Introduced in English as sorghum, Jowar is introduced internationally for its gluten-free, whole grain goodness as the “fresh quinoa.” In India, Jowar, known as Cholam in Tamil and Jonna in Telugu, 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 millet family, is currently experiencing a resurgence as people move away from processed wheat products that are not considered good for health.
Jowar health benefits –
When it comes to good quality, its high nutrient content allows jowar a healthy crop. Here are some of the whole-grain’s other benefits:
Fiber rich –
Jowar contains a much higher concentration of fibre than other cereal grains such as barley or rice. A single serving contains more than 12 grams, which is more than the 48 per cent daily intake recommended. A high fiber diet reduces the risk of obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and digestive disorders.
Free from gluten –
Gluten is a protein component found in foods made from wheat and barley, and is believed to cause digestive problems such as bloating, pain, and cramps of the stomach. Jowar, a whole grain without gluten, is considered a good alternative to people with’ gluten intolerance’ and also has a wealth of nutrients.
Controls the levels of blood sugar –
Jowar, a complex carbohydrate, is slowly digested prompting blood sugar to increase more gradually. That’s why diabetics and people who want to lose weight are taking a great diet choice.
High protein content –
One cup of jowar has 22 grams of protein which provides energy for the body as well as aids in cell regeneration.
Packed with Iron –
Jowar holds in each cup 8.45 milligrams of iron. Since the iron in jowar is non-heme (difficult to absorb), you will get maximum benefit from mixing it with meat or a source of vitamin C.
Good for healthy Bones –
Jowar helps maintain calcium levels in the body since it contains high levels of magnesium (magnesium enhances calcium absorption).
Loaded with minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients –
It contains B vitamins which help the body build new cells and tissues as well as potassium and phosphorus. In addition, jowar contains concentrations of zinc, copper and more than 20 micronutrients, as well as high antioxidant levels.
Weight Loss –
Jowar has a much higher dietary fiber content compared to other varieties of cereals. A single serving contains more than 12 grams, adding 48 per cent of the recommended daily intake of fiber.
The high content of fibers provides higher levels of satiety, leading to lower intake and holding hunger pangs at bay.
The fiber content in jowar therefore decreases your appetite and makes it the best whole grain alternative for weight loss.
System of Digestion –
The high content of dietary fibers in jowar is also helping to improve digestion. The fibre is a bulking agent that helps stool pass through the digestive tract smoothly.
The whole grain helps improve digestive health and is useful in the treatment of diarrhea, bloating, stomach ache and constipation conditions.
Improves cardiac health –
Jowar is rich in dietary fibre, as discussed earlier. The presence of fiber in it helps lower rates of LDL (or bad cholesterol) in the body and thus decreases the risk of heart attack.
Jowar’s reducing cholesterol effects often reduce the risk of blood flow restriction, arteriosclerosis, and plaque development.
Apart from minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and E, the whole grain also includes antioxidants. This helps to prevent a number of cardiovascular conditions.
Jowar also helps to regulate concentration of plasma LDL cholesterol, while improving body HDL levels.
Improves energy standards –
Sorghum contains a high niacin content (or vitamin B3). The B vitamin is essential to the body’s processing of food into usable energy. Niacin means the energy levels in the body remain stable throughout the day, instead of having unexpected stress surges. A rich source of niacin, a single serving of jowar constitutes 28 per cent of the daily intake recommended.
Circulation improves –
Iron and copper are two major minerals to be contained in jowar. Such elements work together to play a key role in enhancing the distribution of the body’s blood.
Iron is vital to the production of red blood cells in the body, while copper helps boost iron absorption in the body. Consuming the grain therefore helps improve red blood cell production and increases the total distribution of blood in the body, while also rising anaemia chances.
A single jowar serving will give you 58% of your recommended daily copper intake.
How to make jowar a part of your regular diet –
Jowar is one of the healthiest decisions you can bring about your daily intake of carbohydrates. Because a standard balanced diet contains 55-60 percent carbohydrates, you can have one or one – and-a-half jowar portions twice a day, either at breakfast, lunch or dinner time.
Rotis is the easiest way to incorporate this millet into your diet. It is better suited to other pulses and cereals. For example, by mixing 50 per cent whole wheat with 50 per cent jowar and other cereals such as bajra, ragi, soya, etc., you can make multigrain atta.
You can also create porridge using this flour which is very good for kids. Toast multigrains such as whole wheat, jowar, bajra, ragi, etc. with green mung, chana (Bengal gram) dal, sago (sabudana), etc. to the multigrain atta, and cook until it meets porridge quality, use one part of flour and three parts of water. Add jeera (cumin) and salt if you wish to serve it savory. Instead, try gud (jaggery) and milk if your kids prefer sweet porridge. The addition of crushed almonds will increase the nutritional value thereof.
If you like dosas and idlis, you should incorporate jowar in a ratio of 2:1 to the normal rice batter (two parts jowar flour, one part idli batter food). You can even create jowar cupcakes by replacing the processed meal with 50 per cent whole wheat and 50 per cent jowar flour in any cupcake recipe.
Jowar is slightly denser than whole wheat, so at first, the taste may take a little to get used to. But diversification
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