Why is sorghum great for your gut?
Sorghum is a less well-known grain even though it has been around for centuries. If you haven’t tried sorghum before, it can be a great addition to help switch up your grain options. Sorghum aka millet is a small, round, often white or yellow cereal grain. It can be cooked like quinoa or rice, milled into a flour, or even popped like popcorn. This underrated cereal grain is also naturally gluten free that provides complex carbs, protein and a variety of micronutrients; a great option for those who suffer from Celiac disease.
Sorghum is a nutrient dense option that even contains B vitamins, which play an essential role in metabolism, neural development, and skin and hair health. In addition, one cup of sorghum provides 12 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein. A diet rich in fiber promotes gut health, stabilizes your blood sugar levels, and aids in weight management. This grain is also a great plant based protein option which is necessary for repairing cells and for growth and development. Together both fiber and protein help aid in satiety and even weight loss.
The bran in sorghum contains a unique array of polyphenols that can act as prebiotics to modify the gut microbiome, and protect against gut dysbiosis. Polyphenols are biologically active plant compounds that take on antibacterial and antioxidant function within the human body. One study examining the effect of sorghum bran polyphenols on normal weight and obese individuals found that sorghum consumption resulted in a significant increase in beneficial gut bacteria. This study also found there to be a small decrease in some pathogenic (harmful) bacterial species in the microbiomes of those who consumed the sorghum. Sorghum can also be a great food to include when introducing solid foods to infants. One study found that the inclusion of a variety of whole grains, including sorghum, during infant weaning contributed to significant, positive shifts in infant gut microbiota. Sorghum, in combination with other cereal grains, promotes a mature gut microbiome containing an abundance of plant-carbohydrate digesting bacteria. The development of the human gut microbiome during infancy is important for supporting lifelong health, and we want to make sure we are doing all we can to ensure our littles grow to be strong and healthier!
Ways to eat it
Mixed into a salad for a warm and hearty addition
Switch out your morning oats for sorghum porridge
#GoodGut tip: soaking sorghum and rinsing it prior to cooking may increase digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients
Recipe: Sorghum Berry Bowl
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
3 cups sorghum (cook according to package directions), cooked
1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk (if soy milk is hard on the stomach, use coconut or cashew milk)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)
1-2 medjool dates, pitted
2 cups raspberries
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp chia seeds
Combine cooked sorghum, non-dairy milk, cinnamon, dates, and cardamom in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often, until liquid is reduced.
Remove pan from heat, and stir in vanilla.
Serve topped with raspberries, chopped walnuts, chia seeds, and additional milk if desired.
Heal with each meal!
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Ashley, D., Marasini, D., Brownmiller, C., Lee, J. A., Carbonero, F., & Lee, S. (2019, January
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