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Why teff is good for your digestive system

This tiny grass seed is a staple food in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The seeds produce a harvest proportionally hundreds of times greater than wheat or other staple grains. This, combined with its ability to withstand high temperatures in which to grow, has meant teff thus staved off famine many times.

Teff has much to offer nutritionally without being a superhero. It has a particularly high calcium content plus plenty of iron and protein; it is gluten-free and colours vary from white through to very dark brown. White teff is generally preferred.

The flavour is mild, somewhat bland but nutty, and being so benign has very many culinary uses, ground into flour or as a whole grain.

In Ethiopia its major use is in injera, a lightly fermented (sourdough) but flatbread; this is made big enough to form a thin, pancake-like platter on which food is served and it is also torn off to use as an eating aid.

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Know the fibre you eat

There are different types of fibre, the Insoluble and the soluble, all have various effect on our bodies and on our health.  Insoluble fibre is probably what we all think of as fibre. It helps us to have a good digestive system by passing through our bodies without being broken down. In doing this, it further helps other foods go along with it.

High fibre breakfast cereals, whole grains, vegetables, potatoes with skin, nuts, seeds are the kind of foods that make up the insoluble fibre.

Soluble fibre, however, dissolves in water and forms a gel in the gut. Thus preventing constipation and also helps to lower cholesterol. This is found in grains, oats, barley, rye, fruit, beans, pulses, and vegetables, such as potatoes.

Recently, resistant starch which now is included in dietary fibre and found in such foods as banana, potatoes, grains, and beans.

There are a few  suggested ways of helping you include  more fibre to your food, these are;

    1. Choose wholegrain instead of white bread
    2. Choose porridge, cereals, muesli, and bran flakes for breakfast
    3. Add one portion of fruits or veg every time you have a meal
    4. Include a salad to your sandwich each time
    5. Choose jacket potato, bean soup, whole grain bread
    6. Choose pasta, brown rice or bulghur wheat to white rice