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4 Health Benefits of Teff Flour, a Gluten-Free Ancient Grain

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By Maggie McCracken

Cooking with ancient flours and grains is appealing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their heritage health factor. Flours that ancient people have been using for thousands of years often come with a number of health benefits that give us a little something extra from standard modern wheat flour.


Teff flour, a gluten-free ancient grain native to Ethiopia and the surrounding region, is no exception, and people are really catching on. In fact, Epicurious named teff flour one of the upcoming food trends that will be big in 2017. If you're interested in cooking with this delicious, hearty grain, here are some of the health benefits you may want to know about.

It's Gluten-Free and Easy to Digest

Teff flour is a gluten-free flour, which makes it a great option for people with Celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities. Even if you tolerate gluten relatively well, though, you may find that teff is easier on your digestive system. Gluten-containing foods, while perfectly fine for those without sensitivities, create a low-level state of inflammation when eaten due to their difficulty being processed by the body.

"Although some may think only people diagnosed with celiac disease can be affected, the truth is that most people, regardless of whether or not they are diagnosed with celiac disease, are sensitive or downright intolerant to gluten," states the Global Healing Center. "Certain skin conditions, digestive complaints, and mood disturbances are all subtle ways your body is telling you that something in your diet is not right."

It's Packed With Calcium, Helping to Reduce PMS Symptoms

Calcium is an important nutrient for bone health, but did you also know that it can help relieve PMS symptoms? A number of studies have suggested that women who supplement with calcium have lower incidences of severe PMS symptoms than those who do not.

It's Full of Fiber

Did you know that teff flour contains five times as much fiber as wheat flour?

"One ounce of teff flour contains about five grams of fiber, compared to all-purpose wheat flour which only contains 1 gram," explains the Global Healing Center.

Fiber is beneficial for good health, as it moves through the digestive tract and helps clear out accumulated waste, food and toxins. It promotes digestive regularity as well as nutrient absorption, making it vital component of a healthy diet.

It Can Help You Lose Weight

Speaking of fiber, did you know that fiber is one of the most important building blocks of any weight loss program? While low-fat diets help people lose weight with lots of fiber from whole grains, low-carb diets also include plenty of fiber in the form of vegetables. No matter which camp you fall into, you can't deny that fiber is a crucial part of weight loss.

In fact, a research paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that making only one dietary change—increasing the amount of fiber in your diet—can result in effective weight loss.

Teff flour's high fiber content can be a great way to boost your efforts if you're interested in losing weight. The combination of the grain's fiber content, gluten-free nature and plentiful calcium make it an all-around great choice for vibrant health.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Care2.

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Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

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