Sorghum is a good source of vitamins and minerals, has a high content of dietary fibers, is a rich source of antioxidants, aids in tumor growth, is a natural cure for diabetes patients, is a staple food for celiac patients, lowers blood cholesterol, aids in weight control, provides strong bones, improves mood, boosts energy levels, and promotes blood circulation.
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), also known as great millet, Indian millet, milo, durra, or shallu, is a grass family (Poaceae) cereal grain plant with edible starchy seeds. Sorghum is a robust grass that typically grows to a height of 0.6 to 2.4 metres (2 to 8 feet), but can occasionally reach 4.6 metres (15 feet).
White wax and pith coat the stalks and leaves. The central portion of certain varieties’ stalks is juicy and sweet. The leaves measure approximately 5 cm (2 inches) in width and 76 cm (2.5 feet) in length. The tiny flowers grow in panicles that range in size from loose to dense. Each flower cluster contains between 800-3,000 kernels. Sorghum seeds differ greatly between varieties. in colour, shape and size but they are smaller than those of wheat.
Nutritional Value of Sorghum
Sorghum contains 339 kcal of energy, 74.3 grams of carbohydrates, 6.3 grams of dietary fiber, 11.3 grams of protein, 3.3 grams of total fat, of which saturated fat is 0.5 grams, monounsaturated fat is 1.0 grams, polyunsaturated fat is 1.4 grams, Omega-3 fatty acids are 65 milligrams, Omega-6 fatty acids are 1305 milligrams, and there is no cholesterol.
Let’s look at the nutritional benefits of sorghum. It also has Vitamin B1 or Thiamine (0.2 mg), Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin (0.1 mg), Vitamin B3 or Niacin (2.9 mg), Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid (0.367 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.443 mg), Vitamin B9 or Folate (20.0 mcg), Vitamin E or Alpha tocopherol (0.50 mg), Calcium (28.0 mg), Iron (4.4 mg), Magnesium (165 mg), Phosphorus (287 mg), Potassium (350 mg), Sodium (6.0 mg), Zinc (1.7 mg), Copper (0.284 mg), Selenium (12.2 mcg)
Sorghum is a good source of vitamins and minerals
Sorghum, like other cereal grains, is high in fat-soluble and B-complex vitamins. Concentrations of thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin in sorghum were comparable to those in maize for all B vitamins.
Vitamin B, E, and K are the fat-soluble vitamins that can be detected. It is also an important source of minerals, the most abundant of which is phosphorus. Because minerals and vitamins are concentrated in the pericarp and germ, refined sorghum products lose some of these essential nutrients. All of these nutrients contribute to the body’s vital functions.
Sorghum contain high content of dietary fibre
Sorghum is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Because sorghum lacks an inedible hull, the whole grain can be consumed. This means it contains even more fibre, as well as a variety of other essential nutrients. Sorghum’s high fiber content is beneficial to digestion, hormone production, and cardiovascular health.
Sorghum Is a rich source of antioxidants
Sorghum contains polyphenol compounds in its pericarp that have superior health-protective properties to many commonly consumed grains, fruits, and vegetables. Sorghum has three to four times the antioxidant activity of other whole grains.
Because of its high anthocyanin content, black sorghum is particularly high in antioxidants. Sorghum antioxidants have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic properties.
Sorghum helps in inhibiting tumour growth
The compounds 3-deoxyanthoxyanins (3-DXA), which are mostly found in darker-colored sorghum, have been shown to have strong anti-proliferation activity against human colon cancer cells.
The antioxidants found in the bran layer of sorghum grains scavenge harmful free radicals and reduce the risk of developing cancer. Sorghum consumption has been linked to a lower risk of oesophageal cancer worldwide, according to research.
Sorghum benefits diabetes patients
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body’s glucose levels rise and its sensitivity to insulin decreases. When compared to other cereals, the starch in sorghum grain is more slowly digested. This is due to the tannin compounds in sorghum bran inhibiting amylase, which slows starch hydrolysis and glucose absorption into the bloodstream.
Sorghum is beneficial to diabetics because it has a low glycemic index. Sorghum consumption benefits diabetic patients by improving blood glucose control and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Sorghum flour is safe for celiac disease
Celiac disease is a severe allergy to gluten, which is found primarily in wheat products. Celiac disease is thought to affect up to 1% of the US population.
Sorghum flour is gluten-free and a good alternative to wheat flour for people with celiac disease. According to research, sorghum-based products are not toxic to celiac patients.
Use sorghum for lower cholesterol level
Sorghum has the potential to lower blood cholesterol levels. Because of its ability to reduce the amount of bile reabsorbed in the intestine, sorghum dietary fibre aids in the reduction of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL).
Furthermore, studies have shown that sorghum lipids have the ability to lower cholesterol levels. A lower cholesterol level lowers the risk of stroke, chronic inflammation, and type 2 diabetes.
Sorghum benefits for weight loss
Sorghum is an excellent source of dietary fibre, and this fibre helps to curb food intake by creating a feeling of stomach fullness, which leads to an increase in satiety and a decrease in food intake. Sorghum is a low glycemic index food as well. Including sorghum in your daily diet can help you maintain better body weight control.
Sorghum improves bones strength
Calcium and magnesium are both required for strong bones. Magnesium promotes calcium absorption in the body, and adequate calcium is required for bone health, and it is found in sorghum. Calcium deficiency causes osteoporosis and arthritis. Sorghum is high in both calcium and magnesium. Every 100 g of sorghum contains 5% of the daily recommended calcium intake and 40% of the daily magnesium intake.
Sorghum helps in improving mood
The vitamin B6 present in Sorghum plays a major role in the production of a neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is responsible for regulating the nerve impulses in the human body. Increased GABA production improves a person’s mood, ability to focus, promoting relaxation and helping to control stress and depression.
Sorghum boost energy levels
Vitamin B-complex, especially vitamin B3 (Niacin), is important for body’s metabolism and helps the cells produce useable energy. Sorghum contains 28% of the daily required niacin intake. Ingesting sorghum-based food helps to boost the energy level and remain focused on work.
Sorghum promote blood circulation
Sorghum is high in copper and iron, both of which are essential for blood circulation. Iron is required for the formation of red blood cells. Copper aids in the absorption of iron in the body. Sorghum consumption increases red blood cell synthesis and stimulates blood circulation.
Uses of Sorghum
Sorghum grain is also used in making edible oil, starch, dextrose (a sugar), paste, and alcoholic beverages. The stalks are used as fodder and building materials.
Sweet sorghums or sorgos are grown mainly in the United States and southern Africa for forage and for syrup manufacture and are sometimes used in the production of ethyl alcohol for biofuel.
Side-Effects & Allergies of Sorghum
The mature plant of sorghum is safe for moderate consumption. However, it should be noted that the immature plant of sorghum is poisonous because of the presence of hydrogen cyanide. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion. However, it can cause respiratory failure and even death if taken in excess amounts.
Cultivation of Sorghum
It is generally agreed that sorghum originated and was domesticated in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. It then spread to India and China after domestication and reached Western hemisphere during the time of the slave trade. Sorghum grows well in warmer temperature and tropical regions of the world due to its drought tolerance.
Today, sorghum represents a major crop in the United States, India, Argentina, Mexico, Africa, China and Australia. Lead producers around the world during the fiscal year 2010 included Nigeria (11.5 million metric tons), the United States (9.7 million metric tons), India (6.98 million metric tons) and Mexico (6.25 million metric tons).
Leading exporters are the United States, Australia and Argentina. Even if it is the fifth important crops in the world, only 42 million hectares out of the 700 million hectares of cereal-cultivated land is covered by sorghum.