Jowar or sorghum is prized as a healthy alternative to refined flour or all-purpose flour, this fibre-rich millet is cultivated extensively in India. It is a flowering plant belonging to the grass family Poaceae, and it is cultivated globally -Australia, Africa, Asia and Central America. It was a part of a regular meal plan for human for more than 5000 years across the globe through civilizations.
Sorghum bicolour a common species of jowar, native to Africa is an important cereal crop, used mainly for food, animal fodder, making of alcoholic beverages and biofuels. Jowar is a drought and heat-resistant plant which grows in an arid and dry region and forms the staple grain for poor and rural people. Also Read Ragi: Nutrition, Health Benefits, Uses For Skin And Hair, Side Effects
Jowar is clad by several names such as durra, Egyptian millet, great millet, kafir corn, feterita, guinea corn, Sudan grass, milo, Juwar, Jwari in Marathi, Cholam in Tamil, Jolal in Kannada and Jonnalu in Telugu.
Jowar is a towering plant growing over six feet tall, but many other varieties which are generally cultivated are dwarf breeds making it convenient for harvest. As it adapts well to any extreme climatic conditions it is believed to maintain a stable nutrition profile. It is generally red and hard when it is ripe and dried after harvesting to increase the shelf -life of the grain. It is used to make many traditional delights like porridge, bread, cakes, cookies, couscous and malted beverages. However, jowar porridge made with milk and water is the easiest and nutritious dish.
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Jowar is gaining popularity in recent times among fitness enthusiast as a healthy substitute for wheat grain. It can be consumed as a whole cereal or ground into flour, the flour has a fine texture and soft feel. The flour is smooth and gooey as oatmeal but not heavy as wheat. The pancake and baked foods made out of jowar are light and fluffy, delectable to eat. As it has a sweet taste, jowar is used to produce alcoholic beverages.
Jowar Doshas /Ayurvedic Uses
Jowar is generally madhura and kashaya in rasa and easily digestible (laghu). It can pacify the Vata and Kapha dosha and has a cold potency (Sheeta Virya). The myriad of essential nutrients in jowar include iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Besides these, essentials phytochemicals abundant in this millet have been beneficial in losing weight and promoting heart health.
The wealth of nutrients in jowar makes this cereal as one of the most commonly used grains since times immemorial for its indispensable health benefits. Over the years this staple grain had lost somewhere in the era of urbanization and overdependence on refined and processed foods. It is important for us to start relishing our traditional foods to reap its incredible nutrient profile.
Jowar is loaded with protein, carbohydrate and dietary fibre which promotes growth and development, it is an ideal cereal in weight watcher’s diet and also regulates diabetes. Imbued with immense amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, these minerals fortifies the bones, strengthen the immunity and keeps diseases at bay. Apart from this, jowar also contains a notable amount of vitamins thiamine, niacin, folate and riboflavin that are known to boost overall health. Also Read:5 Best Reasons Why You Should Include Millets In Daily Diet
Nutrition Facts Serving Size 100 g
Total Fat 3.5g
Saturated Fat 0.6g
Total Carbohydrate 72g
Dietary Fiber 6.7g
*Source As Per The USDA
Is Jowar High In Carbs?
Jowar is rich in complex carbohydrate, a good source of carbs and one single jowar roti provides you with 10.2g of carbs. It is slow releasing resistant starch that is absorbed very slowly in the gut, keeps you satiated and does not cause a surge in blood glucose levels.
Jowar Vs Bajra
Jowar or sorghum is the most commonly used millet since ancient times, a native of Africa and this cereal is widely grown in India. Jowar is a gluten-free and protein-rich millet which is now touted as a healthy alternative for Maida. Also known as white millet, this grain jam-packed with nutrients offers a magnitude of health benefits including weight loss, regulates diabetes, promotes optimal cardiac health, boost energy levels to mention a few.
Bajra is also one of the varieties of millets also known as black millet or pearl millet, which is widely grown in India. This gluten-free millet is beneficial for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, promotes digestion and maintain gut health. Bajra power-packed with fibre, magnesium, potassium and calcium offers several health incentives including dilates the blood vessels, improve the circulation, lowers cholesterol, enhances heart health, regulates diabetes and controls blood pressure.
Yellow Jowar And White Jowar
White jowar variety has a glycemic index of 49.85 and the yellow jowar has a glycemic index of 52.56, both the types are packed with antioxidants and dietary fibre which is proven to significantly regulate blood sugar levels. The presence of resistant starch in jowar makes this humble grain a staple food in the diabetic’s meal plan.
Health Benefits Of Jowar
Promotes Gut Health
Jowar aids in the smooth functioning of the digestive system owing to its abundance of dietary fibre. It is valued as one of the best foods in the world that improve the digestion process and gluten-free food for gut health as it meets about 48% of dietary fibre recommendation of a normal adult. Furthermore, regular addition of jowar can help to avert bloating, constipation, flatulence, indigestion, cramping, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal woes.
Remedies Cancer Treatment
The presence of potent antioxidant in jowar is greatly valued as it prevents the risk of several types of cancer. The bran layer of jowar contains the rarest antioxidant that plays a pivotal role in the human body. These antioxidants are found in very few foods and are well-known to prevent certain cancers like oesophagal cancer and stomach cancer. Individuals who make jowar as a staple food when compared to people who take wheat or corn has a remarkably lesser chance of developing cancer, as the antioxidants scavenge free radicals that promote the formation of cancer cells.
Enhances Heart Health
The goodness of phytochemicals phenols, tannins and plant sterols in jowar are known to have a hypocholesterolemic effect. As per the journal of nutrition 10-20mg of policosanols extracts from jowar can significantly reduce the LDL cholesterol levels. Noteworthy amounts of antioxidants, vitamins E, B and minerals iron and magnesium is valuable in lowering cholesterol levels, averts plague formation and improves the blood flow and circulation. Furthermore, it prevents clogging of platelets and lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.
Jowar is considered as the perfect grain that should be added in the diabetic’s meal plan, as it is moderate in the glycemic index. The bran of jowar rich in tannin secretes enzymes that have the ability to reduce the absorption of sugar and starch in the body. Jowar thus regulates the glucose levels and insulin sensitivity in the body assisting in better diabetes control. Besides these, high on fibre, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate jowar delays gastric emptying, slows the release and absorption of glucose in the bloodstream and averts blood sugar spikes. Consuming jowar roti on a regular basis can reduce hepatic gluconeogenesis.
Jowar For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Gluten intolerance and the aftermath of consuming wheat-based products takes a toll on an individual’s health and the allergy can result in celiac disease. Jowar comes has a healthy and nutritious alternative for wheat for all people who are sensitive to gluten. Jowar in the diet lessens inflammation, indigestion, nausea and other gastrointestinal woes caused due to gluten. Also Read:8 Common Signs Associated With Gluten Intolerance, You Should Never Ignore
Jowar is overpowered with niacin or vitamin B3, niacin is an essential nutrient which is a vital component in the metabolism of energy in the body. Addition of jowar in the diet regimen lifts up the metabolism and boosts the energy levels throughout the day. Moreover, jowar offers you with 28% of dietary allowance of niacin from a single serving.
Ample amount of magnesium in jowar assists in enhancing the calcium absorption which stimulates to keep up the calcium levels and augments bones health. Calcium and magnesium are two most important bone-friendly nutrients which assist in bone redevelopment and quickens the healing of the fractured and ageing bones. Regular addition of jowar millets in the elderly people diet plans can avert the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis.
Improves Hemoglobin Level
Jowar is imbued with essential minerals iron and copper which work together to improve the blood flow and circulation in the body. Iron is an essential mineral needed for the development of red blood cells, copper aids the absorption of iron in the body, thus promoting cell growth and repair and augmenting the overall circulation of the blood and treats anaemia. Addition of jowar in your meal plan provides you with 58% of the recommended allowance of copper from a single serving and can also stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Jowar For Weight Loss
If you are trying really hard to lose those extra fats, then start adding jowar in your diet, as the whopping amount of fibre and about 22 grams of protein promotes to build muscle mass, delays digestion, curb hunger pangs, reduce the calorie intake and helps in losing weight. Jowar is a healthy and nutritious cereal that can add variety to your diet and at the same time work amazing well on your overall health and weight.
Which Atta Is Best For Weight Loss?
Jowar is a valued as one of the best atta for weight loss and a wholesome alternative for wheat roti. The wealth of nutrients including protein, dietary fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins and C helps in regulating blood sugar levels, control appetite, promotes weight loss and boost energy levels. Apart from these, jowar being a gluten-free grain makes it a heathiest flour for the gut and supports weight loss.
Jowar Benefits For Skin
The goodness of essential nutrients in jowar includes calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate and antioxidants that work well to keep the skin look healthy and glow naturally.
Make a jowar face pack by adding 2-3 teaspoon of jowar flour, curd 2 teaspoons and few drops of honey, apply gently over the face and allow it stay for 15 minutes, then rinse well, this wonderful face pack keep the skin hydrated and look radiant. Studies have also revealed that jowar averts the production of excess of melanoma cells which causes skin cancer.
Is Jowar Keto-friendly?
Basically, a ketogenic diet is high fat and low carb diet. The keto diet emphasis on eating foods rich in fats and proteins like chicken, eggs, nuts and allows you to take a minimal amount of carbs which should be less than 12-15gram of net grams in a day. On an average one, jowar roti provides you with 10.2 grams of carbs and 49 calories, hence roti made with jowar can be incorporated on a keto-friendly diet occasionally provided you keep a check on other sources of carbohydrate, and it should not exceed more than 15 grams of net carb content for the day. Almond flour and coconut flour are the most preferred sources of flour in the keto diet.
Coriander Jowar Roti
1 cup jowar flour
3/4 cup hot water
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp finely chopped green chilli
¼ tsp ajwain
Salt as required
Ghee as required
In a bowl take jowar flour, add all other ingredients and mix ¾ cup of hot water and knead well to make a smooth dough.
Make a small size dough ball, pat and flatten with the help of palm and finger, pat gently to get a round shape.
Dust with jowar flour if needed and pat as thin as possible. Lift the roti gently with a spatula and place it on a hot tawa with the flour side facing you.
Sprinkle some water all over the roti with your fingers and allow the base to cook for a few minutes and then flip jowar roti and allow the watered side to cook well until brown spots appear.
Gently press the roti and cook all sides well.
Add a drop of ghee while serving and relish the roti with garlic, onion chutney.
Jowar roti is a healthy and nutritious alternative for whole wheat roti. Protein-packed and fibre-rich roti keep you satiated, delays digestion, curbs unwanted craving and regulates blood sugar levels. This delicious roti is imbued with iron, calcium, phosphorus and it is also low on calories lending you just 49 calories,1.5g of protein and 1.4g of fibre per roti. Coriander leaves added in this roti gives its distinct flavour and also heaped with iron, magnesium, vitamin C and K triggers immunity and boosts overall health. Ajwain aids digestion and chilli add spice to the roti.
½ cup Jowar flour
2 tbsp ghee
6-8 cashew nuts
150 ml of milk
½ cup jaggery
2 tbs sugar
½ tsp Cardamom
2 tsp finely chopped almonds
Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashews and raisins and keep it aside.
In the same pan add jowar flour and stir well until the flour gets cooked in the ghee and get a nice aroma.
Cook the flour for about 5-6 minutes on a very slow flame and switch off the flame.
To the cooked flour add milk little by little, stirring constantly into a smooth paste without any lumps.
Place the pan on the stove add grated jaggery, sugar and stir continuously till the jaggery melts.
Keep cooking, add ghee if needed and stir continuously until the mixture becomes a thick mass and the ghee is releasing from the sides.
Add cardamom powder and mix well, switch off the stove.
Garnish with fried nuts and chopped almonds and serve the halwa.
Jowar, the healthiest millet is valuable for promoting digestion, regulating diabetes, strengthens bones and muscles. Milk with a good amount of protein and calcium boost energy and triggers immunity. Jaggery is packed with iron, essential for normal blood flow and preventing anaemia. Cashews abound in protein for promoting normal growth and development in the body. Raisins rich in iron and calcium pumps iron levels and restores bone mass. Almonds overpowered with healthy fats augments optimal cardiac functions.
In general, adding mature plant of jowar in the regular diet plan in moderate quantities is well tolerated by all and it even beneficial for diabetic patients and one’s who wants to lose weight. However immature jowar contain hydrogen cyanide which is poisonous and known to cause respiratory problems and if taken in huge quantities can be fatal.
Jowar is jam-packed with essential nutrients that are beneficial not only for growth and development but also bolsters immunity, prevents cancer, promotes digestion and control diabetes. Being a gluten-free grain, jowar is a perfect cereal to combat celiac disease, gluten intolerance and enhances overall health. This humble millet is used since times immemorial for its magnitude of health benefits and rich nutrient profile. Add this healthy grain in your regular meal plan to reap the wellness incentives of jowar and also add variety to your staple diet.