Teff, an ancient grain originated from Ethiopia, is gaining more and more popularity as a diet staple every year. Due to its large list of benefits ranging from diet, circulation, performance, and more, it provides an advantage that beats even the better known gluten-free substitutes: quinoa and buckwheat. Here are 10 facts about teff and why you should add the super food to your diet.
1. Immune system help
Teff is small in size, but it is highly nutritious. One single serving size (1 cup, cooked) provides a great source of vitamin C (unlike most grains), vitamin B, fiber, protein, iron, calcium, and other essential minerals. What does that mean for you? Keep reading...
2. Rich in Iron
Iron is necessary in the activation of the process of oxygen being transported from your lungs to the rest of your body. Not only can a deficiency in iron lead to fatigue and feeling weak, it can also disrupt aspects of brain function (even in mild cases). Endurance athletes run a higher risk of iron deficiency since foods like quinoa and oats don't provide enough iron to the body. A study by Manchester Metropolitan University found that female athletes noticed improvements in their performance and energy levels after including teff bread in their daily diet for 6 weeks. Just 1/4 cup of dry teff provides about 20 percent of the daily recommended amount, compared to 11 and 5 percent for quinoa and oats.
3. Blood sugar control
Teff has a lower glycemic index (GI) than wheat products. The grain is helpful in producing a slow release of insulin into the bloodstream to prevent any dangerous spikes or drops of sugar. One cup of teff provides the body with more than 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of manganese, a compound that balances sugar within the bloodstream.
4. Energy for better performance
Consider adding teff to your breakfast. It provides an energy boost comparable to coffee, but without that caffeine crash. That's why professional athletes consume teff products regularly during training and competing. It is important to remember that, because teff is so slowly digested, it is good for sustained energy but best consumed a while before a workout.
5. Better digestion
Teff is high in fiber. Fiber is important because it helps the body digest the food more easily. This means the body can then more easily take in any nutrients from the foods consumed. One cup of cooked teff contains 7 grams of dietary fiber. Thus, consuming teff can be beneficial for regulating bowel movement and improving colon health.
6. Delaying Hunger
Teff keeps you fuller for longer and promotes weight loss. Due to the high protein content, it sustains appetite throughout the day and is a great addition for performance or dieting purposes. Adding teff to your breakfast can give you energy for the day whilst lowering your intake of unhealthy snacks.
It is naturally gluten-free! This means individuals with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance can enjoy the health benefits of teff without creating any damage to their digestive system. Keep in mind when using teff flour in any baked goods that the recipe won't rise to or reach a similar texture due to the lack of gluten.
Apart from its original use in Ethiopia's injera (sourdough bread), teff can be found in a wide variety of dishes. This super grain can be eaten whole or broken down in any cooking method. The cooking time is similar to that of quinoa. We offer teff in a variety of forms: brown or white, organic or conventional, whole grain or flour, flake and even puffed. Besides teff, Millets Place also offers several other grains such as fonio in peeled or unpeeled form.
Encompassing a completely unique flavor profile, the grain is comparable to poppy seeds in form and nuts in taste and texture, and can act as a great addition to many different recipes.
Apart from its health benefits, teff is also environmentally sustainable. Due to the grain's high adaptability, it can survive extreme weather conditions where other crops would not. The grain is able to thrive without pesticides or fertilizers because it is naturally resistant to pests and disease. Lastly, just one pound of teff seeds is enough to grow an entire acre of teff! It's amazing how much this tiny grain can do.
Check out some of our other posts to learn more! Please feel free to contact us to discuss what Millets Place can do for you.