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Nutritional & Therapeutic Values of Guinea Corn

by
author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Nutritional & Therapeutic Values of Guinea Corn
Sorghum plant growing in a field. Photo Credit sayanjo65/iStock/Getty Images

Sorghum, also known as "guinea corn," is a cereal grain that originated in Africa and is eaten throughout the world. It is especially valuable in arid terrain because of its resistance to drought. Guinea corn is a nutrient-rich grain that is often ground into flour to make bread, porridge and pancakes. Including it in your diet offers a number of nutritional and therapeutic benefits.

Calories in Guinea Corn

A 1/4 cup serving of dry guinea corn contains 163 calories. Compared to other grains, guinea corn contains about the same amount of calories. For example, a 1/4 cup serving of dry oat groats contains 160 calories; 1/4 cup of dry barley is 140 calories.

Protein

Guinea corn contains about the same and sometimes more protein than many other grains, according to Purdue University. However, the protein is not as readily absorbed because each protein in the grain is surrounded by a tough protein wall that requires more time to digest. About 46 percent of the protein in the guinea corn is absorbed, versus 81 percent in wheat and 73 percent in corn. A 1/4 cup serving of guinea corn contains 5 grams of protein.

Carbohydrates

Most of the calories in guinea corn come from its carbohydrate content, making it a good source of energy. A 1/4 cup serving contains 36 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, adding bulk to stool to improve bowel function. In addition, the fiber in the guinea corn can also decrease your risk of heart disease by decreasing blood cholesterol levels. One serving of guinea corn meets 16 percent of your daily value for fiber.

Fat Content

Guinea corn is a low-fat food product, containing 1.6 grams of total fat, 0.2 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams monounsaturated fat and 0.7 grams of polyunsaturated fat per 1/4 cup serving. Choosing more low-fat foods in your diet can help reduce your overall fat intake, lowering your risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers and obesity.

Minerals in Guinea Corn

One nutritional highlight of guinea corn is its mineral content. A 1/4 cup serving contains 13 milligrams of calcium, 2.1 milligrams of iron, 138 milligrams of phosphorus and 168 milligrams of potassium. Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals needed for bone health and strength. Adequate intakes of iron support the transportation of oxygen in your body, and help promote cell growth and development. Potassium helps maintain fluid balance, and high intakes improve blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

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