Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, some of which are raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. Sorghum is the fifth largest crop in the world after rice, maize, wheat and barley. Because it is extremely resistant to drought, it is usually grown in dry and semi-arid parts of the world. India is among the top five producers of sorghum or ‘Jowar’ as it is popularly known among the Indian farmers. Sorghum is a rich source of proteins and important nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus etc. that are necessary to keep the body healthy. Sorghum has good amount of thiamin and niacin with small amounts of riboflavin.
Sorghum makes a healthy diet since it is gluten-free diet. It is good in treatment of celiac disease and wheat allergies. It keeps bones and teeth healthy giving energy to the body. It also maintains the health of heart, controls diabetes, arthritis and weight of the body.
The presence of anti-oxidants in sorghum is believed to have reduced the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, nerve disorders, etc. Grain sorghum also contains Vitamin B-complex that is also important for the steady growth of living beings. The presence of protein and starch in grain sorghum helps in slow digestion, and this slow digestion is beneficial for patients suffering from diabetes. For people unable to digest wheat related items, sorghum serves as an excellent replacement, again, because of its excellent digestion capability.
Jowar is commonly used in India as making bread (roti). It is also consumed as popped Jowar, papad, cookies and other preparations. Flour is used for making unleavened flat bread, pancake dosa, porridge. In industry also it is used for alcohol preparation, Jaggery, syrup, spirit, starch.