Is Teff the New Super Grain?
“(…)Teff has long been a dietary staple for Ethiopia’s legendary distance runners, like the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, who called teff a secret to the success of Ethiopian runners. But now teff is becoming a go-to grain for a growing number of Americans.
Endurance athletes like the grain because it’s naturally high in minerals. People who can’t tolerate gluten use teff as an alternative to wheat. And dietitians recommend teff as a way for Americans to introduce more whole grains into their diets.
The growing interest in teff is part of an increasing consumer desire for so-called ancient grains like farro, quinoa, spelt, amaranth and millet. Health-conscious consumers have been gravitating to these grains because they’re nutrient dense and have not been genetically modified.
Sales of ancient grains have risen steeply in the United States in recent years — teff sales rose 58 percent in 2014, according to a report last year by Packaged Facts, a market research firm. Teff has been used commercially in everything from pasta to protein bars and pancake mix.
Julie Lanford, a registered dietitian who teaches nutrition classes to cancer survivors in North Carolina, said she often recommends teff because most Americans consume wheat as their only whole grain. Every plant has a unique assortment of nutrients, and by eating different grains, “you get a variety of different nutrients,” she said. (…)”
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