Teff: The Powerful Superfood Grain Hiding In Plain Sight

teff superfood guide

We are always in search of the newest superfood. Well, maybe you aren’t, but here at Green Drink Reviews, we are.

Why?

Because the quinoa is running out. (that’s not really true, but I felt it added some flair to this teff superfood guide).

The truth is, the more superfood options we have, the better for all of us. Each one of us has different tastes, budgets, and goals. The more superfood options, the better.

But teff? Teff is a superfood, not the name of a sinister Fortnite character, I promise. And it may take some convincing on my part to get you there, but I promise, by the end of this teff superfood guide, you’ll be as good as sold. Not Scientology sold, nothing weird, I’m just saying you are likely to consider seeking out this powerful grain.

Teff has been around for thousands of years, but it is only now that its garnered some popularity in western culture. And that has people searching, what is teff, on a now daily basis.

We are going to answer that question, and so much more.

What Is Teff?

Like many other grains, teff is a grain rooted in a long history in ancient societies. And the truth is, this less known grain is a potent superfood that should be high on your dietary list. Unfortunately, hardly anyone knows a darn thing about teff.

teff grain

Teff in its grain form is similar to wheat.

Well, I’m here to clear their air on teff. And you’re going to want to read on because teff is the next big superfood.

So let’s get started.

Teff has endured centuries of exposure to mankind, yet, it hasn’t endured the same overt, dangerous chemical processing habits that many other grains have. Teff is a pure grain, it remains in the form it was in during ancient times.

For us living in today’s modern world, that’s a great thing.

As we all know, wheat, one of the world’s most popular grains, is commonly bleached. Good luck finding wheat that hasn’t been exposed to severe processing.

Teff could be a great replacement grain for many of us who want to avoid crap chemicals in our diets.

Teff Derives From Ethiopia

Teff grains originate from both Ethiopia and Eritrea. In both regions, teff is considered a staple of peoples’ diets. Grains are known for their ability to store easily, often without the use of refrigeration, making them essential survival food items. Teff is no different.

Teff Was At One Time, Banned

teff banned export

Until 2015, Teff was a banned export into the United States. Ethiopia, struggling through a devastating food crisis, worried about a deepening food crisis situation. The official ban on teff exports started in 2006. Inerja, the processed form of teff, remained an export.

“The concern that the Ethiopian government had in the past about exporting was in making sure that there was sufficient amount of supply for the domestic market — for urban consumers, as well as the rural poor,” Khalid Bomba, Ethiopian CEO of the country’s Agricultural Transformation Agency said via CNN. “[Rising yields] have given the government confidence that systematic exports of Teff can gain smallholder farmers in Ethiopia… increased income, without harming the domestic consumers.”

Now, you are beginning to see more and more teff making its way to stores across the United States. Unfortunately, people still have relatively little idea of what it is. The easing up on export restrictions means more and more people are beginning to ask one simple question, what are teff benefits?

Teff Benefits

In short…

  • Gluten Free
  • Has lots of protein
  • High in iron
  • For a grain, is high in vitamin C
  • For a grain, is high in Calcium
  • Teff is a potent resistant starch (more on that below)

Most of the above points are easy to digest (pun intended). But many folks out there might not understand what a resistant starch is.

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

teff resistant starch

Teff is a potent resistant starch.

Resistant starches are similar to fiber, but not exactly the same. Resistant starches pass through the digestive process unscathed. Meaning, they resist being broken down.

Starches are always carbohydrates, or long chains of glucose if you want to get down to the technicals. Some starch doesn’t get digested. This is resistant starch. Kind of a soluble fiber, but not technically the same experience.

Resistant starches are typically found in grains, potatoes, rice, and unripe bananas. And, well, chemistry matters a whole lot when it comes to resistant starches.

For rice and potatoes, cooking and then cooling them increases the level of resistant starch present. With teff, resistant starch is there without any temperature changes.

When Resistant Starch Reaches The Colon…

Let’s just say, good things happen. All your good gut bacteria have a big dinner on the resistant starch. Like probiotics, resistant starches keep good gut bacteria well fed.

What Does This Mean?

Resistant starches benefits can…

  • Help with weight loss
  • Improve metabolic syndrome (source)
  • Improve bowel movements (source)
  • Promote healthy energy
  • Reduce appetite

The list can go on, but this article is a guide to understanding teff benefits, I don’t want to fly too far off course.

When your gut bacteria is happy, you are less prone to the consequences of anxiety and depression. The gut-brain connection is very real!

So just know…

Teff is a potent resistant starch. That’s super great for your digestive and brain health.

Teff Taste (This Can’t Be Good, Can It?)

teff tastes

Whoa!

I’d never lie to you! I promise.

Here’s the thing, the name “teff” doesn’t do this superfood grain any flavors. The name sounds like a brand of sealant. And teff doesn’t look good.

But teff tastes pretty good. It’s a bit of a nutty, buttery type taste. You can use it in a variety of dishes, particularly sweet ones.

I’m not going to spend too much time on the how teff taste, mostly because taste is subjective and I’m not some sort of palate expert. My point in this section is that teff probably tastes better than you’d expect. Many people love it.

Teff Recipes (Prepare to have your mind blown…)

Instagram user Teffco posts a slew of teff recipes on his account. He grows teff and uses it to make virtually anything you can think of!

I HIGHLY suggest you give him a follow.

Here’s a few of his latest teff recipe masterpieces!

Teff Pizza

Teff Burger

Teff Donuts


Teff can be used at the base of a diverse number of recipes. That’s another big reason to consider teff the superfood. When you use a superfood as your recipe’s base, you automatically upgrade the healthy attributes!

Conclusion

Teff is the latest superfood to garner widespread attention, but its been around for 1,000’s of years. It is derived from Ethiopia and was a banned export up until a couple of years ago. Teff has a buttery taste and can be used in a number of exciting, savory recipes. Teff is a potent resistant starch lending itself to improved digestive health and lowered risk for anxiety and depression.

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