March 24, 2015

24/03/2015: Step aside quinoa: is teff the new ‘superfood’ grain?

Chia seeds, quinoa and coconut everything. These products have taken over our shelves in the quest for a healthy diet. Now there's a new contender to add to the gluten-free mix: the Ethiopian grain teff, Good Food reports

Teff is the smallest known grain in the world, tinier even than a poppy seed. It's used most commonly in the flatbread injera, which is eaten across East Africa. But teff can also be added to cakes and muffins, eaten as porridge or used as a polenta replacement.
Hailed by some as the next big "superfood", just how super is this ancient little seed?

"It definitely ticks a lot of the healthy food boxes; good fat profile, high micronutrient and mineral content and bonus – gluten free," says nutritionist Dr Michelle Crawford.

Teff is high in iron and calcium and packed full of B vitamins, which makes it great for energy plus it has an estimated 20-30 per cent resistant starch, which is a type of fibre that helps blood sugar management, weight control and maintaining gastrointestinal health.

Available in some health food stores and Coles supermarkets, Teff isn't the first power-packed product to hit the shops in recent years. So you could be forgiven for asking: how does it measure up to current go-to ingredients quinoa and chia seeds?
"Scientifically it's not really fair to compare cereals and seeds. Each one has their own benefits and downfalls," Crawford says.

"Teff is a predominantly carbohydrate-based grain and is similar to quinoa in carbohydrate and protein content. It is probably fairest to compare these two."

Chia and quinoa contain folate whereas teff has none. But teff packs a little something that the others do not.

"Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin which is required for blood clotting and also bone health," Crawford says. 

"Interestingly, teff is the only one of the three 'grains' which contains this. Could teff be the new bone health superfood?"

Read more (including recipe) HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
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