuscum (Körn.) Snowden||Sorghum caffrorum var. bicarinatum (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum caffrorum var. neesii (Körn.) Snowden|
|Sorghum campanum Ten. & Guss.||Sorghum caudatum (Hack.) Stapf||Sorghum caudatum var. angolense (Rendle) Stapf||Sorghum caudatum var. aristatum Ivanjuk.||Sorghum caudatum var. caudatum||Sorghum caudatum var. coffeatum Ivanjuk.|
|Sorghum caudatum var. dicarpum Ivanjuk.||Sorghum caudatum var. hackelii (Chiov.) Snowden||Sorghum caudatum var. purpureum Ivanjuk.||Sorghum centroplicatum Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. alborubrum Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. dubium Chiov.|
|Sorghum centroplicatum var. ellipsoideum Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. erythromelas Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. faregg Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. globosum Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. incertum Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. pallidocernuum Chiov.|
|Sorghum centroplicatum var. perlarium Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. pseudoneesii Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. sabderatense Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. subcarneum Chiov.||Sorghum centroplicatum var. tricolor Chiov.||Sorghum cernuum (Ard.) Host|
|Sorghum cernuum var. globosum (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum cernuum var. truchmenorum (Klokov) Snowden||Sorghum cernuum var. yemense (Körn.) Snowden||Sorghum chinense Jakusch.||Sorghum commune P.Beauv.||Sorghum compactum Lag.|
|Sorghum conspicuum Snowden||Sorghum coriaceum Snowden||Sorghum dochna (Forssk.) Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. atrum Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. burmanicum (Benson & Subba Rao) Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. corymbosum (Hack.) Snowden|
|Sorghum dochna var. dochna||Sorghum dochna var. formosum Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. irungu (Benson & Subba Rao) Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. melliferum Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. obovatum (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. pulchrum (Burk. ex Benson & Subba Rao) Snowden|
|Sorghum dochna var. technicum (Körn.) Snowden||Sorghum dochna var. wrightii (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum doncha var. wightii (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum dora (Mieg) Cuoco||Sorghum dulcicaule Snowden||Sorghum dulcicaule var. griseo-lilacinum Ivanjuk.|
|Sorghum dura Griseb.||Sorghum durra (Forssk.) Batt. & Trab.||Sorghum durra (Forssk.) Stapf||Sorghum durra var. elongatum Snowden||Sorghum durra var. eois (Burk. ex Benson & Subba Rao) Snowden||Sorghum durra var. erythrocarpum (Chiov.) Snowden|
|Sorghum durra var. fiorii (Chiov.) Snowden||Sorghum durra var. fuscum Snowden||Sorghum durra var. melanoleucum (Chiov.) Snowden||Sorghum elegans (Körn.) Snowden||Sorghum eplicatum Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum f. dichrolepis Chiov.|
|Sorghum eplicatum f. geminatum Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum f. laxum Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum var. cereum Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum var. erythrocarpum Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum var. fiorii Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum var. hackelii Chiov.|
|Sorghum eplicatum var. heterochromum Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum var. melanoleucum Chiov.||Sorghum eplicatum var. virescens Chiov.||Sorghum exsertum Snowden||Sorghum gambicum Snowden||Sorghum giganteum Edgew.|
|Sorghum glabrescens (Steud.) Schweinf. & Asch.||Sorghum glycychylum Pass.||Sorghum guineense Stapf||Sorghum japonicum (Hack.) Roshev.||Sorghum margaritiferum Stapf||Sorghum medioplicatum Chiov.|
|Sorghum melaleucum Stapf||Sorghum melanocarpum Huber||Sorghum mellitum Snowden||Sorghum membranaceum Chiov.||Sorghum membranaceum var. baldratianum Chiov.||Sorghum miliiforme (Hack.) Snowden|
|Sorghum miliiforme var. rotundulum Snowden||Sorghum miliiforme var. sikkimense Snowden||Sorghum nankinense Huber||Sorghum nervosum Besser ex Schult. & Schult.f.||Sorghum nervosum Chiov.||Sorghum nigericum P.Vig.|
|Sorghum nigricans (Ruiz & Pav.) Snowden||Sorghum nigricans var. angolense (Rendle) Snowden||Sorghum nigrum (Ard.) Roem. & Schult.||Sorghum notabile Snowden||Sorghum pallidum Chiov.||Sorghum papyrascens Stapf|
|Sorghum pyramidale Roem. & Schult.||Sorghum rigidum Snowden||Sorghum rollii Chiov.||Sorghum roxburghii var. hians (Hook.f.) Stapf||Sorghum rubens Willd.||Sorghum saccharatum (L.) Pers.|
|Sorghum saccharatum Host||Sorghum saccharatum var. atrum (Snowden) Doronina & Ivanjuk.||Sorghum saccharatum var. bicolor (L.) Kerguélen||Sorghum saccharatum var. burmanicum (Burk. ex Benson & Subba Rao) Doronina & Ivanjuk.||Sorghum saccharatum var. corymbosum (Hack.) Doronina & Ivanjuk.||Sorghum saccharatum var. corymbosum (Hack.) Doronina & Ivanjuk.|
|Sorghum saccharatum var. formosum (Snowden) Doronina & Ivanjuk.||Sorghum saccharatum var. giganteum Doronina & Ivanjuk.||Sorghum saccharatum var. irungu (Burk. ex Benson & Subba Rao) Doronina & Ivanjuk.||Sorghum saccharatum var. melliferum (Snowden) Doronina & Ivanjuk||Sorghum saccharatum var. obovatum (Hack.) Doronina & Ivanjuk||Sorghum saccharatum var. papyraceum Doronina & Ivanjuk|
|Sorghum saccharatum var. pulchrum (Burk. ex Benson & Subba Rao) Doronina & Ivanjuk||Sorghum saccharatum var. rubens (Kunth) Nees||Sorghum saccharatum var. technicum (Körn.) Doronina & Ivanjuk||Sorghum saccharatum var. vulgare (Pers.) Kuntze||Sorghum saccharatum var. wightii (Hack.) Doronina & Ivanjuk||Sorghum sativum (Hack.) Batt. & Trab|
|Sorghum schimperi (Hack.) Chiov||Sorghum simulans Snowden||Sorghum sorghum (L.) H.Karst.||Sorghum splendidum (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum subglabrescens (Steud.) Schweinf. & Asch.||Sorghum subglabrescens var. arabicum (Körn.) Snowden|
|Sorghum subglabrescens var. microcarpum (Chiov.) Snowden||Sorghum subglabrescens var. rubrocernuum (Körn.) Snowden||Sorghum subglabrescens var. schimperi (Hack.) Snowden||Sorghum tataricum Huber||Sorghum technicum (Körn.) Batt. & Trab.||Sorghum technicum (Körn.) Roshev.|
|Sorghum truchmenorum K.Koch||Sorghum usorum Nees||Sorghum vulgare Pers.||Sorghum vulgare subsp. bicolor (L.) Maire & Weiller||Sorghum vulgare var. angolense Rendle||Sorghum vulgare var. bicolor (L.) Eaton & Wright|
|Sorghum vulgare var. bicolor (L.) Pers.||Sorghum vulgare var. caffrorum (Retz.) F.T.Hubb. & Rehder||Sorghum vulgare var. caudatum (Hack.) A.F. Hill||Sorghum vulgare var. cernuum (Ard.) Fiori & Paoli||Sorghum vulgare var. durra (Forssk.) F.T.Hubb. & Rehder||Sorghum vulgare var. nervosum (Besser ex Schult.) Forbes & Hemsl.|
|Sorghum vulgare var. nigricans (Ruiz & Pav.) Hill||Sorghum vulgare var. rubens (Gaertn.) Pers.||Sorghum vulgare var. subglabrescens (Steud.) A.F. Hill||Sorghum vulgare var. technicum (Körn.) Fiori & Paol.||Sorghum vulgare var. technicum (Körn.) Jáv.||Sorghum vulgare var. vulgare|
Common Names of Sorghum/Jowar
- Botanical Name: Sorghum bicolor
- English Name: Sorghum
- Afrikaans Name: Graansorghum
- Tamil Name: சோளம் / Cholam
- Malayalam Name: ചോളം / Chēāḷaṁ
- Telugu Name: జొన్న / Jonna
- Kannada Name: ಜೋಳ / Jola
- Hindi Name: चारि / Chari, जोवर / Jowar
- Marathi Name: ज्वारी / Jwari
- Gujarati Name: જોવાર / Jowar
- Punjabi Name: ਜੂਠਾ / Jutha
- Bengali Name: জোয়ার / Jowar
- Oriya Name: ଜହ୍ନ / Janha
- Arabic Name: مكنز / Miknis
- Urdu Name: جوار
16 Health Benefits of Sorghum bicolor
Sorghum grain is filled with Vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin, proteins, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and manganese. A cup of sorghum offers 632 kcal that is suitable for a calorie-rich diet with vitamins and minerals. The grains also contain a high amount of carbohydrates, 18.97% fat, 40.78% protein, 2.5% calcium and iron, vitamin B1, and a small amount of nicotinic acid.
With this array of nutrient compositions, sorghum aids, treats, and prevents the body and mental health ailments discussed below.
1. Packed with Nutrition and Medicinal Properties
A service size of quarter cups of dried sorghum grains possesses 163 calories. Those who follow a 2000 calorie diet offer around 8% of daily recommended value for a day.
Sorghum contains 36 g carbohydrates and 3g fiber in each serving. With this high fiber content, the grain improves digestive health. Combined with fiber-rich foods and high fiber diet, you can improve your cardiovascular health and maintain normal sugar levels in the blood. Additionally, 1.6 g fat and 5.4 g protein also present in each serving.
Rich in Antioxidants
Sorghum contains a variety of healthy phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, phenolic acids, phytosterols, policosanols, and tannins that act as antioxidants in the body.
The sorghum bran possesses higher antioxidants than blueberries, plums, and strawberries. Antioxidants in the body slow down aging, reduce risks of heart ailments, prevent cancer cells, type 2 diabetes, and certain neurological diseases.
A few studies found that consuming whole grain can reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases because of the presence of antioxidant phytochemicals. The healthy chemicals additionally help in lowering cholesterol in the blood.
The A&M University at Texas reviewed the studies made on sorghum and concluded that phytochemicals in sorghum grain possess high potent values to improve human health. Further, they proved the effect of sorghum in treating certain cancers and improving heart health with proper evidence.
Source of Fiber
Like other grains such as rice, wheat, or barley, sorghum also contains a high composition of the fiber. One serving of sorghum contains 12 grams of fiber that is relatively higher than 48% daily recommended value. Following a high fiber diet reduces the chances of stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular ailments, and digestive issues.
High in Protein
A single serving of sorghum possesses 22 grams of protein that gives more energy to the body and promotes the regeneration of body cells.
Full of Iron
A cup of sorghum contains 8.45 mg of iron. The iron content of sorghum is difficult to absorb i.e., non-heme, so combining it with vitamin C rich food or meat will give you optimum benefits.
2. Improves Digestive Health
As already said, Sorghum is the best grain of dietary fiber with 48% daily recommended intake. For digestive health, our body needs fiber. It helps pass stool smoothly in the digestive tract and cut down possibilities of constipation, bloating, or other digestive issues.
3. Inhibits Cancer
The phytochemical constituents in sorghum help in preventing certain cancers such as skin and gastrointestinal cancers.
The researchers found that people of Africa, China, India, Iron, and Russia linked sorghum consumption to lower the chances of esophageal cancer. They also believed that wheat and corn consumption increases the chances of esophageal cancer.
Generally, whole grains are said to lower the rates of digestive tract cancer, particularly colon cancer. But, there is no clear evidence that cancer-prohibiting properties are due to dietary fiber or phytochemicals in the grain. However, sorghum is high in both these compounds, so it would be beneficial for humankind.
4. Protects Against Diabetes
In various complicated conditions of diabetes, Advanced glycation endproducts, aka AGEs, are highly prescribed. The University of Georgia Nutraceutical Research Libraries conducted a study and found that sorghum beans with antioxidants and phenolic contents significantly prevent glycation development. At the same time, other similar grains like wheat, rice, or oat brans don’t have that ability. As a result, they summarized that certain varieties of sorghum bran might influence complex biological functions that are crucial in resisting insulin and diabetes.
Sorghum has the complex carbohydrates that release energy to blood gradually and digest slowly, and also the high amount of tannin in sorghum prevents starch absorption by the body and regulates insulin and glucose levels and thereby a sudden spike in blood sugar level is prevented such that it makes an ideal food for diabetic patients.
5. Safe for Celiac Disease
A survey shows up to 1% of the United States population is having Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune reaction caused by gluten proteins that typically present in wheat, rye, and barley.
In Italy, researchers performed lab tests on this property of sorghum and found that it is likely safe, so extended the analysis to a study on celiac patients for five days where they are given sorghum derived foods. After five days, the patients got no symptoms, and disease markers were not changed.
6. Manages Cholesterol
The University of Nebraska decided to evaluate if the phytochemicals in sorghum are valuable for controlling cholesterol. Different levels of sorghum lipids were fed to hamsters for 28 days. The study found that healthy fat in the grain reduced bad cholesterol levels and did not affect good cholesterol. The hamsters fed with 0.5% sorghum lipids possessed an 18% reduction while the hamsters fed with 5% sorghum lipids possessed a 69% reduction.
Researchers summarized that beneficial compounds in sorghum make it a healthy food item or diet supplementary to manage cholesterol levels.
7. Treats Human Melanoma
In Madrid, scientists evaluated the effects of three different components derived from wine and one from sorghum on treating melanoma cell growth. However, they received mixed results and summarized that four components they tested benefit therapeutic agents in treating human melanoma. But the components may vary in the process of slowing down the growth of cancer cells.
8. Aids in Weight Loss
Sorghum contains a higher concentration of dietary fiber than other cereal grain varieties. In a single serving, you get more than 12 grams of fiber, which is 48% DV. The high amount of fiber in this grain makes you feel full for a long time and prevents you from oft food consumption. Thus, the dietary fiber in the grain lowers appetite and helps in healthy weight loss.
9. Provides Heart Health
As we previously saw, sorghum with high dietary fiber helps reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the body and thereby minimize the risks of heartaches.
With the cholesterol-lowering ability, sorghum lowers the possibilities of uncontrolled blood circulation, plaque formation, and arteriosclerosis.
As a whole grain, it contains high levels of antioxidants in addition to various nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and E and B vitamins. This nutritional profile prevents various heart conditions.
By improving the HDL levels, sorghum aids in regulating the concentration of plasma LDL cholesterol in the body.
10. Improves Energy Levels
Vitamin B3 or niacin is responsible for breaking the food we consume into energy and make it usable by our body. Sorghum has a high amount of Vitamin B3. On consuming sorghum regularly, niacin in the grains ensures that your body gets consistent energy levels for the day and avoids sudden energy hikes.
11. Benefits Your Metabolism
With the high concentration of copper and magnesium, sorghum benefits overall health and boosts metabolism. Magnesium improves both health and regulates calcium levels, whereas copper increases immunity and red blood cell generation. These are some of the essential minerals you need to maintain a healthy metabolism.
In a single serving, 91 mg of magnesium, which is 22%, and 28% DV for men and women for magnesium intake while 518 mg of copper equals 58% DV of copper intake.
In addition to magnesium and copper, iron and niacin are also beneficial minerals that support the body’s metabolism. Iron helps produce fuel to the body, and niacin breaks down nutrients to energy.
In a single serving, sorghum possesses 2.1 mg Iron, which is 12% DV and 1.4 mg of niacin, which is 10% DV.
12. Boosts Blood Circulation
For the proper blood circulation to heart, body tissues, nerves, and organs, we need the right amount of iron and copper. These two vital minerals in sorghum ensure blood circulation throughout the body. In a single serving, sorghum offers 58% DV of copper.
For the generation of red blood cells, we need iron, and for iron absorption in the body, copper is essential. Adding sorghum in your regular diet improves red blood cell development and blood circulation.
13. Prevents Anemia
Sorghum is a source of iron, magnesium, and copper that aids in improving the body’s iron absorption. With that, the chances of anemia due to iron deficiency is reduced.
The right amount of copper and iron in the body increases the red blood cell count, improves blood flow, growth of new cells, healthy hair growth, and energizes the body.
14. Assist Thyroid Health
Thyroxine is a vital hormone in the thyroid gland. To ensure the proper functions of this gland, our body needs an adequate amount of manganese. Luckily, sorghum is rich in manganese, so intaking the grain can help regulate the thyroid gland functions. Therefore, you get rid of excess weight, appetite, improved metabolism, and get healthy organs.
15. Improves Cognitive Power
Phosphorus is an essential compound for the proper functioning of the brain and neurotransmitters. The mineral helps regulate the messages passed by neurotransmitters to body tissues and organs, responses to different emotions, and hormones.
If your body did not get adequate phosphorus, then you will be affected by low cognitive power and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Sorghum prevents you from phosphorus deficiency on regular consumption.
16. Improves Mental Health
Sorghum effectively controls and regulates our moods. Research summarized that Vitamin B6 contributes to serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters production in the brain that controls the mood.
B6 is vital for depression, hindering pain, anxiety, and fatigue. So, we could know that vitamin B6 in sorghum helps to hamper mental disorders and improves mood.
Nutritional Values of Sorghum bicolor
One cup of uncooked sorghum (192 grams) contains below nutrition values.
|Calories: 632 Kcal.|
|Calories from Fat: 59.76 Kcal.|
|Total Fat (lipid)||6.64 g||18.97%|
|Total dietary Fiber||12.9 g||33.95%|
|Total Sugars||4.86 g||N/D|
|Manganese, Mn||3.082 mg||134.00%|
|Iron, Fe||6.45 mg||80.63%|
|Phosphorus, P||555 mg||79.29%|
|Magnesium, Mg||317 mg||75.48%|
|Copper, Cu||0.545 mg||60.56%|
|Selenium, Se||23.4 µg||42.55%|
|Zinc, Zn||3.21 mg||29.18%|
|Potassium, K||697 mg||14.83%|
|Calcium, Ca||25 mg||2.50%|
|Sodium, Na||4 mg||0.27%|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.851 mg||65.46%|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.637 mg||53.08%|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||7.081 mg||44.26%|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.184 mg||14.15%|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.705 mg||14.10%|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid)||38 µg||9.50%|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.96 mg||6.40%|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||1.171 g||1.80%|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||2.172 g||N/D|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||2.991 g||17.59%|
|Amino Acids||Amount||% DV|
|Aspartic acid||1.427 g||N/D|
|Glutamic acid||4.683 g||N/D|
|Proanthocyanidin polymers (>10mers)||2584.9||N/D|
Reasons To Try Sorghum Grain
Sorghum grain contains nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that we need to be healthy. It has 10% protein, 75% carbohydrates, and B-complex vitamins that give you a feeling of fullness for a long time.
Protein and phosphorus in the grain help improve bone health and avoid fractures and bone breakage risks. The iron content of sorghum enhances the immunity and oxygen intake in the blood. Magnesium in the grain helps in calcium absorption and regulates the body temperature. The blood circulation is improved and stimulated to all the tissues and organs because of Niacin in the grain.
As the grain is free of gluten, those with Celiac disease can also have this in their food. A study says one in 133 Americans has suffered from celiac disease and recommended following a gluten-free diet. With that said, Sorghum is a natural, gluten-free food and safe for people with gluten intolerance.
It is also readily available in and around America and Southeast Asian countries, Africa, and Australia. In this way, you are supporting the local farmers and the economy of your country. The plant needs only less water to grow, so it is eco-friendly too.
- Gluten-free Grain Option
Being a rich source of proteins, the products prepared from sorghum are stretchy in quality and texture. Gluten is a protein component present in wheat and barley foods that are said to cause digestive problems such as stomach cramps, pains, and bloating. Sorghum is naturally gluten-free, so it is a healthy option for those looking for a gluten-free grain.
In baked foods like cookies and bread, you can replace the gluten-containing flours with the sorghum flour. However, you can eat this whole grain as a super healthy side dish also.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry evaluated the genome of sorghum to check if it contains any gluten content. The review summarized that all the varieties of sorghum are free of gluten.
When purchasing the sorghum containing products, you must check if the products include facilities as they produce gluten content.
- Replaced Flour in Baked Goods, Salads and More
People who have suffered from gluten-intolerance can replace the wheat flour or any other gluten-containing flour with sorghum flour in desserts, cakes, cookies, bread, wraps, and muffins any other baked foods. It can replace any grain in standalone grain recipes.
Prepare a healthy plate of salad by adding the sorghum grains, regular chopped vegetables, herbs, and lemon juice.
You can also toss cooked sorghum in a soup before serving. It can replace the rice, in stir-fries and stews too.
- Versatile Grain
Another valid reason you should try sorghum is that it is a versatile grain. Most people think that it can be prepared like rice or quinoa, but it also has various options. As a whole grain, milled to flour, bran, syrup, flake, and many more sorghum forms, you can create new recipes.
You can boil, fry, bake, or pop these sorghum grains. You can add your style of twist and flavors to the dish using sorghum. Sorghum is excellent food all three times, and it can be a healthy snack also.
- Easy To Cook
You don’t need any special vessels, or there are no particular steps to use sorghum grains. You can use your regular stovetop, cooker, micro oven, or any other vessel you use to prepare your best dishes. Additionally, sorghum can be refrigerated and reheated without compromising its taste.
- Sorghum Syrup vs. Molasses
Molasses is a thick and brown syrup prepared from raw sugar during the refining process. It is often used in baking foods.
Sorghum syrup is also similar to molasses used in the food industry as a sweetener. Both the syrups have the same thick consistency, brown color, but the processes are different.
Sorghum and Molasses are from the same Poaceae grass family, but the sorghum syrup is extracted from the plant while Molasses syrup is obtained from raw sugar (sugarcane).
Sorghum syrup is sweeter than molasses because of its high sugar and fructose contents. It can replace molasses in the recipes with a ratio of 1:1.
- Sorghum vs. Wheat
When comparing the nutrition values of sorghum and wheat, we could see that both the grains have the same micronutrient contents. Sorghum stands out while considering a few contents like glycemic index and gluten.
|Sorghum (100 g)||Wheat (100 g)|
|Calories||349 Cal||346 Cal|
|Protein||10.4 g||11.8 g|
|Carbs||72.6 g||71.2 g|
|Fiber||9.7 g||12.5 g|
|Fats||1.9 g||1.5 g|
Sorghum contains a lower glycemic index with 62 than wheat with 72. So, it slowly releases the glucose into the blood and thereby a sudden spike in blood sugar levels is prevented.
Additionally, sorghum is completely gluten-free, but wheat does not. We have already seen the benefits and importance of gluten-free foods.
Though sorghum has similar nutrition values of wheat, it replaces the wheat with its low glycemic index and gluten-free content.
- Sorghum vs. Maize
In South Africa, Sorghum is highly cultivated and used as a staple food. Recently, corn has replaced with sorghum in some places in Africa. The University of Witwatersrand Medical School, South Africa, conducted a review and concluded that the reason for Black South Africans changed their staple food from maize to sorghum is due to the epidemic of esophagus cancer.
They associated the cancers with Fusarium fungi that usually grows on maize but are less likely on sorghum. The places in Africa, where sorghum is consumed as a main staple food, have shown low rates of esophagus cancer.
Culinary Uses of Sorghum bicolor
Sorghum, a versatile grain that can be consumed as whole grain to obtain all the nutrition. Cooking the sorghum is similar to other grains like rice.
- Soak the whole sorghum grains in water for almost 8 hours or a full night to calm down the enzymes and make it digestible.
- The next day, boil it for about an hour for three whistles or until tender. You can use a regular slow cooker, rice cooker, or steamer.
- Heat a pan, add a handful of sorghum and watch it pop like popcorns. Add your preferred seasoning and have it.
- Like other cereal grains like oats, flaked sorghum grains are delicious as cereal and added in baked foods like cookies and granola bars.
- As an alternative to molasses and a natural sweetener, sorghum syrup is used in processed foods for sweetening.
- Sorghum flour is a popular and healthy gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in many baked foods as it has a neutral flavor and light color.
- Always, buy the whole grains form of sorghum flour that just have ground sorghum grains.
- Refined sorghum flours available in the market may lose its nutrition values in the process.
- In some countries, sorghum porridge is given for children, and boiled grains are added to several dishes.
- Ethiopian bread is made from sorghum flour. It is used in gluten-free beers and biofuels too.
Popular Sorghum Grain Recipes
Healthy foods can be delicious also. Let’s check a few healthy recipes using sorghum that healthify your body and happify your taste buds.
Spongy Sorghum Pancake
- Sorghum Flour – 1 ½ cup
- Garlic Paste – ½ tsp
- Ginger Chilli Paste – ½ tsp
- Small Onion – 1
- Small Tomato – 1
- Dhania / Cilantro – 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil to grease the pan
- Chop the vegetables and keep it aside. Take a big bowl, add sorghum flour, sliced onions, tomatoes, coriander, garlic paste, ginger chili paste, and salt pinch. Use a spoon and mix all the ingredients well. Add water gradually and make it a dough. Now, take small rounds of dough and give them pancake shapes. Grease the griddle pan with oil and roast the pancake dough for 2 minutes on either side in medium heat. Take out and serve hot.
Delicious Sorghum Modak
- Sorghum Flour – 1 Cup
- Grated Fresh Coconut – 1/2 Cup
- Chopped Dates -1/2 Cup
- White Sesame Seeds – 2 tbsp
- Ghee – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Dry roast the white sesame seeds in medium heat. Let it cook down and grind to a powder. Grind the dates to a paste. Take a bowl, add the dates paste, sesame seed powder, and grated coconut. Mix well and make small rounds of the mixture. Take another bowl, add sorghum flour, a pinch of salt, and gradually add boiling water. Mix well to a soft and smooth dough. Let the dough cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Grease the palms with ghee and flatten the small doughs, put dates-coconut mixture balls in the middle, and cover all sides to give a ball shape. Steam these balls for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve it hot or cold.
Nutritious Sorghum Porridge
- Sorghum Powder – 2 cups
- Finger Millet Powder – 1 cup
- Jaggery to taste
- Water – 3 cups
- Cardamom (powder or whole)
- Milk as needed
- Roast the sorghum and finger millet powder separately. Put them in a bowl, add water, and mix them well. Add grated jaggery and stir until it dissolves completely in the mixture. Now, add cardamom powder or whole for flavor. Let the mixture cool, take two tablespoons of concentrate in a glass, and add unsweetened milk. Keep the concentrate in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours by storing it in a glass container.