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Eragrostis tef, is an annual grass, a species of lovegrass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands and Eritrean Highlands of the Horn of Africa. The word "tef" is connected by folk etymology to the Ethio-Semitic root "?ff", which means "lost" (because of the small size of the grain).

Eragrostis tef has an attractive nutrition profile, being high in dietary fibre and iron and providing protein and calcium. It is similar to millet and quinoa in cooking, but the seed is much smaller and cooks faster, thus using less fuel.

Teff has been widely cultivated and used in the countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Teff accounts for about a quarter of total cereal production in Ethiopia. The grain can be used by celiacs and has a high concentration of different nutrients, a very high calcium content, and significant levels of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, aluminum, iron, copper, zinc, boron and barium, and also of thiamin. Teff is high in protein. It is considered to have an excellent amino acid composition, including all 8 essential amino acids for humans, and is higher in lysine than wheat or barley. Teff is high in carbohydrates and fiber.

Teff is gaining popularity in the western United States as an alternative forage crop, in rotation with a legume such as alfalfa, because it uses C4 photosynthesis, similar to that of corn. It is noted for its high quality and high yield, when compared to other forage rotations. It is also known as an "emergency crop" because it is planted late in the spring when the growing season is warmer, and most other crops have already been planted. It does not tolerate any type of frost. Teff is also valued for its fine straw, which is traditionally mixed with mud for building purposes.

It’s the world’s tiniest grain (so small that it can’t be processed or refined) and it is becoming more popular because it’s so versatile. Teff leads the grains in calcium content, which helps strengthen bones and may reduce PMS symptoms. One grain of teff is up to 40% resistant starch, which can help you lose weight. Teff can be white or dark in color. One serving size is about 1/4 cup and 160 calories. Sweeter and milder than wheat, teff has a molasses-like flavor.

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