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What is sorghum, exactly? Well, you may not have a bag of sorghum sitting in your pantry today, but you’ve probably enjoyed this ancient grain without even knowing you were eating it. Types of sorghum are quite often found as ingredients in various packaged foods like snack bars and cereal grains. On top of tasting great, this wild grain is also naturally lectin-free.

In vitro research has taught scientists over the years that sorghum is full of beneficial polyphenols and fat-soluble compounds that could potentially benefit your gut microbiota. Furthermore, researchers  believe sorghum may help with health issues related to the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Free radical damage 
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Heart health1

What is sorghum? There are several types of sorghum. This gluten-free whole grain can be used as a flour alternative, makes a great cereal grain, and much more.

What is Sorghum: This Nutrient Dense and Gluten-Free Whole Grain is Dr. Gundry-approved

sorghum | Gundry MDSorghum is many thousands of years old. It has been consumed in countries throughout the world for centuries.  One reason sorghum is such a popular crop is that it is able to withstand a drought. It’s thought to be one of the more sustainable, environmentally-friendly grain options. It’s environmental friendliness also makes it useful as an animal feed.

But what actually makes sorghum so great? Well, for starters it happens to get digested more slowly than other cereal grains. It’s also full of low digestibility proteins and unsaturated lipids — plus it’s an awesome source of minerals and vitamins. Moreover, most types of sorghum are rich in polyphenols and tannins. 2

And again — sorghum tends to need fewer natural resources when produced. It’s also quite high in dietary fiber. Plus, sorghum has moved into the spotlight as a healthy grain to be used for lectin-free baked goods and cooking for a lectin-free diet.

White sorghum happens to be the most common type of sorghum used in baking. But there are other types of sorghum, as well. Read on to learn more about the different products derived from the sorghum plant. 

sorghum grain | Gundry MD

Nutrients And Beneficial Vitamins And Minerals In Sorghum

One thing that makes sorghum so special is that it happens to be one of the two existing grains that actually have no hull. The hull of any grain is just its outer coating or shell(which is usually where the lectins would hide). But because sorghum has no hull, it also has no lectins. That’s right — it’s a lectin-free grain. Furthermore, sorghum is an awesome source of the following important nutrients and minerals:

  • Iron
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium 3

Different Types of Sorghum: Waxy, Black, White and Other Varieties of Sorghum Plant

Waxy sorghum — Waxy sorghum tends to have a thinner layer of bran than other types of sorghum. It also gelatinizes at lower temperatures than the other sorghums which make it an awesome binder and allows baked goods to retain their moisture. It’s also better for freezing and thawing should you want to preserve your bake for a while. 

types of sorghum | Gundry MDBlack sorghum — Black sorghum is another special kind of sorghum. It’s rather dark in color — often black or red in color — instead of the usual white or cream. 4 Interestingly enough, black sorghum is a hybrid of grains created by Texas A&M University. Black sorghum blends together potent antioxidants to help your body combat a spectrum of dangerous free radicals. 5

White sorghum —  White Sorghum flour is relatively high in insoluble fiber. And it has a somewhat small amount of soluble fiber. The protein and resistant starch components of sorghum are more slowly digested than other grains. Slower rates of digestibility are beneficial if you’re dealing with blood sugar issues. 6

Sweet sorghum — Sweet sorghum is a variety of sorghum grass. Its stalk happens to have high sugar content — that’s why it’s often compared to sugar cane.

What Kinds of Food Often Contains Sorghum? Sorghum Flour in Baked Goods and Cereal Grain

Now, remember, sorghum contains quite a bit of protein — 10 grams of protein per half-cup to be exact. And sorghum is an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and is gluten-free.7 Sorghum can also be eaten whole (once it is cooked) or it can be ground into flour blends and used for all your baking needs. 

sorghum porridge | Gundry MDThere are several sorghum-based cereal products on your grocer’s shelves these days. But you can also find sorghum in different baking flours and baked goods. It is said that sorghum can actually help to improve the texture of your baked items.

Due to its protein content (which is a little higher than its high fiber content) — sorghum should give your baked goods a nice structure and stability. And you won’t compromise flavor as some say sorghum flour tastes similar to wheat flour.

Using Sorghum in a Lectin-Free Diet: The Sky’s The Limit

Sorghum is incredibly versatile and can be put to use in a variety of dishes. You can eat sorghum as a cereal grain, you can prep it as a side with dinner, or you can even snack on it as you would with popcorn.  

One thing to remember when making sorghum… cook it when you have about an hour to spare. You can freeze it to use later (once it’s been cooked). Miraculously, this lectin-free grain will never get mushy. Enjoy the different ways to consume sorghum and your gut bugs will enjoy you feeding them something so healthy.

Learn More:

Delicious Sorghum Salad Recipe (by Dr. Gundry)

Eat This Not That: Healthy Food Substitutions With The Gundry Diet