Teff Flour and the Candida Diet
Have you ever heard of teff flour? I didn’t have any either until I started experimenting with gluten free flours to use in the candida diet. Teff grass, botanical name Eragrostis tef, is an ancient grain that can thrive in a variety of extreme weather conditions, making it a very reliable grain choice. Teff grass is native to Ethiopia where it has been used for centuries as livestock feed and as a component of building materials. Teff is the smallest grain in the world but despite its small size it is an extremely versatile grain. In Ethiopia today, it is ground into flour and used to make a flatbread called injera, porridge, and as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Although teff has proven to be a reliable grain, it has gone largely unrecognized and unused in North America until now.
Growing awareness of medical conditions such as celiac disease, autism, gluten allergies/sensitivities, and candidiasis in which eliminating gluten from one’s diet is necessary or may be beneficial has led non-glutinous flours such as teff at the forefront in North America. As we search for alternatives to our staple cereals filled with gluten, wheat, barley and rye, we are beginning to scour the world for useful alternatives. There is particular benefit in using teff flour as part of your diet to treat these conditions, as teff flour has a very impressive nutritional profile compared to other flours, both glutinous and non-glutinous. Teff flour contains a high amount of bran and germ, making it an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, and iron. Teff is also a good source of calcium. Since teff flour is gluten-free, so nutritionally potent, and has slightly fewer carbohydrates than some other grains, it’s an ideal choice for the candida diet, also known as under the name of yeast-free diet.
The candida diet is used to treat candidiasis, an overgrowth of yeast in the intestinal system. This is why it is often referred to as a yeast-free diet, as the goal is to eliminate all foods and ingredients that contain yeast and ingredients that feed yeast, in order to reduce the amount of yeast in the intestinal system. The biggest offenders tend to be sugar, processed foods, fast-acting carbs, vinegar, and fermented foods. Many candida diet resources also suggest ditching glutinous grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, as they are not only difficult to digest, adding to the burden of an already compromised digestive system. , but gluten can also directly contribute to the yeast overgrowth problem by feeding the yeast. Symptoms of candidiasis include, but are not limited to, digestive issues, mental confusion, PMS, depression, eczema, and acne.
The cornerstone of treatment for candidiasis is the candida diet. The candida diet is the most important part of treatment, but can be the hardest part due to the amount of foods that are eliminated. Having options like teff flour opens up new possibilities on the candida diet. Using teff flour with other non-glutinous flours can help the candida dieter create a variety of yeast-free dishes. You can substitute teff flour for about a quarter of the flour called for in a recipe.
For more information on life without yeast by following the candida diet, visit life without yeast.