White background featuring 3 green, red, yellow sorghum kernels

Food of the Month by Dr. Brewster Scott: Sorghum

Sorghum is a little known grain that packs a powerful punch.  It is a great alternative for those sensitive to wheat or corn, as its carbohydrate-to-protein ratio is approximately the same as these two common foods.  It has a slightly lower carbohydrate-to-protein ratio compared with wheat and slightly higher ratio when compared with corn.  It makes great substitute for wheat flour, and it can be popped as an alternative to popcorn.  In addition, it contains a large amount of insoluble fiber.  Insoluble fiber can be helpful in maintaining regular and healthy bowel movements.  Sorghum also contains appreciable amounts of Vitamin B1, B2 and B3, as well as iron and potassium.

There are three different types of sorghum: white, brown and black.  Each type has its own benefits, and it is important to distinguish between them.  White sorghum is primarily used for its carbohydrate and protein content, but brown and black sorghum are special.  They contain levels of antioxidant phenols that exceed many fruits.  These phenols are what lend brown and black sorghum their colour.

Brown sorghum has a very high content of phenols overall.  In fact, it contains four times as many phenols as blueberries (the poster child for phenols) and brown sorghum has an antioxidant action two times greater than blueberries.  Phenols are antioxidant substances that have been shown to help reduce the formation of several kinds of cancers, including esophageal, lung, breast, liver, pancreas and colon cancer.  The special qualities of the third type of sorghum, black sorghum, can only be understood if you know about anthocyanins.  There are several subtypes of phenols, but one subtype that has a lot of research behind it, is anthocyanins.  Anthocyanins are a type of phenol with a potent antioxidant effect. They can inhibit cardiovascular disease, decrease blood cholesterol, support healthy skin through strengthening collagen, support eyesight in diabetics, improve circulation in your extremities, and decrease tumor growth.  Compared to blueberries, some strains of black sorghum have 10 times the amount of anthocyanins. This antioxidant quality is unheard of in grains, and makes brown and black sorghum unique and important foods for those trying to heal inflammation and prevent cancer or cardiovascular disease.

They even make “Sorgo” from sorghum.  Sorgo is a syrup similar to maple syrup or molasses, that contains appreciable amounts of calcium, potassium and iron.  One note on syrups: It is important to remember that although sorghum as a whole grain, is wonderful healthy food, any refined sugar product, whether made from sorghum, corn, agave, maple trees, sugar cane, or others, contains concentrated sugar and cannot be considered a healthy food.  Consumption of foods containing concentrated sugar can lead to obesity and the development of type II diabetes.

For more information on sorghum please refer to:
“The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods” by Michael Murray, ND.,

In health and gratitude,

Dr. Brewster Scott, ND
250-858-3993 / dr.brewsterscott@gmail.com
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