The health benefits of Teff grains is such that it is a rich source of protein, helps in developing good bones and teeth, free of gluten, helps in reducing pre-menstrual syndrome, treats constipation, regulates blood sugar levels, is low in fat content, helps in providing long lasting energy, is loaded with fibre, helps in reducing weight, controls the signs of early ageing, prevents heart disease.
Teff (Eragrostis tef) is a fine grain, about the size of a poppy seed that comes in a variety of colours, from white and red to dark brown. Teff grows predominantly in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and thrives even in difficult climates. As such, it comprises the staple grain of their cuisines. The grain has a very mild, nutty flavour, and it packs a serious nutritional punch. Teff has an excellent balance of amino acids, and it is also high in protein, calcium, and iron. Ground into flour, teff is used to make the traditional bread, injera: a flat, pancake-like, fermented bread that complements the exotic spices found in the regional food. It can also be ground into flour to make excellent gluten-free flour alternative, and can be used to make pie crusts, cookies, breads, and an assortment of other baked goods. Teff can also be eaten whole and steamed, boiled, or baked as a side dish or a main course.
One cup of cooked teff has about 255 calories of energy, 1.6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of dietary fibre, 10 grams of protein, 0.46 milligrams of thiamine, 0.24 milligrams of vitamin B6, 2.3 milligrams of niacin, 0.08 milligrams of riboflavin/vitamin B2, 7.2 milligrams of manganese, 126 milligrams of magnesium, 302 milligrams of phosphorus, 5.17 milligrams of iron, 0.5 milligrams of copper, 2.8 percent of zinc, 123 milligrams of calcium, 269 milligrams of potassium and 20 milligrams of sodium.
Two ounce serving of Teff grain seeds contains about seven grams of protein which is equivalent to consuming a large egg. Along with this, the seeds also provide eight essential amino acids which are not internally produced in human body.
According to the studies conducted with teff grain seeds, it has been found that 100 grams of these seeds contains about 180 grams of calcium. So for healthy and strong teeth, nails and bones Teff grain should be included in the diet.
For people who are sensitive to gluten, Teff is very useful to them. It is a healthy and gluten free food and hence can be consumed without worries.
Teff grains help to reduce PMS symptoms. Minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium play a big role in reducing cramping and pain during PMS and menses. In addition to this, it also helps women who feel sluggish during menstrual periods and helps by boosting up their energy.
Digestion plays a very significant role in the functioning of overall body and mind. A healthy digestion leads to a healthy body. Teff grain has dietary fibres and gluten protein that supports digestion and cures problems of gas, bloating and constipation.
Teff grain regulates the blood sugar levels in the body by bringing down higher levels of sugar in the blood. These grains have about 40% of resistant starches with a low glycaemic index and hence it can help patients suffering from diabetes.
Teff has fewer calories and slightly sweet in taste. Intake of these seeds gives an adequate amount of nutrition without adding weight to the body. These seeds are considered to be a wholesome meal that tastes good and do not contribute to body fat.
Many people depend on expensive energy booster drinks to get an instant kick to start a day. Many of these drinks add sugar and fat to their body. Instead of these options one can opt for teff grain seeds which are purely natural, low in fat and provides huge amount of energy to perform any task will full efficiency.
Teff grain seeds have plenty of fibre to fulfil the daily requirement of the body. A single serving of these seeds provides about five grams of fibre which is much higher than other whole grain flours.
Loaded with fibre, teff grain also helps in weight control. The more dietary fibre is consumed, the better will be the digestion of the body. Also, it gives a feeling of fullness for a longer time and prevents unnecessary snacking between meals.
Copper is found in large amounts in Teff grain that slows down the process of ageing and maintains the natural vibrant colour of a person’s hair for a longer time.
There are a lot of diseases whose main cause is inflammation. A person can prevent these diseases by eating teff grains on a regular basis. Teff also have copper that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that protects one from heart diseases against deficiencies.
Teff grains can be consumed as a whole grain after steaming, boiling or baking. It can also be ground into flour and can be used to make a delicious traditional flatbread called injera. Teff can be used to make breads, pancakes, porridge, cereal and other baked goods that use flour.
Teff is perfectly safe to be consumed at a moderate level. However excessive consumption of teff might pose adverse effects.
Teff is high in fibre and excessive consumption fibre might cause the problem of bloating and gas.
The level of thiamine in teff is typically lower than other cereal grains. When it is taken as the major staple food, thiamine supplement is recommended.
Teff contains a high amount of phytate which inhibits mineral absorption. People with zinc and calcium deficiency are not recommended to consume teff in large amounts.
Between 8000 and 5000 BC, the people of the Ethiopian highlands were among the first to domesticate plants and animals for food. Teff was one of the earliest plants domesticated. Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 BC and 1000 BC. Genetic evidence points to E. pilosa as the most likely wild ancestor. A 19th-century identification of teff seeds from an ancient Egyptian site is now considered doubtful and they are more likely of E. aegyptiaca, a common wild grass in Egypt.