Jowar is rapidly becoming an ingredient that is gaining rapid popularity due to its properties of being gluten-free and whole grain. Wishing to know what health benefits this godly ingredient carries along? Here we are, with comprehensive nutritional information about Jowar.
What is Jowar?
In India, Jowar 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. A member of the millet family, Jowar is receiving worldwide attention as people shift away from refined wheat products which are not considered a very healthy option.
Sorghum(in English) comes from the family it belongs to, Sorghum Vulgare. Cultivated heavenly in Asia and Africa, Jowar is a staple source of nutrition in areas that are arid, and it also does not need special care for growing. There are 30 varieties of Sorghum, only one of which is used for human consumption.
The wealth of nutrients in Jowar makes this cereal one of the most commonly used grains for its unquestionable health benefits. It is packed with protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber which promotes growth and development is an ideal cereal in the weight watcher’s diet, and also regulates diabetes.
Filled with an immense amount of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium, these minerals fortify the bones, strengthen immunity, and keep diseases away. Apart from this, Jowar also contains a notable amount of vitamins thiamine, niacin, folate, and riboflavin which are known to boost overall health.
Nutritional Importance Of Jowar
Jowar, also known as sorghum, is a type of cereal grain that is grown in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, and South America. It is a staple food in many of these regions and is increasingly being recognized for its potential health benefits. Here are some of the key nutritional benefits of jowar:
- High in fiber: Jowar is a good source of dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system and preventing constipation. One cup of cooked jowar provides about 5 grams of fiber, which is about 20% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
- Low in calories: Jowar is a low-calorie grain, making it a good choice for those looking to manage their weight. One cup of cooked jowar contains only about 215 calories, which is lower than other grains such as rice and wheat.
- Rich in nutrients: Jowar is a good source of various essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. It is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
- Gluten-free: Jowar is naturally gluten-free, making it a suitable alternative for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
- Versatile ingredient: Jowar can be used in a variety of dishes, including bread, porridge, and rotis. It can also be ground into flour, which can be used to make pasta, cakes, and other baked goods.
Overall, jowar is a nutritious and versatile grain that can be a valuable addition to your diet. It is high in fiber, low in calories, and rich in essential nutrients, making it a healthy choice for people of all ages.
Glycemic Index Of Jowar
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a particular food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI are absorbed quickly and cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, while those with a low GI are absorbed more slowly and cause a slower, more gradual increase.
Jowar, also known as sorghum, is a type of grain that is native to Africa and is widely grown in many parts of the world, including India and the United States. It is a staple food in many parts of the world and is known for its versatility and nutritional value.
Jowar has a moderate to the high glycemic index, with a GI value ranging from 70 to 80. This means that it has a moderate to high impact on blood sugar levels, and can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar after consumption.
However, it’s important to note that the glycemic index of jowar can vary depending on a number of factors, including the specific variety of jowar, the way it is cooked, and how it is consumed. For example, jowar that is cooked for a longer time or is ground into fine flour may have a higher GI than jowar that is cooked for a shorter time or is left in larger pieces.
In addition to its moderate to the high glycemic index, jowar is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and a number of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, and zinc. It is also naturally gluten-free, making it a good option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Overall, while jowar has a moderate to the high glycemic index, it can still be a nutritious and healthy part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. It’s important to pay attention to portion sizes and to consider the other nutrients that jowar provides, as well as the specific variety and preparation methods.
A protein component found in wheat and barley-based foods, Gluten is believed to cause digestive problems such as bloating, pain, and stomach cramps. It is 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. So swapping wheat with Jowar has been found to reduce symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, headaches, etc.
Excellent Fibre Content
The fiber in jowar helps keep the bowels moving, which prevents constipation. It is also associated with lower levels of bad cholesterol, protecting the body against the onset of cardiovascular diseases.
So in comparison to other cereal grains like barley or rice, jowar contains a much higher concentration of fiber. High-fiber diets lower the risk of obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, cardiac disease, diabetes, and digestive problems.
It is also a good source of various phytochemicals like tannins, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, phytosterols, and policosanols. These are known to be vital for preventing inflammation in the body.
The low glycemic index of jowar is a good reason for diabetics to include this grain in their daily diet. The high fiber and good protein content of this grain are definitely an added bonus. Both fiber and protein in food help slow down the release of sugars into the blood.
Being a complex carbohydrate, Jowar is digested slowly, prompting a more gradual rise in blood sugar. So it’s a great diet choice for diabetics and people who want to lose weight.
High Protein and Iron
A cup of jowar has 22 grams of protein, which supplies the body with energy as well as aids in cell regeneration. It also contains 8.45 milligrams of iron in every cup.
Good for Bone Health
Because it contains high levels of magnesium, jowar helps maintain calcium levels in the body, which is great for bone health.
Packed with Vitamins, Minerals, and Micronutrients
Contains B vitamins, which help the body build new tissues and cells, as well as potassium and phosphorous. Jowar also contains traces of zinc, copper, and over 20 micronutrients as well as high levels of antioxidants.
It has a much higher concentration of dietary fiber when compared to other cereal grains. So a single serving contains more than 12 grams, contributing to 48% of the daily recommended fiber intake.
Great for the Digestive System
The high fiber content in jowar also helps improve digestion. Helps stool pass smoothly through the digestive tract. Whole grain also helps improve digestive health and is useful in treating conditions like diarrhea, bloating stomach aches, and constipation.
Improves Heart Health
The fiber in abundance helps lower LDL (or bad cholesterol) levels in the body, thus reducing the risk of a heart attack. So the cholesterol-lowering properties of jowar also reduce the chances of hindered blood flow, arteriosclerosis, and plaque formation.
Improves Energy Levels
It contains high amounts of niacin (or Vitamin B3). Vitamin B is integral in transforming food into energy usable by the body. This ensures that the energy levels in the body are consistent throughout the day rather than observing sudden spikes of energy.
Jowar contains two important minerals, iron, and copper. Iron is crucial to the development of red blood cells in the body, while copper helps enhance the absorption of iron in the body. Thus, consuming the grain helps improve the development of red blood cells, and improves the overall circulation of blood in the body, while also reducing the chances of anemia.
How you can make Jowar part of your daily diet
Jowar is among the healthiest choices you can make for your daily carbohydrate intake. Given a typical balanced diet comprises 55-60% carbohydrates, you can have one or one-and-a-half servings of it twice a day, either at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The easiest way to incorporate this millet into your diet is through rotis. You can also pair it with other cereals and pulses.
Another option is to use this flour to make porridge, which is very healthy for children. If you are fond of dosas and idlis, you can add jowar to the usual rice batter in a 2:1 ratio. You can even make jowar cupcakes, by substituting the refined flour in any cupcake recipe with 50% whole wheat and 50% jowar flour.
Some jowar recipes to try out-
- Tomato Cheela
Jowar is rapidly becoming an ingredient that is gaining rapid popularity due to its properties of being gluten-free and whole grain. It keeps cholesterol in check The grain is generous in magnesium and iron too. Being a complex carb, it also helps in reducing weight and lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. Do you wish to know what health benefits this godly ingredient carries along? Here we are, with comprehensive nutritional information about Jowar.
However, Jowar is not a keto-friendly ingredient. Jowar is a carbohydrate source and it might shoot up your carbohydrate content. Therefore it’s unsuitable for a keto diet. But that doesn’t mean you cannot add it to your post-keto-balanced diet!
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