One of the rare cereals that do not have any major side effects, Sorghum has been considered to be a part of a healthy diet for centuries. Regular consumption of sorghum grains has numerous health benefits, chief among them being prevention of cancer thanks to the rare antioxidants present in the bran layer of the grain. The high dietary fiber content of this cereal makes it extremely effective for improving digestive health while also getting rid of LDL cholesterol which in turn promotes cardiovascular health. Sorghum is found to be rich in tannin which generates rare enzymes that break down carbohydrates and prevent sugar massed form spiking the glucose levels in the body, thereby protecting you form diabetes. The combination of rich concentration of calcium and magnesium works like a charm for improving bone health, while similarly the combination of copper and iron improves blood circulation in the body. Sorghum makes for a wonderful alternative food for people suffering from gluten energy. It is also extremely beneficial for maintaining stable energy levels in the body throughout the day.
Sorghum, popularly known in India as Jowar, is a cereal grain, which is found mostly in tropical and subtropical climates. Sorghum has been a part of the human diet for more than 5000 years, with its uses being traced through several civilizations across the world. It is often referred to as the fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world, with its benefits being recognized far and wide. Apart from being a healthy cereal and a gluten free alternative for wheat, sorghum is also used for animal fodder.
Sorghum is one of the most commonly used cereal grains in the world and a lot of that is thanks to the rich nutritional value it offers to the consumer. Sorghum is found to be rich in vitamins and minerals, along with providing great protein content and making up for a large portion of your dietary fiber intake. For every 100 grams of sorghum cereal, you get about 3.5 grams fat, out of which only 0.6 grams is saturated fat. You get about 72 grams of carbohydrate in every 100 grams of sorghum, with sugar making up 2.5 grams and dietary fiber making up 6.7 grams of the carbohydrate content. The protein value that can be obtained from every 100 grams of sorghum is about 11 grams, which makes up around 22% of the recommended daily values. Calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and sodium are found in the quantities of 53.8 mg, 8.4 mg, 551 mg, 672 mg and 11.5 mg respectively per 100 grams sorghum. Vitamins like thiamin, niacin and riboflavin are also found in rich quantities in sorghum.
One of the most important benefits of sorghum grain is that it can help in preventing cancer. Sorghum grains have a bran layer which contains rare antioxidants that are extremely important for the body. These antioxidants, found in very few other food world over, have been found to be highly beneficial in reducing the chances of developing certain types of cancer, with esophageal cancer being the chief among them. As compared to the people who consume wheat or corn, consumers of sorghum stand a far lower chance of developing these cancers as the antioxidants present in the grain eliminates free radicals that promote the development of cancerous cells.
The high dietary fiber content of sorghum makes it one of the best foods in the world for improving digestion and taking care of the digestive system. A single serving of sorghum can contain up to 48% of a person’s recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, which helps the digestive system in keeping the movement of food along the system completely smooth. This also prevents bloating, cramping, excess gas, constipation, diarrhea and general stomach aches.
Another huge benefit of the high dietary fiber content in sorghum is the direct improvement it makes for heart health. The high quantity of fiber imparted by sorghum into the body helps in scraping off LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol as it is popularly known. This improves heart health greatly and can protect the body from several cardiovascular conditions like heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.
It is often found that excessive carbohydrates can break down into sugar compounds in the body and lead to serious increase in glucose levels, which in turn leads to diabetes. The people who are already suffering from diabetes have it even worse as these sugars attack the system directly. The bran of sorghum is found to be rich in tannin, which secretes enzymes that actually reduce the absorption of sugar and starch in the body. This helps a great deal in regulating the glucose and insulin levels in your body, leading to a higher protection from diseases like diabetes. For the people already suffering from diabetes, regular consumption of sorghum grain, and the regulated levels of glucose and insulin that result from it, makes sure that there aren’t regular spikes and plunges in the glucose levels in their body. This makes sure that there are no diabetic shocks or other health complications that can occur from these conditions.
The whole world is waking up to the harmful effects of a gluten allergy, which occurs mainly due to consumption of wheat based products. This allergy can lead to Celiac disease, which is a serious auto-immune disease. With wheat being used in a large number of food items across the world, it can be a huge problem for people suffering from even the slightest of gluten allergies. Sorghum grains make for wonderful alternatives for wheat in the diets of people who are allergic to gluten. It relieves the body of inflammation, nausea and serious intestinal damage that gluten can cause in the cases of gluten allergy.
Sorghum grains are found to be rich sources of calcium and magnesium, with both the minerals being extremely beneficial for the health of your bones. Calcium is directly related to the health of your bones, forming an integral part of the development and strength of bones. The magnesium content found in sorghum grains regulates and maintains calcium levels in your body as it makes sure that the calcium absorption is enhanced in the body. Both these minerals are important for the development of bone tissue and also help in speeding up the healing of damaged bones and maintenance of strength of aging bones. These minerals also help in preventing diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
Sorghum is a rich source of niacin, or vitamin B3. Niacin is an integral component to transform food into energy form usable by the body. If the body breaks down and metabolizes nutrients into energy, it keeps the energy levels in your body stable throughout the day. This is where niacin kicks in and makes sure that your body has consistent energy levels throughout the day instead of sudden spikes and falls that are generally provided by sugar boosts. Sorghum grains can offer up to 28% of the recommended daily intake of niacin in one helping.
Among the many minerals sorghum grains are found to be rich in, copper and iron are two of the main ones. In a similar way that magnesium and calcium work together to offer greater strength to bones, copper and iron work together to improve blood circulation in the body. Iron is extremely important for the development of blood cells. Copper enhances the absorption of iron into the body, increasing the development of red blood cells, stimulating cellular growth and repair, and overall increasing the circulation of the blood. It also decreases the chances of developing anemia. Another boost provided by the rich concentration of these two minerals in sorghum grains is the enhanced hair growth on the scalp. You can gain up to 58% of the recommended daily intake of copper in a single helping of sorghum grains.
The cancer fighting antioxidants present in the bran of sorghum grains also help in treating melanoma. The tanning effect of sorghum is effective in preventing melanoma by inhibiting the growth of pigment containing cells on the skin.
Considered to be the fifth most important cereal in the world, sorghum grains’ applications run far and wide. The most common application is in flour form used in several breads, making it an extremely important alternative food for people suffering celiac disease and gluten allergies that are caused by consumption of wheat. Sorghum is also used for manufacturing sorghum syrups and sorghum molasses. The grains are also used to produce various alcoholic beverages and biofuels across the world. Apart from the uses for humans, sorghum plants are also used as fodder for cattle.
Unlike a large number of foods out there, there are no considerable side effects of sorghum. The only risk one can probably look out for is the risk of being allergic to the grains, but even such cases are extremely rare. Like with every good thing, caution is advised and people should always have sorghum in moderation without going overboard.
Sorghum plants have been found to have originated in tropical and subtropical parts of Africa and Australia more than 500 years ago. Today, the plant is widely grown in Africa, Australia, USA, India and more.
1) Diabetes is curable :
Diabetes is mainly due deficiency of Insulin (hormone produced by Beta cells of pancreas), plus resistance to action of insulin, overweightor obesity and inactivity. Therefore, to treat diabetes we need drugs that initiate insulin secretion, reduce insulin resistance. In some cases insulin itself. Plus dietary control and regular exercise to maintain normal weight or reduce excess weight. Hence it can only be effectively controlled. Cure is not possible.
2) Eating Sugar or Sweets causes Diabetes :
It is incorrect to say that eating sweets and / or sugar causes diabetes. Basically excess food intake will lead to excess production of glucose. That puts excess load on insulin producing cells in pancreas due glucotoxicity. Also due to central obesity the fat around internal organs causes lipotoxicity affecting the beta cells. Therefore, excess food intake in general and weight gain are the reasons for diabetes.
3) Jaggery is better or safe in diabetes :
Jaggery and sugar both are essentially same. Both contain sucrose, as they are prepared from sugar cane juice. Hence eating either of these will increase blood glucose considerably. In jaggery there are some vitamins and a few antioxidants. But both are bad for a diabetic person.
4) Rice should not be eaten in diabetes :
Not really true. Because in south India this is the major or at times only main food. Rice has a high glycemic index so gets converted to glucose rapidly. So polished rice is not good. Brown rice is better. Quantity should be regulated. All other cereals also are converted glucose after digestion.
5)Allopathic Medications Damage Kidneys, so go for either Ayurvedic or Homeopathic Drugs :
In fact diabetes itself affects kidney, particularly the filtering membrane of glomerulurous (a filtering unit in the kidney). Even when diabetes fairly well controlled, kidney does get affected. The drugs used to treat diabetes help in overcoming kidney damage. Therefore it is wrong to think that modern drugs cause kidney damage. In fact some of the other drugs contain heavy metals (Bhasmas), which can be harmful to the kidney.
6) Sugar intake is essential for body :
Some people keep asking that eating sugar is very necessary for getting energy for the body tissues. This is not at all true. Because all the cereals like rice, jowar, wheat, ragi, bajra and other millets, contain starch as the main ingredient. Hence intake of each of these foods provides glucose after digestion. So there is no separate need for taking sugar.
Few things to be remembered and practiced are :
Allowed foods in celiac disease are:
Many healthy and delicious foods are naturally gluten-free:
It's important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet, such as:
Always avoid these foods with celiac:
Avoid all food and drinks containing:
Avoiding wheat can be challenging because wheat products go by numerous names. Consider the many types of wheat flour on supermarket shelves — bromated, enriched, phosphated, plain and self-rising.
Here are other wheat products to avoid:
In general, avoid the following foods unless they're labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:
Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. For this reason, doctors and dietitians generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free.
You should also be alert for other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:
Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent.
Thyroid is an important endocrine gland which is located in the neck. It produces triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones which are known as t3 and t4 respectively. Iodine is necessary for the production of these hormones. These hormones are necessary for the proper working of our body. They increase the cholesterol, fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Common problems of the thyroid gland are over activity or hyperthyroidism and under activity or hypothyroidism. The important causes of thyroid disorders are graves’ disease and hashimoto’s disease. Enlargement of the thyroid gland is known as goiter.
Foods for hyperthyroidism
When the thyroid gland starts producing excessive hormones, it is known as hyperthyroidism. This has various symptoms like increased heart rate, sudden weight loss, irregular heartbeat, anxiety, bulging eyes, sensitivity to heat and sweating, goiter etc. Hyperthyroidism can be controlled by using certain particular foods.
1. Foods belonging to brassica family
Consume foods like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, peanuts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, turnips, rutabagas, soybeans, spinach etc which contains goitrogens.
• goitrogens helps to block the ability of thyroid to use iodine and hence slows down the activity of the thyroid.
• eat raw cruciferous vegetables to get maximum benefit as goitrogens are active in the raw state.
2. Include more berries
Add at least one serving of berries in your diet plan to control hyperthyroidism.
• blueberries, raspberries, strawberries contain anti-oxidants which improves your immune system.
3. Omega -3- fatty acid and proteins
Omega -3- fatty acid helps to control the hyper stimulated thyroid gland. Proteins are necessary for the building of muscles and to provide energy for the body. Protein sources also contain l-glutamine which helps in rebuilding the gut and de-inflaming the body.
• eat cold water fish, flaxseed oil and nuts to get the omega-3-fatty acid necessary for the body.
• include soy, turkey, walnuts, salmon, tuna and trout in your hyperthyroidism diet.
4. Dairy products
Hyperactivity of the thyroid gland can remove the calcium from your blood. The body compensates this loss by leaching calcium from the bones. This can cause osteoporosis.
• include three servings of yoghurt, cheese, milk or cottage cheese in your daily diet.
5. Spinach and collard greens
If you are allergic to dairy products, you can get your daily supply of calcium from vegetable sources like spinach collard greens etc.
• figs, prunes and sesame seeds are also excellent hyperthyroidism foods.
This is another vital component of hyperthyroidism diet. The hyperactive thyroid gland can deplete the zinc.
• include almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts which are rich in zinc in your diet.
7. Fiber rich foods and anti inflammatory foods
Fiber rich foods are beneficial for the proper working of the thyroid gland. Anti inflammatory herbs help to reduce the inflammation of the thyroid which is the reason for hyperthyroidism.
• include whole grain foods, like oatmeal, whole grain breads, brown rice etc in your food.
• the anti inflammatory herbs to be included in your diet are turmeric, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon and oregano.
8. Antioxidant rich foods and vitamin d
It is also necessary to consume antioxidants and vitamin d rich foods in the diet. This will reduce the oxidative stress caused by hyperthyroidism. Vitamin d can reduce the inflammation and auto- immune reactions of the body.
• avocados, olive oil broccoli etc contain antioxidants.
• salmon is a good source of vitamin d. You can get your daily dose of vitamin d from eggs, mushrooms etc.
• spend 20- 30 minutes in the sun to get the necessary vitamin d for the body.
9. Cassava, sorghum, and millet
These food items contain cyanogenic glucosides which blocks the iodine availability of the gland.
• these foods increase the immune function and gives protection from osteoporosis
10. Vitamin c and vitamin e
These vitamins are helpful in reducing the oxidative stress caused by the hyperactivity of thyroid glands.
• all the citrus fruits are rich in vitamin c.
• bell peppers, olive oil, wheat etc are a good source of vitamin e.
Foods for hypothyroidism
Underactive thyroid gland releases too little hormones. This condition is known as hypothyroidism. The symptoms include unusual weight gain, feeling cold even on warm days, lethargy and fatigue, puffiness of the face, constipation, depression constipation, dry skin, goiter etc. This is a lifelong condition however the impact of hypothyroidism can be controlled using appropriate diet. Changing the diet and lifestyle prevents the flares of symptoms which could disrupt your daily activities.
1. Iodine rich foods
Make sure that you consume a diet that is rich in iodine. Some of the most common foods that you can think about that is rich in iodine are:
• seaweeds and sea foods
• salt water fish
• nori rolls
Be certain to use iodized salt while preparing food as it is found to be very effective for hypothyroidism.
One of the most commonly found fruits are bananas. Try to include bananas in your daily diet as it is a good food for hypothyroidism.
• take at least two to three bananas a day. Make sure that you eat ripe bananas.
• you can also at times consume a banana milkshake that is prepared with low fat or skimmed milk.
One of the best known remedies to treat all kinds of disorders as well as hypothyroidism is pure drinking water.
• make sure that you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
• water will help to flush out all toxins in your body.
• it will also prevent you from getting dehydrated so that your body does not store more fat and hence you do not gain excess weight.
4. Eating more fruits and vegetables
Try to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. This will help you to stay healthy and is highly recommended to prevent hypothyroidism.
• it would be better for you to choose a complete veg. Meal plan full of greens and vegetables one or two days in a week.
• you also need to follow a strict fruit plan diet for a day in a week to fight hypothyroidism.
5. Selenium rich foods
Going for foods that are rich in selenium will help in fighting hypothyroidism.
• make sure to make onions and dairy products as part of your daily diet.
• you also need to occasionally include chicken, salmon, tuna and meat in your daily diet. Try to use one product a day.
• it is important for you to use a lot of garlic in your food preparation.
• brazil nuts as well as whole unrefined grains also help in fighting hypothyroidism and you need to take them at least once a week.
6. High fiber diet
It is important for you to take a high fiber diet so that you do not gain weight that easily and this will help to prevent hypothyroidism.
• add beans, oatmeal and whole wheat to your daily diet to improve your bowel movement and to reduce the cholesterol levels in your body.
• make sure that you only consume brown rice and not white rice in any form when you suffer from hypothyroidism.
7. Green tea
One of the best foods known to treat hypothyroidism is green tea. It has antioxidants and will help in reducing body weight.
• it is ideal for you to include green tea in your daily diet and try to skip other drinks like coffee and black tea.
• it would be ideal for you to consume thee to four cups of hot green tea to increase body metabolism and to burn fat.
8. Tyrosine rich foods
One of the best methods to increase the production of thyroid hormones in your body is to consume foods that are rich in tyrosine.
• lean meat
• soy products
9. Coconut oil
Take coconut oil cooked food will help in improving the production of thyroid hormone and will help in preventing hypothyroidism.
• add a tablespoon of coconut oil in your diet every day.
• it helps in increasing metabolism and is also an emery booster.
• make sure that you consume it in moderation depending on your age and lifestyle and structure of your body.
10. Vitamin a, zinc and copper foods
It is ideal for you to consume vitamin a, zinc and copper rich foods in order to increase the production of thyroid hormones in your body.
Vitamin a rich foods
• yellow vegetables
• dark vegetables
Zinc and copper foods
• lean beef
• dried beans
• seeds and nuts
• organ meats that are range free.
High uric acid: 15 dos and don'ts about diet for high uric acid levels
High uric acid levels in the blood stream can lead to a common form of arthritis called gout.
To prevent gout, it is essential to maintain good eating habits and have proper medication. To reduce the uric acid levels in blood, you may need to limit intake of alcohol, sugary foods and reduce purine rich foods like meat, poultry, seafood and pulses. Vegetables such as cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, peas and mushroom also contain a lot of purines. Digestion of purine leads to the formation of uric acid. If uric acid is not eliminated normally which is seen in gout sufferers, it can build up in the blood stream leading to joint inflammation and pain.
Water flushes out toxins including excess uric acid from the body. Have at least 10- 12 glasses of water daily.
Cherries have anti - inflammatory substances named anthocyanis that help reduce uric acid levels. It prevents the uric acid from crystallizing and being deposited in the joints. Cherries also neutralize the acids and help prevent inflammation and pain. 200 gms per day is very effective in bringing down uric acid.
Berries especially strawberries, and blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties so include them in your diet.
Malic acid in apple neutralizes uric acid and thus provides relief to the sufferers. You should consume one apple daily after a meal.
The citric acid found in lime is a solvent of the uric acid. The juice of half a lime squeezed into a glass of water should be taken twice daily.
6. French bean juice
Another effective home remedy for gout is french beans juice. The healthy juice can be consumed twice everyday for treating gout or high uric acid.
7. Celery seed
This is a popular home remedy to lower uric acid levels in the body. Have celery seeds extract to get best results.
8. Apple cider vinegar
Drink apple cider vinegar. Add 3 teaspoons of vinegar to 8 ounces of water and have it 2-3 times every day to treat uric acid.
9. Pinto beans
A diet rich in folic acid can help lower uric acid naturally. Folic acid rich foods like pinto beans, sunflower seeds and lentils should be included in your diet.
10. Vegetable juices
Carrot juice in combination with beet and cucumber juice is also very effective. 100 ml each of beet juice and cucumber juice should be mixed with 300 ml carrot juice and taken daily.
Low fat dairy products like milk, curd help lower uric acid level.
11. Foods rich in vit c
Include vitamin c rich foods & supplements in your daily diet to reduce uric acid in the body. It disintegrates uric acid and forces it out of the body through urine. Good sources of vitamin c are awla, guava, kiwi, sweet lime, oranges, capsicum, lemon, tomato and green leafy veg.
12. High-fibre foods
According to the university of maryland medical center, adding foods high in dietary fibre may help lower uric acid levels in your blood. Dietary fibre may help absorb uric acid in your bloodstream, allowing it to be eliminated from your body through your kidneys.
Increase the consumption of dietary soluble fibers such as isabgol, oats, broccoli, apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, celery, and carrots, barley.
Bananas are also beneficial in lowering uric acid.
13. Green tea
Consume green tea on a regular basis to control hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels) and lower your risk of developing gout.
14. Eating grains that are more alkaline such as jowar, bajra are helpful.
Tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers are some of the veggies that you need to start including in your meals. Tomatoes are one of the best vegetables that you could have for lowering uric acid. Fresh tomato is alkaline by nature and when it is exposed to the blood stream it increases the alkalinity of the blood. Raw vegetables like potatoes or corns are effective to reduce uric acid in the body. Have them raw or steam these vegetables.
As it is rightly said ‘Nutrition starts at Conception’. Diet plays a vital role in physical and mental development of the child right from the conception. An expectant mother must make sure to follow the right diet.
There is much hyped misconception about following healthy dietary habits during pregnancy for benefit of her little one, but that’s untrue. If a to be mother manages to follow a good and nutritionally adequate diet, it will in fact help her as well to achieve healthy weight gain, comfortable child birth and most importantly helping her body to prepare for post-delivery weight loss. A physically and mentally fit mother makes a happy and active child.
By following a healthy and balanced diet throughout her 9 months and 9 days of pregnancy will immensely benefit her unborn. Inclusion of foods from all the food groups will be an added benefit. The following content will help an expectant mother to make wise choices during her pregnancy, making sure she remains healthy throughout.
Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) intake through daily allowance will make sure an expectant mum gets her required nutrition. However, nutrients like Iron, calcium, folic acid, B complex vitamins also play a vital role in maintenance of healthy pregnancy. Daily allowance should be met by consuming green leafy vegetables, nuts, fresh fruits, etc.
Apart from getting daily calories allowance, it is equally important to stay hydrated. Water aids digestion, which helps to keep constipation at bay and also helps in maintaining optimal levels of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac.
Expectant mother should divide her meals in small and frequent portions to combat acidity, bloating which are most common troubles associated with pregnancy. She should highly be motivated to be physically active and get adequate rest as well.
A special attention should be given to keep salt and sugar intake to minimal, as they contribute to unnecessary weight gain and bloating. They are also known to delay the labour process.
Conclusion / Bottom line
Maternal Nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy and blissful pregnancy. It is highly recommended to seek nutrition advice from a nutrition expert preferably before planning a child as a healthy diet will help in conception as well as during & post pregnancy.