For Immediate Release 

February 14, 2023 

United Sorghum Checkoff Program Focuses on Heart Health this Valentine’s Day by Announcing National Sponsorship of American Heart Association’s® Healthy for Good™ Initiative

LUBBOCK, TX (February 14, 2023) – The United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP)  announced today its new national sponsorship of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for  Good™ initiative, which inspires Americans to make lasting changes in their diets and health one  small step at a time.  

“This is a first-of-its kind relationship for the Sorghum Checkoff and represents our strong  commitment to supporting healthy solutions and nutrition education for all Americans,” Sorghum Checkoff Director of Food Innovation and Institutional Markets, Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD,  said. “There is a growing body of research showing sorghum’s heart health benefits and we’re excited to be a national sponsor of Healthy for Good™ to help people improve their heart health through delicious, versatile and nutritious food choices, like sorghum.” 

“Eating fresh, nutrition-rich food benefits both your physical and mental health and is a key component of the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8, which identifies specific  health behaviors and health factors driving optimal heart and brain health,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for  prevention. “Our Healthy for Good initiative helps people eat smarter by providing recipes, articles and tips to build—and maintain—good nutritional habits. We look forward to adding to our popular “eat smart resources thanks to support from Sorghum Checkoff.” 

A serving of cooked whole grain sorghum is an excellent source of 12 essential nutrients, including protein, iron and zinc. Sorghum is a natural source of antioxidants, which may help to (1) lower one’s risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and some neurological diseases. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) Research has illustrated sorghum’s role in maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol  levels.8,9 

A staple in African, Asian and some Native American cuisines, sorghum is growing in popularity in American cuisine. Naturally gluten-free and non-GMO, sorghum is the perfect addition to any  diet. Vegetarians, those avoiding gluten, vegans and meat eaters alike can enjoy sorghum. The nutritious, versatile ingredient has a neutral, nutty flavor that can be enjoyed boiled in soups or grain bowls, popped as a crunchy snack or baked using sorghum flour.  

“Industry-changing innovations are happening for sorghum right now, for the better, and we are  committed to showing how sorghum can be incorporated as part of a healthy diet,” Sorghum  Checkoff Executive Director, Norma Ritz Johnson, said. “Our Healthy for Good sponsorship  announcement comes with perfect timing as February is recognized as the month for Americans  to focus on their cardiovascular health. Sorghum can be a catalyst for change in the area of health and nutrition.”  

Recipes, nutrition and more information are available at, and more information on American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, can be found at 


The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is a producer-funded organization that is dedicated to improving  the sorghum industry through research, promotion and education. For more information about the USCP  and other research projects please visit 


1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019.

2 Xu J, Wang W, Zhao Y. Phenolic Compounds in Whole Grain Sorghum and Their Health Benefits. Foods. 2021 Aug 19;10(8):1921. doi: 10.3390/foods10081921. PMID: 34441697; PMCID: PMC8392263.

3 Barros, F., Awika, J. and Rooney, L.W. (2014), Effect of molecular weight profile of sorghum proanthocyanidins on resistant starch formation. J. Sci. Food Agric., 94: 1212-1217.

4 Kim, J., Park, Y. Anti-diabetic effect of sorghum extract on hepatic gluconeogenesis of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.NutrMetab(Lond)9,106 (2012). 

5 Higgins JA. Resistant starch: metabolic effects and potential health benefits. J AOAC Int. 2004 May-Jun;87(3):761-8. PMID: 15287677. 

6 Lee SH, Lee HS, Lee J, AmarakoonD, Lou Z, Noronha LE, Herald TJ, Perumal R, SmolenskyD. Polyphenol Containing Sorghum Brans Exhibit an Anti-Cancer Effect in ApcMin/+ Mice Treated with Dextran Sodium Sulfate. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 1;22(15):8286. doi: 10.3390/ijms22158286. PMID: 34361052; PMCID: PMC8347436. 

7 Rezaee, N., Fernando, W. M. A. D. B., Hone, E., Sohrabi, H. R., Johnson, S. K., Gunzburg, S., & Martins, R. N. (2021). Potential of sorghum polyphenols to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease: A review article. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 13, Article 729949. 

8 Carr TP, Weller CL, Schlegel VL, CuppettSL, GuderianDM Jr, Johnson KR. Grain sorghum lipid extract reduces cholesterol absorption and plasma non-HDL cholesterol concentration in hamsters. J Nutr. 2005 Sep;135(9):2236-40. doi: 10.1093/jn/135.9.2236. PMID: 16140904. 

9 Kamath, V. et al, 2007, Chymotryptic hydrolysates of α-kafirin, the storage protein of sorghum (sorghum bicolor) exhibited angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitory activity. Food Chemistry.