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Health Benefits of Sorghum, Uses And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 04, 2020

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The health benefits of Sorghum are such that it is a good source of vitamins and minerals, has high content of dietary fibres, is a rich source of antioxidants, helps in inhibiting tumour growth, natural cure for patients of diabetes, staple food for celiac patients, lowers blood cholesterol, helps in weight control, provides strong bones, improves mood, boosts energy levels and promotes blood circulation.

About Sorghum

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), also known as great millet, Indian millet, milo, durra, orshallu is a cereal grain plant of the grass family (Poaceae) and bears edible starchy seeds. Sorghum is a strong grass and usually grows to a height of 0.6 to 2.4 metres (2 to 8 feet), sometimes reaching as high as 4.6 metres (15 feet).

Sorghum is especially valued in hot and arid regions for its resistance to drought and heat.

Stalks and leaves are coated with white wax and pith. The central portion of the stalks of certain varieties is juicy and sweet. The leaves are about 5 cm (2 inches) broad and 76 cm (2.5 feet) long. The tiny flowers are produced in panicles that range from loose to dense. Each flower cluster bears 800–3,000 kernels. The seeds of sorghum vary widely among different types in colour, shape and size but they are smaller than those of wheat.

Nutritional Value of Sorghum

Every 100g of Sorghum contains a total of 339 kcal of energy, 74.3 grams of Carbohydrates, 6.3 grams of dietary fibre, 11.3 grams of protein, 3.3 grams of total fat out of which saturated fat is 0.5 grams, monounsaturated fat is 1.0 grams, polyunsaturated fat is 1.4 grams, Omega-3 fatty acids is 65 milligrams, Omega-6 fatty acids is 1305 milligrams and zero cholesterol.

Let check out sorghum nutrition benefits, it also contains Vitamin B1 or Thiamine (0.2 mg), Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin (0.1 mg), Vitamin B3 or Niacin (2.9 mg), Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid (0.367 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.443 mg), Vitamin B9 or Folate (20.0 mcg), Vitamin E or Alpha tocopherol (0.50 mg), Calcium (28.0 mg), Iron (4.4 mg), Magnesium (165 mg), Phosphorus (287 mg), Potassium (350 mg), Sodium (6.0 mg), Zinc (1.7 mg), Copper (0.284 mg), Selenium (12.2 mcg)

Nutritional facts Per 100

3.5 g
Total Fat
2 mg
72 g
Total Carbohydrate
11 g

Vitamins and Minerals

19 %

Health Benefits of Sorghum

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Sorghum. You can consume High fibre and Rich source of protein sorghum in a different form, Sorghum flour, Sorghum seeds available in local markets.

Sorghum good source of vitamins and minerals

Sorghum, like other cereals, is an excellent source of the fat-soluble and B-complex vitamins. Amongst all the B vitamins i.e. concentrations of thiamine, riboflavin and niacin in sorghum were comparable to those in maize.

The detectable fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin B, E and K. It is also an important source of minerals and amongst them, phosphorus is the most abundant.

Minerals and vitamins are located at the pericarp and germ; therefore, refined sorghum products lose part of these important nutrients. All these nutrients help in maintaining the vital activities within the body.

Sorghum contain high content of dietary fibres

Sorghum is one of the best sources of dietary fibres. Sorghum does not have an inedible hull and so the whole grain can be eaten. This means it supplies even more fibre, in addition to many other crucial nutrients. The high-fibre content of sorghum is important for digestion, hormone production and cardiovascular health.

Sorghum rich source of antioxidants

Sorghum contains polyphenol compounds in its pericarp which have good health-protective effect that is superior to many of the more popular consumed grains, fruits and vegetables. The antioxidant activity of sorghum is even 3-4 times higher than some of other whole grains.

Black sorghum is especially rich in antioxidants because of its high content of anthocyanins. The antioxidants found in sorghum have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic effects.

Sorghum helps in inhibiting tumour growth

The 3-deoxyanthoxyanins (3-DXA) compounds which is mostly present in the darker-coloured sorghum, is shown to have a strong anti-proliferation activity against human colon cancer cells.

The antioxidants inside the bran layer of sorghum grains scavenge harmful free radicals and reduce the chance of developing various types of cancer. Studies have shown that intake of sorghum is associated with a reduced risk of having oesophageal cancer globally.

Sorghum benefits for diabetes patients

Diabetes is a condition which occurs due to a higher level of glucose and less sensitivity to insulin in the body. The starch in sorghum grain is more slowly digested as compared to the other cereals. It is because that the tannin compounds of sorghum bran have an inhibitory effect on amylase which slows down the hydrolysis of starch and the absorption of glucose into the blood stream.

Sorghum good for diabete as it acts as low glycaemic index food. Consuming sorghum is beneficial for better control of blood glucose level and increase insulin sensitivity for diabetic patients.

Sorghum flour safe celiac disease

Celiac disease is a severe allergy to gluten which is primarily found in wheat-based products. Up to 1% of the population of United States is believed to have celiac disease.

Sorghum flour is gluten-free and a good alternative to wheat flour for individuals suffering from celiac diseases. Studies have shown that sorghum-based products did no show toxicity for celiac patients.

Use sorghum for lower cholesterol level

Sorghum has the potential for managing blood cholesterol. The dietary fibre of Sorghum helps to reduce the ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) because of its ability to reduce the amount of bile reabsorbed in the intestine.

Moreover, studies have shown that the lipids of sorghum also have the ability to lower cholesterol levels. Lower level of cholesterol reduces the risk of stroke, chronic inflammation and type 2 diabetes.

Sorghum benefits for weight loss

Sorghum is an excellent source of dietary fibre and this fibre helps to curb food intake by a sense of stomach fullness leading to increased satiety feeling thereby leading to decrease in food intakes. Sorghum itself is also a low glycaemic index food. Taking sorghum as part of daily diet can help in better control of body weight.

Sorghum improves bones strength

Both calcium and magnesium are essential for strong bones. Magnesium stimulates calcium absorption in the body and adequate calcium is essential for bone health and present in sorghum . Deficiency of calcium leads to osteoporosis and arthritis. Sorghum is a good source of both calcium and magnesium. Every 100 g of sorghum satisfies 5% of the recommended daily intake of calcium and 40% of the daily recommended intake of magnesium.

Sorghum helps in improving mood

The vitamin B6 present in Sorghum plays a major role in the production of a neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is responsible for regulating the nerve impulses in the human body. Increased GABA production improves a person’s mood, ability to focus, promoting relaxation and helping to control stress and depression.

Sorghum boost energy levels

Vitamin B-complex, especially vitamin B3 (Niacin), is important for body’s metabolism and helps the cells produce useable energy. Sorghum contains 28% of the daily required niacin intake. Ingesting sorghum-based food helps to boost the energy level and remain focused on work.

Sorghum promote blood circulation

Sorghum is very high in both copper and iron which minerals that are crucial for blood circulation. Iron is important for red blood cell development. Copper helps to increase the uptake of iron in the body. Eating sorghum boosts the red blood cell synthesis and stimulates blood circulation.

Uses of Sorghum

Sorghum grain is also used in making edible oil, starch, dextrose (a sugar), paste, and alcoholic beverages. The stalks are used as fodder and building materials.

Sweet sorghums or sorgos are grown mainly in the United States and southern Africa for forage and for syrup manufacture and are sometimes used in the production of ethyl alcohol for biofuel.


Side-Effects & Allergies of Sorghum

The mature plant of sorghum is safe for moderate consumption. However, it should be noted that the immature plant of sorghum is poisonous because of the presence of hydrogen cyanide. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion. However, it can cause respiratory failure and even death if taken in excess amounts.

Cultivation of Sorghum

It is generally agreed that sorghum originated and was domesticated in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. It then spread to India and China after domestication and reached Western hemisphere during the time of the slave trade. Sorghum grows well in warmer temperature and tropical regions of the world due to its drought tolerance.

Today, sorghum represents a major crop in the United States, India, Argentina, Mexico, Africa, China and Australia. Lead producers around the world during the fiscal year 2010 included Nigeria (11.5 million metric tons), the United States (9.7 million metric tons), India (6.98 million metric tons) and Mexico (6.25 million metric tons).

Leading exporters are the United States, Australia and Argentina. Even if it is the fifth important crops in the world, only 42 million hectares out of the 700 million hectares of cereal-cultivated land is covered by sorghum.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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