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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- USDA: Nutrient Database: Sorghum
- Purdue News: Purdue Researcher Solves Sorghum Mystery
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber
- Eatright.org: The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Panel
- Penn Medicine: Fat in Your Diet
- American Heart Association: Potassium and High Blood Pressure
- Krause's Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy: L. Kathleen Mahan, Sylvia Escott-Stump
- The Complete Book of Food Counts: Corrine T. Netzer