It might be the first time you are hearing the term Sorghum. To your surprise, this is a type of grain that has been around for centuries. Not only does it pack powerful nutrients but could be easily added to your everyday meals and diet as well. Furthermore, it is used to produce cost-effective fuel, which is all-natural.
The origin of sorghum could be tracked back to Northeastern Africa. For centuries it has been used as a source of food. Although there are several types of sorghum, Sorghum bicolor happens to be the most popular. Furthermore, it is native to Africa and gradually found its way to India and Australia. In the west, sorghum is not that popular. However, it comes on the fifth spot in terms of cereal crop production. With time people had found more usage of it as it was used for feeding livestock and ethanol fuel production.
Sorghum is grown in different types across the world and serves different purposes. The following are the most popular types.
Sorghum is produced in bronze, red, orange, and tan color. This also puts them in different categories. Grain sorghum usually differs in both size and shape. Based on the difference in colors, the usage of sorghum varies as well. For instance, orange, red, or bronze sorghum is traditionally grown and used all over the sorghum industry. Whereas, the white, cream and tan sorghum are usually converted into flour. Lastly, the burgundy and black type contain anti-oxidant properties, that find its use in several food applications.
Forage Sorghum is normally used for feeding livestock. It will grow to about 8-15 feet and is easy to identify. However, as already mentioned, the selection of forage depends on usage. It could be used for hay production, pasture grazing, and silage, etc.
Sweet sorghum is normally grazed to make sorghum syrup. Unlike sorghum that is harvested for grain, sweet sorghum is harvested for stalks and crushed like sugarcane to produce syrup. Sweet sorghum has found many uses today especially in the U.S where it is used to make rum and whiskey along with biofuel.
Although the nutritional value of sorghum is underrated but in reality, the facts speak for themselves. The first element found in abundance is vitamin B, which helps with improving metabolism and hair and skin health.
Furthermore, magnesium is another compound found in abundance that is essential for hearth health and formation of the bones. There are around 600 biochemical reactions taking place inside your body. Magnesium in this regard helps with that as well.
As already mentioned, certain sorghum types contain anti-oxidants such as tannins, phenolic acid, and flavonoids. These oxidants help reduce oxidative stress and prevent free radical cells from producing as well. If you consumed half a cup of sorghum daily, you would be consuming nearly 20% fiber, which is healthy for the body. As fiber helps with digestion and gut health, it shall help you with weight management and maintaining sugar levels.
Another noteworthy aspect of sorghum is that it is gluten-free. It comes as good news for many who tend to avoid gluten food items due to allergies and related diseases. Sorghum could be used in and for desserts, bread, and cookies. While satisfying your sweetness craving, you are sure to intake essential nutrients as well.
Benefits of Sorghum
Now that we have discussed what sorghum is, let us move towards some of the benefits it has to offer.
Great for Diabetics
Sorghum is a complex carbohydrate that helps maintain sugar levels. Reason being that it is absorbed naturally and slowly by our bodies. As a result, instead of the sugar levels spiking up and down, it increases the level gradually.
Source of Protein
You would be amazed to find out that one cup of sorghum packs 20 grams of proteins. It is not only limited to fibers and carbohydrates. While it helps you maintain weight, it will also develop and strengthen your muscles. Therefore, you will feel fuller and satisfied after every meal.
Sorghum is an excellent solution to being low on energy. If you are feeling a bit blue at the end of the day, the consumption of sorghum would provide high energy levels. It consists of Vitamin B3, which converts food into energy.
Despite being the fifth most popular cereal grain in the world (according to the Whole Grains Council), most people don’t consider sorghum a go-to whole grain. But a new line of chips from Popcorners is working on that.
Popcorners’ Popped Whole Grain Chips are made from popped whole grain sorghum, a pretty innovative turn for the chip aisle. With 110 calories in a 1 oz serving, these popped whole grains have 3.5 g total fat, 2 g dietary fiber, and 3 g protein.
Sorghum is a gluten-free grain, and these chips are not only gluten-free but also GMO-free.
I recently sampled the Twisted Salt flavor. The ingredient list is simple: whole grain sorghum, sunflower oil, and tropical seasoning (salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and spices).
While the nutritional and ingredient list are impressive for a chip, the flavor is a bit off. The garlic and onion powders are overwhelming, leaving what can best be described as a musty aftertaste.
So while these chips need some work when it comes to flavor, it is at least refreshing to see some sorghum getting shelf space.