Teff or lovegrass is a species of grass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands and Eritrean Highlands of the Horn of Africa. This plant is cultivated for its grains. In cooking, teff grains are similar to millet or quinoa. Teff is also popular among individuals sensitive to gluten.
Gluten is a compound found in whole grains. Sensitivity to gluten leads to a range of hormonal, auto-immune and digestive disorders. Teff grains are gluten-free, making it a great alternative for those who are sensitive.
Most whole grains also contain phytic acid. This acid inhibits the absorption of important nutrients. If you’re watching what you eat, make the switch to teff grains. In today’s post, we are giving you six reasons why you should add teff grains to your daily diet:
It’s Nutrient Dense
Teff might not be popular in the west, but the rest of the world regards this grain as a superfood! That’s because teff is extremely nutrient-dense! Teff contains a balanced amount of eight essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. These nutrients repair and promote muscle growth. Teff grains are also loaded with essential minerals including calcium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, and thiamin. It’s also rich in vitamin C, which is uncommon in grain products.
It’s Gluten Free
As mentioned earlier in this post, Teff grains contain zero gluten. This means people afflicted with celiac disease or those who are intolerant to the stuff can consume teff grains without any adverse reaction. Teff grains make a healthier alternative to whole grains for people who adopted a gluten-free lifestyle.
Lowers Blood Sugar Level
Most diabetics are advised to limit their consumption of whole grains. That’s because whole grains are converted into glucose, a simple sugar. But teff only contain 20% to 40% resistant starches. It has low glycemic index, making it an ideal choice for diabetics. Teff grains also help diabetics regulate their blood sugar level.
High in Fiber
Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size, teff contains high amounts of dietary fiber. This substance is instrumental in regulating the bowel movement and promotes weight loss. It also makes you feel fuller longer so you don’t overeat. This leads to faster weight loss!
Teff is also very heart-friendly! Apart from containing fiber, teff is also low in sodium. Fiber help promotes a stronger heart. Low sodium grains keep the blood pressure down. Most processed foods – including refined grains – contains copious amount of sodium. Too much sodium destroys heart muscles. Sodium crystals could also form in the kidneys, calling kidney stones.
It’s Versatile and Tasty!
In Ethiopia, teff is traditionally used to make sourdough bread. But you can be as creative as you want and use teff in a wide variety of ways.
Part of teff’s popularity among dieters is its nutty flavor and versatility. Use it as an alternative to flour and bake cakes or breads. You can steam or boil the grains and use it to replace rice. You can use teff flour to make pancakes, snack bars, and other goodies. Finally, you can also add teff grains to soups or cereal to add texture.