Teff: A grain thousands of years old is rediscovered

Have you ever heard of teff? No? Then you now have the opportunity to get to know one of the healthiest grains. Teff, also known as dwarf millet, belongs to the sweet grass family. Teff is considered the smallest cereal in the world. About 150 teff grains correspond to the size of a wheat grain. The home of the dwarf millet is Ethiopia, and in the northeast of Africa it has been a staple food for more than 5,000 years. Stars such as Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow have helped to launch teff in the West as a new food trend.

Teff in the form of flour, which is used daily in Ethiopia

What makes teff so healthy?

Unlike conventional grains, teff is gluten-free. Its glycemic index is low, which means that after consumption the blood sugar level - and consequently the insulin level - only increases moderately. This is crucial to losing weight. Teff is also exceptionally rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and silicic acid. The latter is particularly important for the regenerative ability and repair mechanisms of the skin and mucous membranes.

Teff contains all essential amino acids (protein building blocks), even those not found in other grains. The composition of amino acids even exceeds that of chicken eggs. Its especially high content of lysine and leucine is worth a mention: Lysine is important for growth, regeneration of muscle tissue, tendons and bones, and the immune function, while leucine supports fat burning and at the same time prevents muscle breakdown during a diet.

Dwarf millet also has another advantage: It is metabolized in the same way as millet. Currently as hyper-acidity is often the case, teff can contribute to acid-base balance. A combination of these properties with the grain's particularly easy digestibility makes teff an exceptional food. Teff is currently regarded as the healthiest grain on the market.

Nutrition table for teff

Nutritional value Calories Protein Carbohydrates Fat
Pro 100 g (1/2 cup) 334 cal 9.1 g 75 g 2.1 g

For whom is teff particularly suitable?

Because it is gluten-free, teff is a grain of first choice for anyone suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. But with its good amino acid composition, teff is also a valuable source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, who naturally consume little protein due to the absence of animal foods. Diabetics, athletes and overweight people trying to lose weight also benefit from the low glycemic index and nutrient composition of dwarf millet.

Where to find teff and how is it made?

Teff is offered as grain, bread, pasta, flour and flakes. Online there is a large selection of products and suppliers, but more and more health and ethnic food stores also sell teff products. Teff can be used like any other grain product: Flakes for cereal, flour for baking and the prepared bread and noodles as well as products from other grains. It can be served as a side dish: As a whole grain, teff can be boiled and eaten like rice.

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