The humble ancient grain, Jowar (Sorghum) , which has been known to man since 3000 BC, it rapidly gaining importance for its nutritional and health benefits. Nutritionist Neelanjana Singh, Heinz Nutri Life Clinic, Delhi shares with us, the health benefits of jowar.
Belonging to the millet family, the use of this grain was restricted to animal feed. However, recent research has revealed that this grain has unique health benefits for humans.
When compared to rice and wheat, Sorghum has a higher content of calcium. Besides calcium, it also packed with iron, protein and fibre.
The latest revelations in connection with this grain point to cardiac benefits.
This benefit accrues from the presence of antioxidants in fairly large amounts. These antioxidants present in Sorghum are polyphenolic compounds.
In addition to the antoxidants, the presence of sorghum wax, contributes to the cardiac benefit that this millet provides. The wax in this grain contains policosanols , which help in lowering cholesterol levels.
The rising incidence of Celiac disease has also led to new interest in this grain. Newer hybrid variety of this grain is being used to produce gluten free foods for such patients.
Sorghum does not contain gluten, which also happens to be the component responsible for the viscosity and elasticity of the dough. Thus, in the absence of gluten, when making food items from Sorghum flour, a batter of this flour is prepared. The batter of the flour goes into making bread, pizza base, pancakes and rotis.
Health food stores today stock the grain Sorghum as broken grain that can be made as porridges, either sweet or savoury, as one desires. The relatively bland flour made from Sorghum is also being added to other cereal flours to improve the overall nutritive value.
The superiority of this grain is not just from the point of view of well-being but also from the environmental perspective. The drought resistant nature of this grain along with its ability to produce a good yield with limited water supply is the need of the hour.
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