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Teff is a type of ancient grain that comes from a species of lovegrass (Eragrostis tef) or Williams’ lovegrass that is native to the Horn of Africa. It is cultivated largely in Ethiopia and Eritrea for its edible seeds which are roughly the size of poppy seeds and come in a variety of colors ranging from white to red to dark brown. These seeds are typically ground into flour and used to make a variety of baked goods including the traditional bread known as injera, a fermented pancake-like bread.
- Teff contains 20% to 40% resistant starches and has a low glycemic index (GI) rating – this makes it a great choice for diabetics to help manage blood sugar.
- The high fiber content of teff is great for regulating digestion, helping relieve issues with diarrhea and constipation.
- One serving of teff provides 10% each of your daily recommended value for vitamin B6 and zinc, nutrients essential for healthy cardiovascular, digestive, muscular, and nervous system function as well as strong immunity.
- Teff is naturally low in sodium, making it a heart-healthy choice for people with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular risk factors.
- A single serving of teff contains 69% of your daily recommended value for magnesium, a mineral essential for healthy function of the muscular, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.
- Teff tops the charts for calcium content among ancient grains, containing 123 mg/1 cup cooked which is five times as much as whole wheat.
- Most grains don’t contain significant amounts of calcium, but teff does – it is very beneficial for the immune system as well as healthy bones and tissues.