Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Are Eggs Healthy?

In some ways, eggs are very good for you.

First of all, they are a nutrient-dense food. They contain high-quality protein, meaning eggs offer all nine essential amino acids that can’t be made by humans and therefore must come from our diets. Protein in eggs can help build and preserve muscle as well as boost satiety, both of which are important for weight control.

Eggs are also one of the few food sources of vitamin D and a source of the nutrient choline, which may help protect against birth defects in infants. They contain vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin (B2) and the antioxidant selenium, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help keep our eyes healthy.

Most of an egg’s calories, vitamins and minerals are found in the yolk.

But what about the cholesterol in eggs? It’s true that eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, which is also found in the yolk, but they’re low in saturated fat, which is the bigger culprit when it comes to raising blood cholesterol levels. Because of this, eggs get the green light according to the government’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

In fact, one recent meta-analysis found that higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke. And a 2016 Finnish study involving more than 1,000 men concluded that egg or cholesterol intakes are not associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease, even in those who are genetically predisposed to experience a stronger effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol.

What is more likely to affect your health is how eggs are prepared, as well as which other foods you combine with them. One large poached egg has 71 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat, and an omelet made with spinach and one yolk is also a lean choice. But a serving of eggs Benedict with bacon and Hollandaise sauce has about 800 calories and 26 grams of saturated fat.

So feel free to enjoy eggs, but watch how you eat them. And balance eggs with other healthy fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

By Lisa Drayer, CNN     Fri April 14, 2017
 
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, author and health journalist.
 
source: www.cnn.com


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Pears: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

Pears are a mild, sweet fruit with a fibrous center. They are rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fiber and pack all of these nutrients in a fat-free, cholesterol-free, 100-calorie package.

Consuming pears may help with weight loss and reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, if eaten as part of an overall healthy diet.

This Medical News Today Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of the pear and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more pears into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming pears.

Possible health benefits of consuming pears

Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of a number of health conditions.

Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like pears decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and a lower weight.

Fiber

Pears are rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine has developed an AI (Adequate Intake) guideline for fiber.

They recommend that men under the age of 50 consume 38 grams per day and women under the age of 50 consume 25 grams per day.

For adults over 50 years age, the recommendation for men is 30 grams per day and for women is 21 grams per day.

Many people in America do not get even 50 percent of their daily recommendation.

The National Institute of Medicine based its recommendation on a review of the findings from several large studies. They found that diets with 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories were associated with significant reductions in the risk of both coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The easiest way to increase fiber intake is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Just one medium-sized pear provides 6 grams of fiber, about 24 percent of the daily need for a woman under 50.

Treating diverticulosis

Diverticulitis is when bulging sacs in the lining of the large intestine become infected or inflamed. High fiber diets have been shown to decrease the frequency of flare-ups of diverticulitis by absorbing water in the colon and making bowel movements easier to pass. Eating a healthful diet including plenty of fruit, vegetables, and fiber can reduce pressure and inflammation in the colon.

Although the exact cause of diverticular disease is still unknown, it has repeatedly been associated with a low fiber diet.

pears

 

Weight loss

Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber help to keep you feeling fuller for longer and are also low in calories. Increased fiber intake has been shown to enhance weight loss for obese individuals.

Cardiovascular disease and cholesterol

Increased fiber intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A review of 67 separate controlled trials found that even a modest 10-gram per day increase in fiber intake reduced LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol.

Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may even play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation, consequently decreasing the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

Diabetes

A high-fiber diet is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes and more stable blood sugar levels.

Digestion

The fiber content in pears prevents constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Detox

Regular, adequate bowel movements are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool. Pears are approximately 84 percent water, which helps keep stools soft and flush the digestive system of toxins.

Nutritional breakdown of pears

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one medium pear (approximately 178 grams) contains:

  • 101 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 27 grams of carbohydrate (including 17 grams of sugar and 6 grams of fiber)
  • 1 gram of protein

Eating one medium pear would provide 12 percent of daily vitamin C needs, as well as 10 percent of vitamin K, 6 percent of potassium and smaller amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and folate.

Pears also contain carotenoids, flavonols, and anthocyanins (in red-skinned pears). In the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, pears and apples were found to be among the top contributors of flavonols in the diet.

Possible health risks of consuming pears

Fruits, like apples and pears, contain a higher amount of fructose compared with glucose; they are considered a high FODMAP food. A diet high in FODMAPs may increase gas, bloating, pain, and diarrhea in people suffering from irritable bowel disorders.

FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols;” these are all forms of fermentable short-chain carbohydrates. A diet low in these types of carbohydrates has been shown to decrease common symptoms for people who are FODMAPs sensitive.

It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

 
Written by Megan Ware RDN LD
 
Reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago, School of Medicine Knowledge center             Tue 22 November 2016
 


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New Research Finds Organic Food Offers More Superior Health Benefits than Conventional

A one-year research review commissioned by a European Parliament committee has confirmed the benefits of organic food production for human health. The committee has recommended that Parliament give priority to certain organic production practices as a result of these findings.

The committee’s report, entitled “Human Health Implications of Organic Food and Organic Agriculture,” analyzed a wide range of other studies on the topic to reach its conclusions. Specifically, the report linked the consumption of organic food to improved early development and reduced pesticide exposure.

Conclusive evidence about the true impact of an organic diet on human health proved difficult to find, however; the study notes that “very few studies have directly addressed the effect of organic food on human health,” and studies that seem to show links between organic food and health have not always had enough scientific controls to be viable. The report cites, for example, the fact that consumers of organic food tend to have healthier general dietary patterns, thus making it difficult to link increased health to the consumption of organic food alone.

organic infographic

Nonetheless, some concrete distinctions in nutrition between organic and conventional crops were highlighted in the study, including a lower cadmium content in organic crops and a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids in organic milk and meat.

Report coordinator Axel Mie, a professor affiliated with both Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, calls organic agriculture “a laboratory for the development of future healthy food systems.”

The research reviewed included studies on the health effects of organic food in humans, experimental in vitro and animal studies, research on pesticides and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The report proposed five policy options going forward, ranging from “no action” to the pursuit of more intense EU policies for food safety and the support of organic agriculture by investing in research, development, innovation, and implementation.

Members of European Parliament who met in November to discuss organic agriculture noted that more research would likely be necessary to prove a truly conclusive link between the consumption of organic food and health.

JANUARY 27, 2017            by EMILY MONACO


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Coffee has been found to reverse liver damage caused by alcohol.
  • The brain naturally craves 4 things: Food, Sex, Water and Sleep.
  • Studies show that by eating a big breakfast, you won’t feel as hungry the rest of the day, which can lead to more nutritional food choices.
  • 70% of people pretend to be okay simply because they don’t want to annoy others with their problems.
Tomatoes
Eating tomatoes helps prevent sunburn.
  • The average woman smiles 62 times a day. The average man smiles only 8 times.
  • Self-discipline better predicts success than IQ, according to research.
  • Eating tomatoes helps prevent sunburn.
  • Women are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men. This is mostly due to the hormonal changes that women often experience.
Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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A Gut Makeover for the New Year

If you’re making resolutions for a healthier new year, consider a gut makeover. Refashioning the community of bacteria and other microbes living in your intestinal tract, collectively known as the gut microbiome, could be a good long-term investment in your health.

Trillions of microbial cells inhabit the human body, outnumbering human cells by 10 to one according to some estimates, and growing evidence suggests that the rich array of intestinal microbiota helps us process nutrients in the foods we eat, bolsters the immune system and does all sorts of odd jobs that promote sound health. A diminished microbial ecosystem, on the other hand, is believed to have consequences that extend far beyond the intestinal tract, affecting everything from allergies and inflammation, metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity, even mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

Much of the composition of the microbiome is established early in life, shaped by forces like your genetics and whether you were breast-fed or bottle-fed. Microbial diversity may be further undermined by the typical high-calorie American diet, rich in sugar, meats and processed foods. But a new study in mice and people adds to evidence that suggests you can take steps to enrich your gut microbiota. Changing your diet to one containing a variety of plant-based foods, the new research suggests, may be crucial to achieving a healthier microbiome.

Altering your microbiome, however, may not be easy, and nobody knows how long it might take. That’s because the ecosystem already established in your gut determines how it absorbs and processes nutrients. So if the microbial community in your gut has been shaped by a daily diet of cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizza, for example, it won’t respond as quickly to a healthy diet as a gut shaped by vegetables and fruits that has more varied microbiota to begin with.

“The nutritional value of food is influenced in part by the microbial community that encounters that food,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, the senior author of the new paper and director of the Center for Genome Science and Systems Biology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Nutritional components of a healthy diet have to be viewed from “the inside out,” he said, “not just the outside in.”

One of the questions the study set out to answer was how individuals with different diets respond when they try to improve their eating habits. The scientists harvested gut bacteria from humans, transplanted them into mice bred under sterile conditions, and then fed the mice either American-style or plant-based diets. The scientists then analyzed changes in the mice’s microbial communities.

Of interest, the scientists harvested the gut bacteria from people who followed sharply different diets. One group ate a fairly typical American diet, consuming about 3,000 calories a day, high in animal proteins with few fruits and vegetables. Some of their favorite foods were processed cheese, pepperoni and lunch meats.

love-your-gut

The other group consisted of people who were devotees of calorie restriction. They ate less than 1,800 calories a day and had meticulously tracked what they ate for at least two years, sticking to a mostly plant-based diet and consuming far less animal protein than the other group, a third fewer carbohydrates and only half the fat.

This calorie-restricted group, the researchers found, had a far richer and more diverse microbial community in the gut than those eating a typical American diet. They also carried several strains of “good” bacteria, known to promote health, that are unique to their plant-based diet. “Their choices as adults dramatically influenced their gut community,” said Nicholas W. Griffin of Washington University, the paper’s lead author.

The study, published in Cell Host & Microbe, is not the first to report findings suggesting dietary shifts can induce persistent changes in a gut microbial community, said Dr. David A. Relman, a professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University, who was not involved in the current research. He noted that other studies had found even more profound effects.

After the human microbiota was transplanted into the mice, the mice got to eat either like typical Americans or like the calorie restrictors.

Mice that had a microbiota conditioned by the typical American diet had a weaker response to the plant-based diet. Their microbial communities didn’t increase and diversify as much. “They all responded in a predictable direction, but with not as great a magnitude,” said Dr. Griffin.

Another aspect of the study suggests the company you keep may also enrich your gut microbiota — at least in mice. At first the animals were kept in separate cages. Then, when they were housed together, the microbes from the communities conditioned by plant diets made their way into the American-diet microbiome.

It’s not clear how that translates to humans: Mice eat one another’s droppings when they live together, so they easily share the bacterial wealth. Still, it’s possible humans have other ways of sharing bacteria, Dr. Griffin said. “We know from previous work and other studies that spouses who live together will develop microbial communities that are similar to each other,” he said.

Perhaps the best way to cultivate a healthier microbiome is to eat more fiber by consuming more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts or seeds, said Meghan Jardine, a registered dietitian who was not involved in the current study but has published articles on promoting a healthy microbiota. (She is also affiliated with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which recommends a plant-based diet.) She urges people to aim for 40 to 50 grams of fiber daily, well above levels recommended by most dietary guidelines.

“When you look at populations that eat real food that’s high in fiber, and more plant-based foods, you’re going to see they have a more robust microbiota, with more genetic diversity, healthier species and fewer pathogenic bacteria living in the gut,” she said.

By RONI CARYN RABIN     DEC. 29, 2016


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20 Delicious High-Protein Foods to Eat

People argue about carbs, fats, and everything in between.

However, almost everyone agrees that protein is important.

Eating plenty of protein has numerous benefits.

It can help you lose weight (especially belly fat), and increase your muscle mass and strength, to name a few.

The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 46 grams for women, and 56 grams for men.

However, many health and fitness experts believe that we need much more than that.

Here is a list of 20 delicious foods that are high in protein.

1. Eggs

Whole eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.

They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, eye-protecting antioxidants and brain nutrients that most people don’t get enough of.

Whole eggs are high in protein, but egg whites are almost pure protein.

Protein content: 35% of calories in a whole egg. 1 large egg contains 6 grams of protein, with 78 calories.

2. Almonds

Almonds are a popular type of tree nut.

They are loaded with important nutrients, including fiber, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium.

Protein content: 13% of calories. 6 grams per 1 ounce (28 g) serving, with 161 calories.

Other High-Protein Nuts

Pistachios (13% of calories) and cashews (11% of calories).

3. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is one of the most popular protein-rich foods.

If you eat it without the skin, the majority of the calories in it come from protein.

Chicken breast is also very easy to cook, and tastes delicious if you do it right.

Protein content: 80% of calories. 1 roasted chicken breast without skin contains 53 grams, with only 284 calories.

4. Oats

Oats are among the healthiest grains on the planet.

They are loaded with healthy fibers, magnesium, manganese, thiamin (vitamin B1) and several other nutrients.

Protein content: 15% of calories. Half a cup of raw oats contains 13 grams, with 303 calories.

5. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that tends to be very low in fat and calories.

It is loaded with calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and various other nutrients.

Protein content: 59% of calories. A cup (226 g) of cottage cheese with 2% fat contains 27 grams of protein, with 194 calories.

Other Types of Cheese That Are High in Protein

Parmesan cheese (38% of calories), swiss cheese (30%), mozzarella (29%) and cheddar (26%).

6. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt, also called strained yogurt, is a very thick type of yogurt.

It tastes delicious, has a creamy texture, and is high in many nutrients.

Protein content: Non-fat greek yogurt has protein at 48% of calories. One 170 gram (6 ounce) container has 17 grams of protein, with only 100 calories.

Just make sure to choose one without added sugar. Full-fat Greek yogurt is also very high in protein, but contains more calories.

Similar Options

Regular full-fat yogurt (24% of calories) and kefir (40%).

7. Milk

Milk is highly nutritious, but the problem is that a huge percentage of the world’s adults are intolerant to it.

However, if you tolerate milk and enjoy drinking it, then milk can be an excellent source of high-quality protein.

Milk contains a little bit of almost every single nutrient needed by the human body.

It is particularly high in calcium, phosphorus and riboflavin (vitamin B2).

Protein content: 21% of calories. 1 cup of whole milk contains 8 grams of protein, with 149 calories.

produce

8. Broccoli

Broccoli is an incredibly healthy vegetable, loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and potassium.

Broccoli is also loaded with various bioactive nutrients believed to help protect against cancer.

Calorie for calorie, it is high in protein compared to most vegetables.

Protein content: 20% of calories. 1 cup of chopped broccoli (96 grams) contains 3 grams of protein, with only 31 calories.

9. Lean Beef

Lean beef is very high in protein, and also tastes delicious.

It is loaded with highly bioavailable iron, vitamin B12 and numerous other nutrients.

Protein content: 53% of calories. One 3 ounce (85 g) serving of cooked beef with 10% fat contains 22 grams of protein, with 184 calories.

If you’re on a low-carb diet, feel free to eat fatty cuts of beef instead of lean beef.

10. Tuna

Tuna is a very popular type of fish.

It is low in both fat and calories, so what we’re left with is mostly just protein.

Like other fish, tuna is also very high in various nutrients and contains a decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Protein content: 94% of calories, in tuna canned in water. A cup (154) contains 39 grams of protein, with only 179 calories.

11. Quinoa

Quinoa is a seed/grain that is currently among the world’s most popular superfoods.

It is high in many vitamins, minerals and fiber, and is loaded with antioxidants.

Quinoa has numerous health benefits.

Protein content: 15% of calories. One cup (185 g) of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams, with 222 calories.

12. Whey Protein Supplements

When you’re pressed for time and unable to cook, a whey protein supplement can come in handy.

Whey is a type of high-quality protein from dairy foods, shown to be very effective at building muscle mass, and may help with weight loss.

Protein content: Varies between brands, can go over 90% of calories, with 20-50 grams of protein per serving.

13. Lentils

Lentils are a type of legume.

They are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, manganese and various other nutrients.

Lentils are among the world’s best sources of plant-based protein, and are an excellent food for vegetarians.

Protein content: 27% of calories. 1 cup (198 g) of boiled lentils contains 18 grams, with 230 calories.

Other High-Protein Legumes

Soybeans (33% of calories), chickpeas (19%) and kidney beans (24%).

14. Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread is different from most other breads.

It is made of organic and sprouted whole grains and legumes, including millet, barley, spelt, wheat, soybeans and lentils.

Compared to most breads, ezekiel bread is very high in protein, fiber and various nutrients.

Protein content: 20% of calories. 1 slice contains 4 grams, with 80 calories.

15. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins contain edible seeds called pumpkin seeds.

They are incredibly high in many nutrients, including iron, magnesium and zinc.

Protein content: 14% of calories. 1 ounce (28 g) contains 5 grams of protein, with 125 calories.

Other High-Protein Seeds

Flax seeds (12% of calories), sunflower seeds (12%) and chia seeds (11%).

16. Turkey Breast

Turkey breast is similar to chicken breast in many ways.

It consists mostly of protein, with very little fat and calories. It also tastes delicious.

Protein content: 70% of calories. One 3 ounce (85 g) serving contains 24 grams, with 146 calories.

17. Fish (All Types)

Fish is incredibly healthy, for various reasons.

It is loaded with various important nutrients, and tends to be very high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Protein content: Highly variable. Salmon is 46% protein, with 19 grams per 3 ounce (85 g) serving, with 175 calories.

18. Shrimp

Shrimp is a type of seafood.

It is low in calories, but loaded with various nutrients, including selenium and vitamin B12.

Like fish, shrimp also contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.

Protein content: 90% of calories. A 3 ounce (85 g) serving contains 18 grams, with only 84 calories.

19. Brussels Sprouts

The Brussels sprout is another high-protein vegetable, related to broccoli.

It is very high in fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients.

Protein content: 17% of calories. Half a cup (78 g) contains 2 grams of protein, with 28 calories.

20. Peanuts

Peanuts are incredibly delicious.

They are high in protein, fiber, magnesium and many studies show that they can help you lose weight.

Peanut butter is also high in protein, just make sure not to eat too much as it is quite “more-ish.”

Protein content: 16% of calories. One ounce (28 g) contains 7 grams, with 159 calories.

Take Home Message

The importance of eating enough protein can not be overstated.

It is the simplest, easiest and most delicious way to lose weight and have a better looking body. Period.

By Kris Gunnars, BSc
 


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Teff Benefits: 8 Healthy Reasons To Add Teff To Your Diet

It’s the super tiny grain with the not-so-tiny power.

Teff, which is grown in Ethiopia and used to make injera (the sourdough flatbread), is a small grain with a long list of health benefits.

“Teff packs a nutritional punch to your diet if you are looking for a super food that gives you excellent combination benefits,” says Rosanna Lee, a nutrition educator based in Toronto.

Along with being gluten-free, high in iron and super tasty, teff is also known to reduce PMS symptoms and help you lose weight, and Lee says it’s ideal for vegetarians looking for sources of protein.

But the one thing this super grain doesn’t have is a cheap price tag. Teff can cost up to $8 per pound and one site that ships teff across North America starts at $25 for four pounds.

If you don’t mind spending the money, though, this superfood could just be worth it. Here are Lee’s eight reasons why you need more teff in your life.

The Health Benefits Of Teff

High Nutritional Value

Teff is high in protein with a great combination of eight essential amino acids needed for the body’s growth and repair. It has high amounts of calcium (1 cup of cooked teff offers about 1/2 cup of calcium found in cooked spinach), manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, thiamin, and vitamin C (which is not normally found in grains). The iron from teff is easily absorbed and is also recommended for people with low blood iron levels.

High Nutritional Value

Teff is high in protein with a great combination of eight essential amino acids needed for the body’s growth and repair. It has high amounts of calcium (1 cup of cooked teff offers about 1/2 cup of calcium found in cooked spinach), manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, thiamin, and vitamin C (which is not normally found in grains). The iron from teff is easily absorbed and is also recommended for people with low blood iron levels.

teff

Gluten-Free

Teff is a gluten-free grain so it can be a great alternative for those living with celiac disease, having gluten intolerance or choosing a gluten-free lifestyle.

Better Manage Blood Sugars

If you’re diabetic, you might want to consider adding teff to your diet to control blood sugar levels. Teff contains approximately 20 to 40 per cent resistant starches and has a relatively low glycemic index (GI) that can help diabetics better regulate their sugar levels.

It Will Make You Go

Teff is also great for helping you go. The fibre content in this tiny little grain can help you regulate your bowel movements and keep you feeling fuller longer.

Low In Sodium

Teff is also great for those seeking to lower their blood pressure and maintain a heart healthy diet. Unprocessed teff is a better alternative compared with pre-processed, cooked teff which often comes with preservatives or additives that are high in sodium. If you’re worried, always double check nutritional labels.

Low In Fat

Naturally, this grain is very low in saturated fat.

You Can Do A Lot With It

Part of eating a nutritionally adequate diet is being able to incorporate superfoods like teff into all of your meals. Teff is a versatile grain and can be eaten whole, steamed, boiled or baked. Today, teff is found in a variety of products like pancakes, breads, cereals, snack bars and many other foods. Traditionally, it is used to make Ethiopian injera (sourdough bread).

It Tastes Great

Looking very much like poppy seeds, teff has a nutty, grainy taste and texture that can add dimension to your recipes and cooking. Most Ethiopian platters are served on injera bread.

By Arti Patel        02/06/2014