Benefits of an Ancient Supergrain - Jowar and Jowar Flour

Benefits of an Ancient Supergrain - Jowar and Jowar Flour

When we think of being healthy, we think of exercise, eating right, and getting proper rest. However what we need to realize is that exercise and rest only play a small role in your journey towards being healthy and fit. Our diet plays a more significant role than rest and exercise combined, and what we eat is reflected in how our body flourishes.

Every health-conscious individual knows the importance of switching to different flour alternatives to limit gluten intake. When we think of gluten-free flour alternatives, we may think of almond flour, ragi flour, or bajra flour. But one of the best gluten-free flours is jowar flour. But what is jowar flour?

Jowar, or sorghum, is an ancient crop of African origin and significant in the semi-arid tropics of Africa and South Asia, with substantial production in China, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Sorghum is an ancient cereal grain that belongs to the Panicoideae family. It originated in parts of Africa over 5,000 years ago and is currently considered the fifth-most important cereal crop grown in the world. The earliest known records of domesticated sorghum until now were reported from Late Harappan India, which means this grain is almost as ancient as the Indian civilization!

Also known as great millet, durra, jowari, or milo, sorghum is used for animal feed, human consumption, and ethanol production. Sorghum is known to have a multitude of health benefits and is usually ground into jowar flour and used in a variety of dishes. It is widely consumed all over India, but before we continue, let us first observe what makes this grain so versatile and nutritious.

Jowar Flour (Sorghum) Nutritional Facts

Jowar is just one of the many cereals or millets that are found and consumed in India. It is one of the top five cereals consumed worldwide, and in India, it is widely cultivated in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh. It is widely popular for its various benefits and dense nutritional content, which are listed below. The values listed below are as per 1 cup of jowar flour i.e roughly 121 grams and 100gms.

Name Amount( 1cup, 121 gms) Amount(100gms)
Water 12.5g 10.3 g
Calories 434kcal 359 kcal
Protein 10.2g 8.43 g
Fat 4.04 3.34 g
Carbohydrates 92.7g 76.6 g
Total Sugars 2.35 1.94 g
Fiber, total dietary 7.99 6.6g

Health benefits of Jowar Flour (Sorghum Flour)

1. Rich in Fiber

One cup of sorghum flour contains almost 8 grams of fiber! Fiber-rich foods like jowar flour help to aid digestion, lower bad cholesterol (LDL), and increase the effects of good cholesterol (HDL). Insoluble fiber in sorghum flour benefits your body’s digestive health and even helps to relieve constipation. Additionally, fiber makes you feel full for longer and will keep you from overeating!

2. Gluten-Free

For all health-conscious people looking for a great flour substitute to avoid the unnecessary bloating caused by gluten, jowar flour is the answer to your problems. Sorghum flour is entirely gluten-free, and that will boost your health journey forward in leaps and bounds. Additionally, it can even be an excellent option for individuals with gluten intolerance.

3. Good for Diabetics

As jowar is a complex carbohydrate, it gets absorbed slowly into the bloodstream after digestion and, hence, does not create as much of a sugar spike as other gluten-based flour. Thus, it is ideal for individuals with diabetes or those who are pre-diabetic.

4. Reduces Inflammation and Oxidation

Jowar flour is remarkably high in phytochemicals, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Additionally, these phytochemicals are also known for their role in preventing cancer by reducing the oxidation damage to our cells. So, safeguard your health and switch to sorghum flour today!

5. Protein Rich

One cup of sorghum flour provides you with 10.2 grams of protein! Sorghum flour benefits vegetarians the most because when paired with legumes and pulses, it can be a source of all necessary nutrients like protein and amino acids needed to sustain a healthy body. It is the ideal cereal to boost your nutrient intake and your well-being.

6. High in Magnesium

Jowar flour is remarkably high in magnesium, which helps with heart function by normalizing your heartbeat and with calcium absorption in the body to help strengthen bones. Rich in Iron One cup of sorghum flour has 3.8 grams of iron present in it, which is essential for several bodily functions. Additionally, individuals with iron deficiencies are often at risk of developing conditions like anemia. Consuming iron-rich foods like jowar flour can help reduce the potential risk of anemia while also naturally supplementing the body with iron and other vital nutrients.

7. Lowers Blood Pressure

Cereals like sorghum are very high in potassium, which plays a vital role in reducing your blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods help to reduce the impact of sodium in our bodies. For individuals with hypertension, this grain is the perfect natural source of potassium in case they need to increase their nutrient intake.

8. Alkaline

Due to jowar flour’s alkaline nature, it's a natural and healthy cure for painful acidity. Including bajra in your diet will help to maintain the pH balance in your digestive tract and stomach and ensure that you do not have to endure any distress caused by excessive acids harming your stomach lining. If acidity is not controlled, it may even lead to painful stomach ulcers.

9. Good for Endurance

Due to sorghum flour being high in protein, fiber, and alkaline in nature, it helps to reduce blood pressure and increase the production of red blood cells (RBCs). This helps to improve your overall energy levels, and for endurance athletes, such foods can even help enhance their performance!

10. Rich in Folic Acid

Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is a very crucial micronutrient that is needed to produce and maintain new cells in the body, especially RBCs. Additionally, folic acid is even known to prevent detrimental changes in our DNA, which, if left unmonitored, could even lead to the development of cancer! Hence, consuming foods with a healthy amount of folic acid, like jowar flour, may help to prevent such possibilities and boost your general well-being.

11. Good for Bones

Jowar grains are rich in phosphorus, which is a critical micronutrient that works with calcium to maintain bone health and supplement bone density. Hence, older individuals, as well as growing children, will benefit greatly from the consumption of jowar flour.

12. Good for Eyes

Sorghum flour is notably loaded with zinc, and zinc helps in the activity of certain enzymes in our bodies that help in the production of Vitamin A, which is known to be beneficial for our eyes and helpful in preventing a condition known as night blindness. Additionally, zinc is also useful for healing your skin and preventing aging.

13. Carbohydrate Metabolism

As we know, jowar flour is rich in several essential vitamins and minerals. It is especially rich in Vitamin B1, which is crucial for enhancing the process of glucose metabolism. This process essentially is the breakdown of carbohydrates and their conversion into energy and sugar.

Tips for Baking and Cooking with Jowar Flour (Sorghum Flour)

Now that we have studied the nutritional profile and various sorghum flour benefits let us understand how to incorporate this super-grain into our diets. Jowar is most commonly consumed in the form of flatbreads in countries like India. In India, it is usually consumed as a dry bhakri as a snack and as a roti. Additionally, jowar is also ground into jowar flour and used for a multitude of uses, like to make flatbreads (in India), to cook with rice to make a cereal-rich one-pot meal, somewhat like a khichdi (in Korea), or even to make tortillas (in Central America)! Jowar is known for its slightly sweet taste and is commonly used as a flour alternative to wheat-based flour in gluten-free cooking.

Here are some tips for when cooking or baking with sorghum flour:

  • When shopping for jowar flour, look for 100% sorghum flour that hasn’t been refined, enriched, or bleached.
  • Try using sorghum flour in gluten-free recipes for baked simple goods like bread, muffins, cookies, and pancakes.
  • Substitute sorghum flour for wheat flour as part of a flour blend, using 15% to 30% sorghum flour for the best results.
  • Use a binding agent like xanthan gum or cornstarch when baking with jowar flour to make sure your recipe turns out with the right texture.
  • When baking with sorghum flour, use a little more oil, fat, or an extra egg to improve the texture and moisture content of your recipe.
  • Sorghum flour combines well with other mild-tasting, gluten-free flour such as rice flour, corn flour, or potato starch.
  • Store your sorghum flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months.
  • Try cooking jowar as a whole grain using a slow cooker, rice cooker, or even on the stovetop like you would cook rice or barley.

How to Incorporate Jowar Flour in Your Diet

  • Jowar Roti or Bhakri: Jowar flour can be used to make flatbreads like jowar roti or bhakri. Mix the flour with water, form a dough, and then roll it into flat discs or hand-shape into flatbreads. You can cook them or roast them on a griddle or tawa.

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  • Jowar Khichdi: You can even whip up a wholesome, filling khichdi by combining jowar flour with rice, lentils, spices, and vegetables.
  • Jowar Paratha: You can try jowar flour recipes by making stuffed or layered parathas using jowar flour. You can stuff them with spiced vegetables, paneer, cheese, or any other filling of your choice!
  • Jowar Dosa: You can even prepare dosas with jowar flour! Start your sorghum flour recipe by mixing jowar flour with rice flour and urad dal. Ferment the batter overnight and make crispy dosas on a griddle.
  • Jowar Upma: One more innovative recipe using sorghum flour is to make jowar upma! Sauté jowar flour with vegetables and spices to make a tasty and nutritious upma. It's a quick and satisfying breakfast option.
  • Jowar Paniyaram: A sweet or savory recipe using jowar flour is paniyarams. You can start by mixing jowar flour with yogurt, spices, chopped vegetables, or dried nuts, depending on your preference. Proceed to cook the mixture in a paniyaram pan.
  • Jowar Porridge: Try cooking jowar flour with milk or water to make a warm and comforting porridge. You can even add sweeteners like honey or jaggery, along with nuts and fruits.

This ancient super grain may have originated centuries ago, but we can still see its positive impact on our diets and our cultural cuisines even today. So why not choose to employ the various jowar flour benefits and switch to a healthier lifestyle that benefits you and your loved ones for years to come? Choose health, and choose an ancient food that is a solution to several modern-day problems.


1. Can jowar be eaten every day?

Yes, you can have jowar regularly. Adding this gluten-free grain promotes weight loss, controls blood sugar levels, prevents cancer, and enhances gut and heart health. Hence, you should include this super-grain in your diet regimen to harness its incredible health benefits.

2. Is jowar flour good for diabetics?

Foods with a low glycemic index are considered good for people with diabetes and jowar is one of the healthy cereals people can consume for keeping their blood sugar levels in control. It has resistant starch and lower sugar content as compared to other grains like wheat and hence doesn’t cause insulin spikes when it is absorbed into the bloodstream after digestion.

3. Can we mix jowar and ragi flour?

This combination of flour is an excellent choice for health-conscious individuals looking to incorporate the goodness of multiple grains into their diet.

4. Is jowar flour good for pregnancy?

Jowar is a wholesome ingredient for pregnant women as it has many healthy nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Essential micronutrients like zinc, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, etc., which are found in jowar, are necessary for sufficient nourishment, robust growth, and development of expecting mothers and babies.

5. Is jowar flour good for weight loss?

Jowar is valued as one of the best grains for weight loss and a wholesome alternative to wheat. The multitude of nutrients, including protein, dietary fiber, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins, and C vitamins, help regulate blood sugar levels, control appetite, promote weight loss, and boost energy levels.