Globally, it’s being touted as the “new quinoa” for its gluten-free, whole-grain goodness. But in India, jowar, known as Sorghum in English is a staple, especially in the western and southern parts of the country where it is ground into flour and is used to make rotis, bhakri, cheela, dosa etc.
The ancient grain, a member of the millett family, is having a revival at the moment as people shift away from refined wheat products which are not considered as good for health.
Jowar has several health benefits
It is gluten-free: Gluten is a protein component found in wheat and barley-based foods, and is believed to cause digestive problems such as bloating, pain and stomach cramps. Jowar, a gluten-free whole grain, is considered an excellent alternative for people who suffer from ‘gluten intolerance‘ and it is rich in nutrients as well.
Rich in fiber: Compared to other cereal grains like barley or rice, jowar contains a much higher concentration of fiber. A single serving contains more than 12 grams, which is more than the recommended daily intake of 48%. A high fiber diet lowers risk of obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, cardiac disease, diabetes and digestive problems.
High protein: One cup of jowar has 22 grams of protein, which supplies the body with energy as well as aids in cell regeneration.
Full of iron: Jowar contains 8.45 milligrams of iron in every cup. Since the iron in jowar is non-heme (difficult to absorb), pairing it with meat or a source of Vitamin C will give you maximum benefit.
Controls blood sugar levels: Jowar, a complex carbohydrate, is digested slowly, prompting a more gradual rise in blood sugar. That’s why it’s a great diet choice for diabetics and people who want to lose weight.
Good for bone health: Because it contains high levels of magnesium, jowar helps maintain calcium levels in the body (magnesium increases calcium absorption).
Packed with vitamins, minerals and micronutrients: It contains B vitamins, which help the body build new tissues and cells, as well as potassium and phosphorous. Additionally, jowar contains traces of zinc, copper and over 20 micronutrients as well as high levels of antioxidants.