The seeds of a teff plant — which look similar to wheat — are tiny in stature, but they pack a nutritional wallop.
Relatively new to the U.S., teff has long been a superfood in East African — specifically Ethiopia — as a staple food crop rich in fiber.
Cornell University food scientists, led by Elad Tako, associate professor of food science, now confirm this grain greatly helps the stomach and enhances the nutritional value of iron and zinc, according to a new modeling method. Their findings were reported Oct. 2 in the journal Nutrients.
Teff was tested in Cornell food science labs to understand how its seed extracts would affect the gastrointestinal tract and other systems in living organisms, via the utilization of a unique in vivo approach.
“The grain teff is extremely valuable,” said Tako, the paper’s senior author. “For the first time, we were able to associate teff-seed extracts and teff consumption with positive effects on the intestinal microbiome composition and function, potentially explaining why the prevalence of dietary iron and zinc deficiencies in Ethiopia — although still significant — are lower in comparison to other neighboring African nations.”…