Jowar is commonly called by various names across India- jwaarie, jowar, jola, or jondhalaa and is used to make bhakri, jowar roti, or jolada rotti. Its English name Sorghum, comes from the family it belongs to, Sorghum Vulgare. Extensively cultivated 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. It is the 5th most important cereal in the world.
This nutritious staple has got lost somewhere in the milieu of urbanisation, industrialisation and overdependence on refined and packaged foods. It’s worth revisiting our traditional eating practices for the nutritional value it adds to daily food.
Nutrition In 100 grams of Jowar
Health Benefits of Jowar: Why You Should Eat It?
Gluten-Free:Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains like wheat, barley and rye. This is known to be detrimental for health of individuals with celiac disease. Jowar being gluten-free is also found to be beneficial for people with IBS. Replacing wheat with jowar was found to reduce symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, fatigue, headaches etc. Even if you do not come into either of the categories, replacing one meal’s cereal with jowar or any other millet is a good idea. This is primarily because it ensures that you consume all the goodness from different sources and your digestive tract gets a break from the same food day in and day out, keeping it healthy.
Contains Excellent Fibre Content: The fibre in jowar helps keep the bowels moving, which prevents constipation. It is also associated with lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol, protecting the body against onset of cardiovascular diseases. Eating foods high in fibre helps delay the emptying of the stomach, adding satiety to smaller meals and also slows the release of carbs into the blood stream preventing the “crash” soon after a meal. People who wish to control their weight must include jowar in their meals.
Antioxidant-Rich: Jowar is a good source of various phytochemicals like tannins, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, phytosterols and policosanols. Antioxidants are known to be vital for scavenging free radicals that cause inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been identified as one of the main risk factors for various health problem, which includes the increasing the risk of cancers and CVDs. A study has identified anthocyanins presence in black, brown and red jowar grains and it found the quantity to be 3-4 times higher than those of other whole grains.
Diabetes Control: Low glycemic index of jowar itself is a good reason for diabetics to include this grain more often in their daily diet. Add the high-fibre and good protein content of this grain and you have an excellent diabetic option. Both fibre and protein in food help slow down the release of sugars into the blood preventing spikes and troughs. This not only helps control diabetes but also aids in maintaining a feeling of satiety.
Other than these, this grain is a rich source of B vitamins and folate which are essential nutrients for a healthy body. Jowar comes in ivory, purple, deep red and brown colours. It is available as a whole grain, flour, dalia, and rava form, which can be used in a variety of dishes. While using whole grain, it is a good idea to soak it for a few hours. Like all grains, jowar should be stored in a cool dark place with a tight fitting lid container.
Add some jowar to your food today and reap its benefits. Bon appetite!