The Nutritional Properties of Sorghum and How to Use It

Today, you'll discover the nutritional properties of sorghum, a gluten-free grain you can include in your recipes. Learn all about it in this article!
The Nutritional Properties of Sorghum and How to Use It
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Today, we want to tell you about the nutritional properties of sorghum, which is similar to many other gains in that sense. We’ll also tell you how to can use it in the kitchen.

Sorghum is a grain that’s suitable for direct human consumption or the production of alcoholic beverages. It’s also popular as livestock feed, as it has a high nutritional density.

It’s important to note that sorghum is rare in most Western countries when it comes to human diets. However, you can use it to your advantage, as it’s a foodstuff with a high content of complex carbohydrates and fiber.

The nutritional properties of sorghum

As we’ve already mentioned, sorghum contains a large number of carbohydrates. Specifically, 72 grams per 3.5 ounces of grains.

From an energetic point of view, it provides 329 kilocalories and the presence of proteins amounts to 10.6 grams. Fats are less significant since it only contains 3.4 grams of lipids per 3.5 ounces.

Among the micronutrients, vitamin B3 stands out with 3.7 milligrams and vitamin B9 with 20 milligrams. It only has 2 milligrams of sodium, so it’s suitable for people with hypertension problems. It’s also possible to find in its interior minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus.

Grains of sorhgum.
Sorghum contains fiber and some minerals. Potassium and calcium are part of its composition and could contribute to bone and cardiovascular health.

You may also be interested in: The Risks of a Vitamin Deficiency

The benefits of sorghum

Thanks to the nutritional properties of sorghum, it’s beneficial to the body. We’ll tell you about those benefits and the position of science in this regard.

The properties of sorghum: Reduced risk of constipation

Fiber has proven to be a key nutrient for maintaining digestive health. Fiber reduces the risk of constipation by increasing the size of the fecal bolus and the motility of the intestine, promoting the speed of transit.

This is produced by stimulation of the mechanoreceptors located in the walls of the digestive tract, which send a nerve signal that triggers more intense peristaltic movements.

The properties of sorghum: Blood pressure control

High sodium intake is negative for maintaining adequate blood pressure levels. However, the properties of potassium to exert the opposite function are interesting in terms of compensation.

According to research published in the International Journal of Cardiology, this mineral is actually a blood pressure reducer. The good news is that sorghum contains significant concentrations of potassium. For this reason, it may be a good idea to include it in the menu of those with heart disease.

The properties of sorghum: Increased bone density

Calcium is one of the elements that determine bone density. There’s evidence that its assimilation at an intestinal level is much greater when vitamin D levels are adequate.

In any case, a correct intake of the mineral in the diet significantly reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis. Sorghum contains calcium in its interior, so the presence of this grain in the diet is considered positive for bone health.

The contraindications of sorghum

Sorghum contains a substance, hydrocyanic acid, which could cause health problems if consumed in excess. To avoid problems, you should avoid eating the leaves and stalk, as these are where the highest concentration of the toxic substance is found.

It’s also a good idea to cook it for 45 minutes to inactivate the residual substance. Otherwise, problems such as headaches may occur.

Likewise, you should take into account that there are people who have developed an allergy to this food. In this case, you should exclude it from your diet, due to the reaction that it produces, which could lead to serious conditions, such as shock.

How can sorghum be used in cooking?

Sorghum is used in cooking like any other grain. The best way is to cook it with water, as we have already mentioned, for at least 45-60 minutes over medium heat.

From here,  you can prepare it as an accompaniment to meat, as an addition to a sauce, or even as part of a salad. It’s important not to exceed the cooking time so that it’s not left with a chewing gum-like texture, which could be unpleasant.

Bowls of sorghum.
Including sorghum in the diet could be useful for people with celiac disease.

Sorghum is a gluten-free alternative

Sorghum is a grain that can fulfill the function of many grains that are part of your regular diet.

It has the advantage of not containing gluten in its composition, so it’s suitable for celiac and intolerant people. However, certain precautions must be taken when cooking it to avoid its toxicity.

It’s an excellent option to complete your fiber intake, guaranteeing also the intake of complex carbohydrates of low glycemic value. It combines well with sauces and is a fantastic garnish.

So, now that you know the nutritional properties of sorghum, what are you waiting for? Give it a try!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Christodoulides S, Dimidi E, Fragkos KC, Farmer AD, Whelan K, Scott SM. Systematic review with meta-analysis: effect of fibre supplementation on chronic idiopathic constipation in adults. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Jul;44(2):103-16
  • Filippini T, Violi F, D’Amico R, Vinceti M. The effect of potassium supplementation on blood pressure in hypertensive subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cardiol. 2017 Mar 1;230:127-135.
  • Goltzman D, Mannstadt M, Marcocci C. Physiology of the Calcium-Parathyroid Hormone-Vitamin D Axis. Front Horm Res. 2018;50:1-13.
  • Quiroga, Patricia N., and Valentina Olmos. “Revisión de la toxicocinética y la toxicodinamia del ácido cianhídrico y los cianuros.” Acta toxicológica argentina 17.1 (2009): 20-32.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.