Teff can be consumed without any worry by celiacs and gluten-sensitives. Read on for the benefits of teff grain and a teff bread recipe!
Gliadines in gluten can cause minor to severe reactions, which results in a wide range of complaints, from gluten sensitivity causing imbalanced hormonal levels and skin problems, to auto-immune disease coeliac, causing more severe health problems. Teff grain is a gluten-free grain that can be used to substitute gluten containing grains and so, would make a perfect flour to bake your own gluten-free bread!
Teff (also known as lovegrass, and annual bunch grass) is an ancient Etheopian grain, actually a kind of grass, which, due to its lack of gluten, can be used without any worry by celiacs and gluten-sensitives. It is also free of phytic acid; an acid that prevents absorption of important nutrients.
Teff is the smallest grain in the world and comes in colors ranging from white to dark red, which amongst others determines its flavor; light colored teff has a chestnut-like flavor, the darker variety has an earth like, hazelnut flavor.
Although a teff grain is very small and most gluten-free grains tend to lack fiber, teff is full of it. Besides fiber, teff is full of iron – with red containing the highest amount of iron -, which is easily absorbed by the body, helping control blood sugar levels.
Teff is furthermore rich in protein (more than wheat) with an excellent amino acid composition; lysine levels are higher than those of wheat or barley.
The carbohydrates in teff are slowly absorbed by the body, which prevents large fluctuations of the blood sugar level. Besides providing you with iron, fibers, protein and carbs, teff provides you with the following nutrients:
Prevents weight gain and promotes fat burn, soothes PMS complaints, is associated with the prevention of colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers, promotes heart health, regulates muscle contraction/relaxation and is an important nutrient in bone and dental health, especially for women in their menopause, decreasing the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Improves digestion and excretion of toxins, energizes, regulates and balances hormones, thereby i.e. relieving menopausal and PMS symptoms, promotes bone and dental health, produces protein (repairs tissue) and improves concentration and mental activities.
Has anti-inflammatory properties, protects skeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems, protects against early graying of dark-colored hair, plays an important role in collagen synthesis, which is crucial to skin elasticity, prevents premature ageing, promotes brain health, helps to absorb iron and utilize sugar, is crucial for energy production, ensure proper functioning of thyroid glands, produces red blood cells, ensures better wound healing, reduces cholesterol and catalyzes reactions to nervous system functioning.
According to alternative medicine, barium benefits the body by strengthening the immune system and improve digestion, treating symptoms of stress or anxiety.
- thiamin/vitamin B1
Thiamins plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous and cardiovascular functioning of the body, helps to converse carbohydrates for energy production and breaks down fats and protein. At the same time it maintains muscle tone, which is especially important for those that carry out a cardio workout regularly. Thiamin furthermore promotes digestive tract , healthy skin, hair, eyes, mouth and liver. Thiamin is also known as an “anti-stress” vitamin.
Teff is, besides useful in gluten-free baking bread, a great soup thickener, can be used in stews, gravies and puddings and can be used in stir-fry dishes.
Keep in mind that teff flour doesn’t rise as much as regular, gluten-containing flours, so when baking a bread, it will be more compact than these flours.
Here’s a bread recipe containing teff flour.