Jowar / Sorghum
Sorghum or (Indian) Jowar is extensively cultivated in India. It is a fiber rich millet which can replace refined flour or Maida . This millet has ancient history of cultivation of 5000 Years and been used as regular meal since past ancient times. Not only in India but this plant of grass family is grown around the globe, like Asia , Central America and Australia . To Africans sorghum is an important crop used for making alcoholic beverages, animal fodder forms the staple food for poor and rural people
Jowar can be cultivated in dry and arid region and can bear heat and drought. Its plant is about six feet tall but some other dwarf varieties have also been cultivated for convenience as it can adapt well to extreme climatic conditions its nutritional properties are maintained. To increase the self-life of sorghum which is generally red and hard and then dreed after harvesting traditionally jowar is used in making porridge , cookies , cakes bread etc. but now a day clue to its nutritional benefits more new recipes are being tried
Vernacular Name –
- Cholam in tamil
- Jolal In Kannada
- Jonnalu in telugu
- Kafir Corn
- Great Millet
Now a day fitness experts , dietitians and even doctors are accepting its nutritional benefits and suggesting it to replace from our regular wheat grain to jowar , jowar flour
Since ancient times this staple grain has lots of nutrients but due to urbanization and over dependence of processed and refined flour this grain was lost but now again it is gaining popularity because jowar is loaded with protein, carbohydrate and dietary fiber which promotes growth and development. This cereal is also ideal for those who want to lose weight and regulate diabetes another important benefit with this, grain provided is calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. These minerals are important for bone strength and also immunity booster.
Many more important nutrient present in jowar are Thiamine , niacin , folate and riboflavin which are known to boost overall health .
Nutrition facts (serving 100g)
Calories – 329K cal
Total Fat – 3.5g
Saturated Fat – 0.6G
Total Carbs – 72G
Dietary Fiber – 6.7g
Protein – 11g
Calcium – 13.0 mg
Folate – 39.42 mg
Iron – 3.36mg
Potassium – 2mg
Sodium – 2mg
Thiamine – 0.35mg
Riboflavin – 0.14mg
Niacin – 2.1mg
Climate and soil
Sorghum plant can withstand extreme temperature and drought. It is very handy plant and grown in regions of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and humid regions of Bengal and Bihar. Between 15°C to 40° atmospheric temperature it can be successfully grown and annual rainfall ranging from 500-1000mm. This type of soil favorable for plan to is clayey loan soil rich in humus with mild acidity to mild salinity under ph. 5.5 to 8.0. An Ideal soil for sorghum should have an efficient drainage facilities.
Jowar – Health Benefits
Since ancient times jowar is nature of Africa but widely grown in India too. This protein rich millet and gluten free which is now gaining popularity as an healthy alternative of all purpose flour. This white millet offers jam-packed nutrients for health including weight loss , controls diabetes, boosts energy levels and good for heart and gut.
There are two varieties of jowar – white jowar and yellow jowar. White variety of jowar has a G.I. if 49.85 and yellow jowar has a G.I. of 52.56. Both these types are significally packed with antioxidants and dietary fiber which is proven to regulate blood sugar levels. So due to presence of resistant starch in jowar makes this grain a staple food in the diabetic meal plan
1. Regulates Diabities – As stated above one of the perfect grain that is added in diabetic meal plan with its moderate glycemic index. Rich in tannin the grain of jowar secretes enzyme that have the ability to reduce the absorption and starch in the body. So this grain/millet assisting in better diabetes control.
Beside this folate in jowar delays along with high on fiber , thiamine , niacin and riboflavin delays in gastric emptying slows the release and absorption of glucose in the blood stream and averts insulin spikes. Consuming jowar roti on regular basis can reduce hepatic gluconeogenesis.
2. Promotes gut health – Due to abundance of dietary fiber jowar aids in smooth functioning of the digestive system. It meals about 48% of dietary fiber recommended for a normal adult so one of the best staple to improve digestion process and gluten free food for gut health. In addition, jowar also help to control bloating, constipation, indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea.
3. Heart health – Jowar has a phyllo chemical phenol, tannins and planned sterols which are known to have hypocholesterolemia effect. So according to journal of nutrition 10-20mg of policosanols extracts from jowar reduced the bad cholesterol that is the amount of antioxidants, vitamin E, B, magnesium and minerals, iron is also valuable to lower cholesterol levels, averts plague formation and improver circulation and blood flow. It also prevents clogging of platelets and lowers the risk of heart attack, atherosclerosis and stroke if eaten on regular basis.
4. Prevents Cancer – The antioxidant present in jowar is greatly valve to prevent the risk of several types of cancer. The Bran layer of sorghum Contains a rare type of antioxidant that plays vital role in the important. Very few
dare found to have these types of antioxidants that are known to prevent certain cancer like esophageal and stomach cancer. Those people who make jowar as their staple food than wheat or corn showed remarkably lesser chance of developing cancer as the antioxidant scavenger free radical that promotes the formation pf cancer cell.
5. Strengthens Bones – The amount of magnesium in jowar helps enhancing calcium absorption which stimulates to calcium levels and augments of bone health. Both calcium and magnesium are important in bone functioning these nutrients helps in bone redevelopment and quickens the healing of fractured bone and ageing bones. So adding jowar millet regularly in diet plans can avert the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis.
6. Benefit in irritable bowel syndrome – (when looking for gluten free diet in place of gluten diet i.e. is whole wheat grain can help the patient in the celiac disease and gluten intolerance). Those with gluten intolerance can replace wheat-based product with jowar that results due to celiac disease. Replacing your staple wheat to jowar can help to all those people sensitive to gluten which is far more nutritious and healthy from our regular wheat (atta) and to add it benefits when included in a diet can loosen the risk of inflammation, indigestion, nausea and other gastrointestinal disease caused by gluten.
7. Energy Booster – Vitamin B3, niacin this grain/millet is packed with nutrient required for metabolism of energy in our body. So, including jowar in diet regimen can add up to lift your metabolism and boost your energy levels entire day. Also single serving of jowar offer about 28% if dietary allowance on niacin
8. Helps to improve Hemoglobin levels – Two essential minerals Iron and Copper which help to improve the blood flow and circulation in the body. Now iron is essential for development of red blood cells and copper enhances the absorption in the body thus promoting cell repair and growth and overall augmentation of circulation of blood in treatment of anemia. So, adding jowar in your meal will provide approximately 58% of the recommended allowance of copper in single serving which can also stimulate hair growth and prevents hair loss.
9. Jowar for weight loss – Adding jowar to your diet can help to aid weight loss for those who want to lose those extra fats as the amount of fiber and protein i.e. 22 gram promotes to build muscle mass, delays digestion, curb hunger fangs, reduce calorie intake and overall helps you to lose weight in healthy and nutritious way. So for weight watcher this millet is a good choice to be included in their diet regimen which gives result amazingly on overall health to your skin, hair, gut, heart, and work as energy booster so that you don’t feel low while planning for journey of weight loss.
Best atta for weight watchers
Jowar atta is embedded with nutrition and health benefits which todays so called staple whole wheat and refined flour or Maida or all-purpose flour lack behind. This macro and micro nutrient foreseen in this atta is wholesome alternative than whole wheat flour.
This atta contain not only protein, dietary fiber but also overpowered which calcium, iron, phosphorous, Vitamin B and C which helps in regulating blood sugar levels, keep you fall, promotes weight loss and works as energy booster. Apart from this jowar being gluten free millet makes it the healthiest flour for the gut and weight loss.
Benefits For skin
One more benefit that jowar provides is essential nutrient i.e. calcium, iron, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate and rich antioxidant that keep your skin look healthy and glowing naturally when used in face pack.
Take 2-3 tsp of jowar atta, add 2 teaspoons of curd and add a few drops of honey make a face mask, by mixing well then apply gently over the face and allow it to dry for about 15 min then rinse well and you are ready for that radiant and glowing skin for any occasion. Studies revealed that jowar pack averts the production of excess melanoma cells which causes skin cancer. So when thinking of going to facial at parlor instead opt for this mask for the glow you want for your skin and face.
This easily digestible (laghu) millet can pacify the vata and kapha dosha and has a sheeta virya (cold poteney). So can be included in summer diet. Jowar is generally madhura and Kashaya in rasa. Besides the list of nutrient already spoken above like calcium, iron potassium it also contains an essential phylo chemical abundant in this millet that have been beneficial in loosing weight and promoting heart health.
Recipe: – Sindhi Masala Dhodha / Masala Paratha
1 cup Jowar flour
¼ cup methi leaves or fenugreek leaves chopped finely
¼ cup green garlic chopped finely with greens
2 Green chillies chopped finely
1 Small onion finely chopped
Ghee 2tbsp, ½ tbsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste, Water
Method – In a big bowl add all the finely chopped greens along with green chillies and onion. Now add jowar flour, salt as per taste, red chilly powder, 1tbsp of ghee and mix all the ingredients and make semi soft dough. Take a butter paper on you rolling board and grease it with some oil flatten it with your hand and get a round shape.
Heat a tawa lift gently the paper and place it on the tawa, allow the base to cook and then flip it gently to cook it from other side until brown spots appear. Gently press and flip the paratha from both sides well.
Add a drop of ghee or white butter on it and enjoy with curd or raita of your choice
Side Effect – Everything eaten in moderation is beneficial for health, diabetic and weight loss but jowar immature form of plant contains hydrogen cyanide which is poisonous and can cause respiratory problem and if taken in huge quantities can be fatal for life
Conclusion – Since ancient time jowar is used which has immense benefits and providing nutritional support to our Indian meal plan. As it is diabetic friendly, gut friendly, heart and bone, hair skin benefits lots and lots of experiments are clone to include in our meal plan recipes like jowar appe, jowar jheera, pancakes, dosa, chilla and soups to be kept in mind to add variety to your staple diet
Dr. Payal Nanwani