7 Surprising Benefits of Sorghum

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

While the name may sound odd, sorghum has many health benefits. It’s a non-wheat grain that may help control diabetes, and improve digestive health, among other benefits.

A white bowl filled with sorghum seeds, leaves, and seed heads with a cloth on a green background

Sorghum helps improve gut health. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Sorghum grain
Serving Size :
Water [g]12.4
Energy 329
Energy [kJ]1377
Protein [g]10.62
Total lipid (fat) [g]3.46
Ash [g]1.43
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]72.09
Fiber, total dietary [g]6.7
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]2.53
Calcium, Ca [mg]13
Iron, Fe [mg]3.36
Magnesium, Mg [mg]165
Phosphorus, P [mg]289
Potassium, K [mg]363
Sodium, Na [mg]2
Zinc, Zn [mg]1.67
Copper, Cu [mg]0.28
Manganese, Mn [mg]1.61
Selenium, Se [µg]12.2
Thiamin [mg]0.33
Riboflavin [mg]0.1
Niacin [mg]3.69
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.37
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.44
Folate, total [µg]20
Folate, food [µg]20
Folate, DFE [µg]20
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.5
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.61
12:0 [g]0
14:0 [g]0
15:0 [g]0
16:0 [g]0.54
17:0 [g]0
18:0 [g]0.05
22:0 [g]0
24:0 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]1.13
16:1 [g]0.02
18:1 [g]1.1
20:1 [g]0.01
24:1 c [g]0
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]1.56
18:2 [g]1.49
18:3 [g]0.07
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic [g]0.01
16:1 t [g]0
Tryptophan [g]0.12
Threonine [g]0.35
Isoleucine [g]0.43
Leucine [g]1.49
Lysine [g]0.23
Methionine [g]0.17
Cystine [g]0.13
Phenylalanine [g]0.55
Tyrosine [g]0.32
Valine [g]0.56
Arginine [g]0.36
Histidine [g]0.25
Alanine [g]1.03
Aspartic acid [g]0.74
Glutamic acid [g]2.44
Glycine [g]0.35
Proline [g]0.85
Serine [g]0.46
Sources include : USDA [1]



Sorghum Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA, [2] sorghum is a powerhouse of nutrients. When included in the diet, it may provide nearly half of the daily required protein, a significant amount of dietary fiber, and B-vitamins vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin, as well as high levels of magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Health Benefits of Sorghum

The health benefits of sorghum in relation to our digestive process are many. Let’s discuss the benefits in detail below.

May Improve Digestive Health

Sorghum is probably one of the best foods out there for dietary fiber. A cup of sorghum grains contains almost 13 grams of dietary fiber, meaning that your digestive tract can keep your food moving along smoothly, preventing cramping, bloating, constipation, stomach aches, excess gas, and diarrhea. Furthermore, meeting or exceeding the recommended daily amounts of fiber intake can help to scrape off dangerous cholesterol (LDL) within the body, which can help to improve heart health and protect the body from conditions like and atherosclerosis. [3]

Complex Carbohydrates May Help Manage Diabetes

Excessive sugary, fiber-less, carbohydrates break down into simple sugars and wreak havoc on glucose levels in the body, which may lead to the development of diabetes, or causing chaos for people who already suffer from this disease. However, the complex carbohydrate, tannin-rich bran of sorghum has enzymes that can inhibit the absorption of starch by the body, which can help to regulate insulin and glucose levels in the body. Thus, diabetics won’t suffer as many plunges and spikes in their glucose levels. For those who are diabetes-free, consuming moderate portions of whole grains as part of a healthy diet may prevent the disease altogether! [4]

Gluten-Free Grain Option

Gluten is found in thousands of everyday food items, which can make it very difficult to find appropriate food options for those suffering from this gastrointestinal disease. Fortunately, the journal Clinical Nutrition has covered collaborative research, which highlights that alternative grains and grasses – such as sorghum – can be eaten safely by those suffering from this increasingly common condition. Choosing gluten-free grains can help this population eat a meal without side effects such as painful inflammation, nausea, and gastrointestinal damage. [5]

May Improve Bone Health

Magnesium is found in high quantities in sorghum. Adequate amounts of magnesium can help calcium levels to be properly maintained, as magnesium increases calcium absorption in the body. These two minerals are also integral to the development of bone tissue and speed up the healing of damaged or aging bones. This can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis, keeping you active and healthy into your old age. [6]

May Increase Circulation

As per the research published in the journal Science of The Total Environment [7], sorghum contains minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. The presence of copper can help increase the absorption of iron into the body. This means a decreased likelihood of developing anemia, which is another name for iron deficiency. With adequate amounts of iron and copper in the system, red blood cell development can be increased, thereby may boost blood circulation, stimulating cellular growth and repair, and boosting the energy levels in the body.

Contains Energy Boosting Nutrients

As per the research carried out by the Department of Nutritional Sciences, the University of California and published in the journal Nutrient Research sorghum contains niacin. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3 is a key component in transforming food into usable energy and fuel for the body by breaking down and metabolizing nutrients into energy. Given its beneficial vitamin content, it can be a boon as part of any well-balanced diet! [8]

Word of Caution: There are no known concerns against adding sorghum to your diet. As it is part of the grass family, there is the possibility of some people being allergic to it, but the cases are very rare. Furthermore, with the high content of certain minerals and vitamins, the only real danger is getting too much of a good thing, so eat sorghum in moderation and enjoy all of the wonderful health benefits!

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 745 user(s).