Health Benefits Of Guinea Corn And Side Effects Of Guinea Corn -

Health Benefits Of Guinea Corn And Side Effects Of Guinea Corn

Health benefits of guinea corn and side effects of guinea corn? Guinea corn also known as sorghum is a nutritious gluten-free cereal belonging to the Poaceae grass family.

One of the most ancient cereals, guinea corn or sorghum, has been gaining a lot of popularity lately.

Science discovered that most of our health problems especially the ones linked to extra weight and constant fatigue could be as a result of an allergy to gluten.

As a result of this information, ‘organic’ grains have gained popularity especially here in Nigeria.

Many of them are gluten-free and it has been prescribed by promoters of healthy nutrition around the world.

It is one of the leading cereal crops worldwide and is the fifth-highest produced crop after maize, wheat, rice, and barley.

Also, it’s important to know that guinea corn originated from Africa {Nigeria for instance, especially in the North} where it is a staple food in many homes and serves as the first-choice weaning food for infants such as Akamu or pap.

The common names include millet, guinea corn, broom corn, sweet sorghum etc. In Nigeria languages, it is called Okababa among the Yorubas, Dawa/Jero in Hausa and Soro in Igbo.

Although thevery crop has not been given much attention, but it’s rich in fiber and phenolic compounds both known to prevent heart diseases and metabolic disorders.

However, before we dive into the benefits and possible side effects of guinea corn, let’s consider its nutritional content…..

1 cup or 192 grams of raw sorghum grain provides:

  1. Calories: 632 kcal
  2. Protein: 20 grams (g)
  3. Fat: 7 g
  4. Carbohydrates: 138 g
  5. Dietary Fiber: 12 g
  6. Thiamine: 0.6 milligrams (mg)
  7. Riboflavin: 0.1 mg
  8. Pantothenic acid: 0.7 mg
  9. Vitamin B6: 0.8 mg
  10. Copper: 0.5 mg
  11. Iron: 6 mg
  12. Magnesium: 317 mg
  13. Phosphorus: 555 mg
  14. Potassium: 697 mg
  15. Zinc: 3 mg
  16. Calcium: 25 mg
  17. Manganese: 3 mg

Health Benefits Of Guinea Corn And Side Effects Of Guinea Corn

The health benefits of adding guinea corn to your diet include:

Prevents Obesity

Guinea corn compounds form complexes with starch and protein in the digestive tract that provides a feeling of fullness or satiety and reduces overeating.

A recent study showed that healthy people who consumed biscuits made of guinea corn whole grain reported higher satiety and lower hunger ratings than wheat biscuits.

Prevents Diabetes

Guinea corn whole grain is an excellent food for people with diabetes.

Guinea corn has a relatively low starch digestibility. This is because the endosperm contains high levels of resistant and slowly digestible starch.

Additionally, guinea corn contains condensed Tannins that can react with starch and proteins to form bulk complexes in the gastrointestinal tract.

These complexes formed in the digestive tract gives you a feeling of fullness or satiety and lowers glycemic response.

A study also revealed that consuming guinea corn muffins influenced glucose and insulin levels, and improved glycemic response in healthy people.

Prevents Cancer

The anticancer activity of sorghum may be attributed to the potent antioxidant activity of its phenolic compounds.

Examples of these phenolic compounds are tannins and 3‐deoxyanthocyanidins.

Research has shown that guinea corn Tannins inhibit aromatase, an enzyme that is involved in breast cancer, and thus prevent the growth of cancer.

Tannins extracted from sorghum were also reported to be more effective against the growth of colon cancer cells than tannins from grape seed.

Additionally, a diet rich in dietary fiber helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases and colon cancer.

Provides Anti-Inflammatory Activity

Long‐term oxidative stress can lead to chronic inflammation and consequently can result in various chronic diseases.

During inflammation, a number of pro‐inflammatory compounds such as interleukin (IL), cyclooxygenase (COX)‐2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)‐α, and prostaglandin E2 (PG‐E2) are generated.

Many phenolic compounds from guinea corn grain have been demonstrated to inhibit the production of these pro‐inflammatory compounds.

Provides Antioxidant Activity

Oxidative stress which is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals is a leading cause of most chronic diseases.

Adding sorghum to your diet promotes health and prevents most chronic diseases.

Prevents Heart Diseases

Guinea corn grains contain fat (lipids) that have been shown to promote cardiovascular health by regulating the absorption, excretion, and synthesis of cholesterol.

A recent study showed that incorporating sorghum lipids into the diet of hamsters (rats) increased the excretion of cholesterol and its metabolites, and thus reduced the plasma and liver cholesterol levels in hamsters.

The whole grain also contains antioxidants that fight cardiovascular diseases.

Protects Against Celiac Disease

Unlike other major gluten‐containing cereal crops such as wheat and barley, guinea corn is considered to be gluten-free and is a promising and safe alternative food source for people with celiac disease.

Prevents Constipation

The high dietary fiber in guinea corn helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system.

Protects Bone Health

Sorghum is rich in calcium and magnesium, two important minerals essential for strong bones.

Magnesium stimulates the absorption of calcium. A deficiency in calcium or magnesium leads to osteoporosis and arthritis.

Provides Essential Nutrients And Minerals

Guinea corn is rich in iron and the B vitamins as shown above (thiamine, riboflavin, Panthothenic acid, etc.) which play an essential role in metabolism, neural development, skin, and hair health.

It is also a rich source of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium – minerals that are important for bone formation, heart health, and over 600 biochemical reactions in your body.

Most importantly, guinea corn is a good source of protein as it provides as much protein as quinoa.

Health Benefits Of Guinea Corn And Side Effects Of Guinea Corn

Culinary Uses

Guinea corn is versatile and easy to add to a wealth of recipes. The following are some ways you can enjoy it:

  1. Akara balls (black-eyed peas) with Akamu or Ogi (pap)
  2. Baby weaning food (Akamu or pap): You can ferment guinea corn with pearl millet and maize to make a healthy weaning food for infants.
  3. Replace rice or quinoa. You can cook whole grain and pearled guinea corn similarly to how you cook rice and quinoa.
  4. Guinea corn flour. Thanks to its neutral flavor and light colour, it can easily serve as a gluten-free flour in most recipes. Simply use it alone or swap it in at a 1:1 ratio to make pancakes, roti, tortillas, biscuits, and bread.
  5. Add the grains to a heated pan and watch them pop like popcorn. Add seasonings for extra flavor.
  6. Guinea corn sorghum syrup is commonly added to processed foods as a natural sweetener or an alternative to molasses (sugar cane syrup).
  7. Beer: In Nigeria especially the Northern part and other parts of Africa, guinea corn or sorghum is used to make a fermented alcohol beverage locally called “Burukutu”.

Health Benefits Of Guinea Corn And Side Effects Of Guinea Corn

Despite all the great benefits, there are also some side effects of guinea corn which you should know about.

  1. Due to its high fiber content, some people might suffer from gastrointestinal issues after eating guinea corn. Flatulence (the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal) is a common symptom of this issue.

However, this reaction is quite rare. High-fiber products (such as guinea corn) and meals from them are not recommended for people who are prone to or suffer from gastrointestinal diseases.

  1. There might be a problem if you suddenly switch from regular eating of rice to sorghum without giving your body a chance to adapt. This might lead to diarrhea or constipation.
  2. Be careful when it comes to children nutrition. Cereals with a large amount of dietary fiber are usually not suitable for the immature digestive system. Kids older than five years can begin taking a little amount of guinea corn. But it is important to observe any reaction by the child.
  3. For breastfeeding mothers, it all depends on your diet. If you have been eating guinea corn regularly before pregnancy, by all means, continue. But experts advise again suddenly switching to guinea corn diet during pregnancy.

This very article is intended for general informational purposes ONLY and does not address individual circumstances.

Also, it is not a substitute for DOCTOR’S advice. Share……..

 

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