Teff is a seed, scientifically known as Eragrostis tef, that originates in southern Africa. Both high in protein and quick to cook, this superfood is popular in Ethiopian cuisine and is now garnering respect among American health food enthusiasts looking for a flexible alternative to millet or quinoa.
In Ethiopia, Teff is made into flour and baked into injera bread, a staple companion with most of the country's dishes. As African dishes have spread around the globe, so has an interest in this highly versatile grain. Teff's popularity stems from its many health benefits.
Teff promotes colon health and helps to relieve digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, and cramping. In fact, it has been used for thousands of years as a natural laxative. It is also a gluten-free food, making it a perfect grain alternative for those who suffer from Celiac disease/gluten intolerance.
A person who suffers from iron deficiency experiences low energy, dizziness and muscle cramping. Tuff is high in iron and is often used as a treatment for anemia. It contains an impressive amount of other minerals as well, including calcium for bone growth/development and copper, which helps the body create red blood cells. In fact, one serving of Teff has an impressive 123 mg of calcium.
Teff is a low-sodium grain-like food and won't contribute to clogged arteries, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke. Research on the subject has shown that it can actually help you lower your blood pressure. It also helps to balance cholesterol levels by eliminating excessive Omega-6 fatty acids in your body.
Teff is safe for people with diabetes and is believed to help prevents sugar spikes by slowing the release of insulin into the bloodstream. This also keeps sugar levels from plunging quickly. Scientists are still researching the complex chemical reactions that contribute to this ability, but it seems to work alongside its high fiber content.
People with diabetes must often avoid grains, which provide many health benefits. Teff is an alternative to grains and has the same health benefits.
Good news if you regularly suffer from intense cramping and inflammation during that time of the month. Teff is a natural anti-inflammatory and is known to help women with the physical effects of menstruation, easing the cramps, bloating and heaviness often associated with it. The seed also helps if you typically experience a heavy flow.
Teff is an excellent food to add to your kids' diet. The grain contains eight unique amino acids that contribute to healthy growth and development. Especially beneficial for kids who don't want to eat meat, as it has a high amount of protein but not the fats that often accompany a red meat dinner. Teff is rather unique among grain-like foods in that it has lysine, a rare amino acid associated with protein synthesis and antibodies.
Teff's popularity among health enthusiasts is increasing its availability in the United States. It can be bought online or in whole food stores in the grain section, even though it is technically not a grain. Teff is grown in the United States in Idaho, one of the only states in the country where soil and climate conditions are ideal.
There are two varieties of Teff, a dark and light version. The dark strains have a strong, nutty flavor, while the lighter types are milder. Both are commonly used to make flour that can then be made into bread, cookies, and other baked goods. Teff makes an excellent alternative to rice and pasta, which is often high in carbs and empty calories. It can also be used in soup and gravy as a thickener. Keep in mind that its small size means Teff cooks faster than rice or pasta, so you will want to keep an eye on it when cooking.
It shouldn't be a surprise that Teff can help you lose weight if you're on a diet. The high fiber content satiates your hunger, making it easier to eat less. And it is also low in fat so you can eat it on a regular basis without experiencing the weight gain that is often associated with grain-like foods. Teff also contributes to energy production, so you have more get-up-and-go to exercise on a regular basis.
Unlike many other "healthy" foods, Teff is easy to fix and eat and doesn't require you to develop an acquired taste. It is a boost to the circulatory system and contributes to your health in general.
One way that Teff can make you healthier is by enhancing your natural ability to fight illness. Its thiamine content helps you to extract the nutrients you need from the foods you eat, allowing your body to better defend against illness.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.