Exploring Jowar: Names, Uses, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Sangeeta Sharma, last updated on 20 November 2023
Exploring Jowar: Names, Uses, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Did you know that jowar in English is known as sorghum and ranks among the top 5 cereals in the world? The other four include wheat, barley, corn, and oats. They are used widely in all parts of the world, including India.

Sorghum thrives in warm regions worldwide and grows naturally in open fields. This grain is not only safe to eat but also packed with valuable nutrients. Read the following to know about jowar, its uses, health benefits and side effects. 

What is Jowar?

Sorghum is often referred to as the "wonder grain." In our health-conscious era, a grain like sorghum, which is both versatile and gluten-free, is a fantastic choice. It's easy on the stomach and packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and protein, making it a healthy option. 

What's more, it's environmentally friendly, as an acre of sorghum uses significantly less water and fewer costly fertilizers than an acre of corn.

When it's young and still in its milky stage, you can consume it as is, but once it matures, you'll need to boil or grind it into flour to make it suitable for eating.

Jowar is known by various names, such as Jwari in Marathi, Cholam in Tamil, Jolal in Kannada, and Jonnalu in Telugu.

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Health Benefits of Jowar

The high nutrient composition of jowar makes it one of the best grains to ensure good health. The benefits of this whole grain include:

  1. Gluten-Free: It is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Gluten can cause digestive distress like pain, bloating, stomach cramps, etc. 
  2. Nutrient-Rich: Jowar is a nutrition powerhouse. It contains essential nutrients like vitamins (B vitamins, especially niacin and thiamin), minerals (iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus), and antioxidants. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. 
  3. Rich in Fibre: The fibre is primarily found in the outer layer of the grain, known as the bran. Jowar has way more fibre than grains like barley or rice. The high fibre content in jowar promotes healthy digestion by preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. Just one serving has more than 12 grams of fibre.
  4. Blood Sugar Control: Jowar has a low glycemic index, meaning it causes a gradual and steady rise in blood sugar levels. This is particularly advantageous for people with diabetes as it can help manage blood sugar levels.
  5. Bone Health: It is a good source of essential minerals like phosphorus and calcium. These minerals are vital for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
  6. Energy Boost: Jowar is rich in complex carbohydrates, which provide a steady and sustained release of energy. This makes it an excellent choice for athletes and those with active lifestyles.
  7. Antioxidants: The grain contains antioxidants like phenolic compounds and tannins. These antioxidants help protect the cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Uses of Jowar

Jowar is used to prepare a wide variety of foods all across the globe. Some of the best ways to include jowar in your diet include: 

  1. Flatbread: The easiest way to include Jowar is by making roti. Mix Jowar with other cereals and pulses to add nutrition. You can make multigrain atta by combining 50% whole wheat with 50% Jowar, along with grains like Bajra, Ragi, Soya, etc.
  2. Porridge: Use Jowar flour to prepare healthy porridge, especially for children. Mix Jowar with green mung, chana (Bengal gram), dal, and sago (Sabudana), and cook it. For savoury porridge, add cumin and salt, while for sweet porridge, use Gur (jaggery) and milk.
  3. South Indian Dishes: Incorporate Jowar into South Indian dishes like dosas and idlis by using a 2:1 ratio of Jowar flour to rice batter (two parts Jowar flour to one part rice batter).
  4. Jowar Cupcakes: Modify cupcake recipes by substituting 50% of the refined flour with whole wheat and Jowar flour.

Keep in mind that Jowar has a slightly denser texture compared to whole wheat, and the taste may take some adjustment. However, diversifying your grains can significantly enhance the nutritional value of your daily diet.

Jowar Nutritional Value

The jowar nutrient value is exceptionally high, and for one to make the most of the jowar benefits, its regular consumption is a great idea. The jowar nutrition in 100 gms is as follows:




348 KCal


  1. Sugar

72.88 g

0.17 g


10.68 g

Dietary fibre

4.2 g

Total fat

  1. Saturated Fat
  2. Monounsaturated Fat
  3. Polyunsaturated Fat

2.31 g

  1. 0.389g
  2. 0.525g
  3. 0.987g


425 mg


214 mg 


0 mg

Side Effects of Jowar

Jowar is a safe and healthy cereal, which does not have any side effects. However, when consumed in excess, it can result in the following problems:

  1. Digestive Discomfort: Eating too much jowar, especially without adequate water intake, might lead to digestive issues like bloating, gas, or diarrhoea.
  2. Caloric Intake: Jowar, like any grain, contains calories. Consuming excessive amounts without balancing your overall caloric intake can lead to weight gain.
  3. Nutrient Imbalance: Relying solely on jowar for a significant portion of your diet may lead to nutrient imbalances. Maintain a balanced diet for overall health.
  4. Phytates: Jowar contains phytates, which can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals like iron and zinc. However, this is generally not a concern with a balanced diet.
  5. Allergies or Sensitivities: Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to jowar, although this is relatively rare.


Jowar, a highly nutritious grain, offers numerous benefits when consumed in moderation. It is high in fibre content that aids digestion as it is gluten-free. However, one must make it part of a balanced diet to avoid any digestive distress.

HexaHealth is a state-of-the-art wellness platform providing people with accurate and relevant health information. Our expert team offers personalised guidance on nutrition, fitness, and overall well-being. We aim to enhance the well-being of individuals by providing them with the knowledge and tools to lead healthier lives.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is jowar in English known?

Jowar in English is known as sorghum. This crop is cultivated and used across many parts of the globe.

What are the health benefits of consuming jowar roti?

Jowar roti is a wholesome flatbread that can be consumed every day to enrich the body with many benefits. The jowar roti benefits are: 

  1. Gluten-free and gut-friendly 

  2. High nutritional value

  3. Aids weight management 

  4. High in dietary fibre

  5. Maintains steady blood sugar levels

What is the nutritional value of jowar?

Jowar is a highly nutritious grain. Its nutrient value can be explained through the following table:




348 KCal



72.88 g

0.17 g


10.68 g

Dietary fibre

4.2 g

Total fat

  1. Saturated Fat

  2. Monounsaturated Fat

  3. Polyunsaturated Fat

2.31 g

  1. 0.389g

  2. 0.525g

  3. 0.987g


425 mg


214 mg 

Is jowar good for diabetes patients?

For people with diabetes, jowar roti is an excellent replacement for wheat roti. The high dietary fibre in jowar controls the glycemic index, which does not cause a rapid spike in blood glucose.

How many calories are there in one jowar roti?

One jowar roti calorie is approximately around 191 KCal. The calorie content can depend on the size of the roti and other ingredients used in it.

What are the side effects of consuming jowar?

While jowar consumption in moderation has no side effects, overeating can lead to the following problems:

  1. Bloating 
  2. Gas
  3. Allergy

What are the benefits of including jowar atta in the diet?

Jowar atta offers multiple benefits when consumed daily. Some of its many advantages include:

  1. Gluten-free

  2. Rich in fibre

  3. Promotes gut and heart health 

  4. Controls blood sugar levels 

  5. Aids in weight management 

How does jowar compare to Bajra in terms of nutrition?

While both jowar and bajra are extremely healthy cereals, there can be some differences on the nutritional grounds. These include:

  1.  As compared to jowar, bajra has a higher protein content. 

  2. The dietary fibre in bajra is low as compared to the high fibre content in jowar

  3. Bajra has a higher fat content as compared to jowar

Can you provide details about Jowar's protein content?

One jowar roti protein content is approximately 5.87 g. The protein plays a crucial role in cell regeneration and boosting metabolism.

How does jowar help in managing diabetes?

For those wondering if jowar is good for diabetes, the answer is yes. Jowar can be beneficial in the following ways:

  1. Jowar, with its moderate glycemic index, offers significant advantages to individuals managing diabetes. 

  2. Regular consumption of jowar or jowar roti controls hepatic gluconeogenesis, a process beneficial for diabetes control. 

  3. Abundant in antioxidants and dietary fibre, jowar has demonstrated its potential to notably lower blood sugar levels. 

What are the uses of jowar in cooking?

There are many quick and easy ways through which jowar can be used for cooking. These include:

  1. Jowar bhakri

  2. Jowar upma 

  3. Porridge

  4. Dosa, and many more 

How does jowar contribute to fibre intake?

Compared to many other kinds of cereal, the fibre content in jowar is exceptionally high. A single serving of jowar contains almost 12 gms of fibre, which equals almost half of the recommended daily intake of fibre.

Can you explain the benefits of eating jowar bhakri?

Eating jowar bhakri on a regular basis offers endless advantages to the body. These include:

  1. Jowar Bhakri is a suitable choice for individuals on a low-calorie diet or those focused on weight management.

  2. It is low in calories and a rich source of vital nutrients, including fibre, protein, iron, magnesium, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.

  3. Jowar is a complex carbohydrate, resulting in gradual absorption in the bloodstream, preventing abrupt spikes in insulin levels.

  4. Its anti-inflammatory properties contribute to overall health and well-being.

What nutrients does jowar contain?

The nutrient content of jowar includes the following:

  1. Dietary fibre

  2. Iron

  3. Protein

  4. Calcium 

  5. Potassium and many other

How does jowar contribute to a healthy diet?

Jowar is a nutritional powerhouse containing a wealth of essential nutrients vital for maintaining overall physical and mental well-being. It's rich in vitamins, iron, calcium, and various other nutrients necessary for the body to perform crucial functions.

Is jowar rich in carbohydrates?

Yes, jowar is carbohydrate-rich. As per the USDA, a 100-gram serving of jowar supplies approximately 72 grams of carbohydrates, constituting roughly 24% of the daily recommended intake.

Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body and brain. They play a pivotal role in blood sugar and cholesterol level regulation.

How does jowar roti compare to regular roti in terms of nutrition?

As compared to wheat rotis, jowar rotis are nutritious in the following ways:

  1. High fibre content 

  2. Gluten-free

  3. Maintains blood sugar levels

  4. Helps in weight management

Can jowar be a part of weight management?

Yes, jowar is an excellent choice for weight management. This is because:

  1. It has a high-fibre content 

  2. Low in calories and is gluten-free

  3. It makes a person feel full, reducing cravings and hunger pangs

Is jowar beneficial for heart health?

Jowar contains phytosterols and polycosanols. These lipid compounds manage the synthesis, absorption, and elimination of cholesterol in the body. Also, the consumption of jowar may have a positive impact on blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart disease.  

However, if you have any heart-related concerns, it's best to consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

How does jowar roti impact calorie intake?

Jowar rotis have lower calorie content when compared to wheat rotis, which naturally assists in managing and regulating calorie intake.

How does jowar support digestive health?

Jowar consists of high dietary fibre and probiotic qualities. This supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, promoting proper diet and overall well-being.

Are there any possible side effects of consuming jowar?

While there are no potential side effects of consuming jowar, overeating can have some side effects. These include:

  1. Bloating 

  2. Weight gain 

  3. Problems with kidney stones 

Who should not consume jowar?

Jowar is a nutritious cereal that most people can consume. However, the following people should not consume jowar:

  1. Those with kidney problems 

  2. People with thyroid problems 

  3. Those who are allergic to jowar 

What precautions are required while consuming jowar?

For those who are consuming jowar, the following factors should be kept in mind:

  1. Ensure that the jowar seeds are thoroughly washed and cleaned before eating. 

  2. Do not add significant qualities of jowar all of a sudden to your diet, as it may cause stomach problems.

  3. Ensure that you are sourcing jowar from an authentic and reliable place. 


All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.

  1. Flavonoids’ presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop | Penn State University [Internet]. www.psu.edu. [cited 2023 Nov 6]. link
  2. Dykes L, Rooney LW. Sorghum and millet phenols and antioxidants. Journal of Cereal Science. 2006 Nov;44(3):236–51.link
  3. Hauser S, Wairegi L, Asadu C, Asawalam D, Jokthan G, Ugbe U. Sorghum-and millet-legume cropping systems [Internet]. [cited 2023 Nov 6]. link
  4. Dalziel JM. African Leather Dyes. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (Royal Gardens, Kew). 1926;1926(6):225.link
  5. Dillon SL, Lawrence PK, Henry RJ, Ross L, Price HJ, Johnston JS. Sorghum laxiflorum and S. macrospermum, the Australian native species most closely related to the cultivated S. bicolor based on ITS1 and ndhF sequence analysis of 25 Sorghum species. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 2004 Oct 18;249(3-link

Updated on : 20 November 2023


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Sangeeta Sharma

Sangeeta Sharma

BSc. Biochemistry I MSc. Biochemistry (Oxford College Bangalore)

6 Years Experience

She has extensive experience in content and regulatory writing with reputed organisations like Sun Pharmaceuticals and Innodata. Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical conten...View More

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