Consumer Appetite Grows for Ancient, Nutritious Grain

Vegetable Medley (4 Servings) PDF VERSION

By: Kayla Wilkins, Communications Intern 

Grain sorghum is a wholesome, American grown ancient grain with many nutritional benefits that can enhance the meals you cook without compromising taste.

“Having grain sorghum in a diet, especially whole grain sorghum, so you get the fiber out of it, is really good to help meet dietary recommendations,” said Nancy Turner, Ph.D., Texas A&M research professor. “Sorghum is a good source of several vitamins and minerals.”

Sorghum’s five big nutrients are niacin, potassium, protein, magnesium and phosphorus. Not to mention, these nutrients are necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sorghum adds variety to those who have Celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or individuals choosing to adopt a gluten-free diet.

Nutrients present in grain sorghum promote metabolism and energy production, heart health and the formation of bones, muscle, cartilage and skin. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates 30 percent of the daily recommended value of protein can be found in one cup of uncooked grain sorghum.

“We are getting results showing we may have an opportunity to gain a multitude of benefits from consuming the grain,” Turner said. “It makes me really excited to see more sorghum get put into a variety of food sources for human consumption.”

In recent years, sorghum has made its way from being restricted to niche markets to making it into mainstream products like Kellogg’s Special K Gluten Free cereal, Multi Grain Cherrios Peanut Butter, Popped KIND bars and more! Consumers can find those food products and many more on the shelves at their local grocery store as well as online through commercial markets.

“I honestly think sorghum is going to continue to make its way into the commercial market, so consumers will begin to have more and more options,” Turner said.

Studies performed by Turner and her research team have indicated sorghum helps protect against intestinal diseases and assists in managing glucose levels, potentially helping diabetic patients.

Additionally, Turner and her team are exploring new horizons in respect to the health benefits of grain sorghum for cardiovascular health. Preliminary research suggests sorghum consumption leads to a reduction in cardiovascular risk.

“We are really excited about this new work looking at a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk that may be occurring with sorghum, we are very interested in pursuing that,” Turner said.

The future is bright for grain sorghum in the human food sector. Turner said it is simple to include this whole grain in your daily diet. Sorghum is versatile and can be included in any meal or snack, whether it is in your breakfast cereal or in your favorite dinner recipe. Incorporate sorghum to your diet and begin reaping the numerous health benefits it has to offer while adding new flavor and flare to your favorite dishes.

“Through a blending of sorghum varieties, we can do a lot with respect to helping the health of our nation,” Turner said.