Quinoa has put in some good work over the past few years as everyone’s favorite health powerhouse, but it can now join kale and acai berries in the land of forgotten superfoods: There’s a new craze in town, and this one has some serious staying power.  

Teff, a fine grain about the size of a poppy seed, has grown predominantly in Ethiopia since 8000 BC, and has the ability to thrive even in the most difficult climates. Internationally, it is also grown in India and Australia, but has recently been experimented with in the United States in Kansas and Idaho. Since it can be produced from sea level to altitudes as high as 3000 meters, it has proven its resilience and reliability in a variety of settings.

Its fortitude is not only environmental; it also packs a mighty nutritional punch. With an excellent balance of amino acids, teff is high in calcium, protein and iron. It takes a strong lead amongst all grains in its calcium content, with one cooked cup offering 123 mg, equivalent to the amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach and very close to the calcium in a half cup of low fat milk (150 mg). Teff shows off a little further by boasting a considerable dose of vitamin C, a nutrient not usually found in grains, so it offers some extra protection against immune system deficiencies and cardiovascular disease.

Similar to quinoa, the grain is ideal for vegetarians looking for plant-based sources of protein, and its high levels of resistant starches can help you lose weight and promote colon health. The iron from teff helps metabolize these proteins and plays a role in the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Since it is easily absorbed by the body, it is recommended for people with blood iron level deficiencies, like anemia.  

This new addition to your grocery list will quickly become a favorite, as it is incredibly versatile in a variety of dishes. Ground into flour, it makes a fantastic alternative to almond flour and coconut flour for gluten-free bakers, and can be used to make cookies, cakes, breads, and pie crusts. In Ethiopia, teff is usually ground into flour and fermented to make the soft sourdough bread known as injera. In its whole form, it steals the dinnertime spotlight as either a side dish or main course as its subtle nutty flavor can also be enjoyed steamed or boiled.

While most health foods du jour are enthusiastically hailed for their benefits and quickly disregarded for the next better-body fix, teff has thousands of years of trusted advantages under its belt. Consider bringing pomegranates, chia seeds, dark chocolate, coconut oil and the rest of the superfood bunch out from the back of the pantry to facilitate your good-for-you army. With teff as the general, there will be few health battles that you won’t win.

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Yuve is a New York City based brand of premium natural health products. Its goal is to provide a natural solution for busy people to maintain a complete diet without compromising on time. Made from non-GMO plant-based ingredients, Yuve’s wholesome products help improving overall health and natural beauty. Yuve has a complete nutritional profile. It contains high amount of plant-based protein, fiber, digestive enzymes, low sugar, very low fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-aging agents.

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