Teff: The next trendy supergrain?

Teff: The next trendy supergrain?

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Teff is a grain farmed by humans for more than 7,000 years. It provides five times the fiber, 25 times the calcium, and 50 percent more protein than brown rice.

It can grow almost anywhere. And it has the endorsement of at least one New York City registered dietitian.

"If you're very adventurous and you want to try it in the kitchen, I do recommend it," said Lisa Moskovitz of New York Nutrition Group, she sees teff a candidate for the next trendy superfood, thanks to its absence of one decidedly un-trendy protein: gluten.

"Gluten-free is definitely a new craze these days and I believe it got started because people just want something to blame: before, it was carbs, then it was fats, and now gluten is really the next option," she says.

You can find gluten-free wafers, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free fruit snacks, and shelves of more options at nearly any grocery store. But unless a doctor diagnoses you as allergic, eating gluten-free may actually do more harm than good.

"It could even be dangerous or harmful because you're taking out this huge food group there -- mostly carbohydrates that have lots of fiber and B vitamins -- and replacing them with possibly more sugar-filled or fat-filled foods," Moskovitz says.

But a craze can't or won't end until the marketplace introduces a buzz-worthy replacement. So trend-followers might soon choose to act like an Ethiopian -- six million households in that nation grow this crop -- and whip up some teff, which still qualifies as gluten-free but without the help of any added sugars or fats.

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