A grain that's beloved by long-distance runners is the next big superfood

It wasn’t too long ago that spinach was dominating headlines as the superfood of choice — the ideal addition to any smoothie or dish to boost its healthy properties.

Then there was kale. Then quinoa. Then chia seeds. The list of superfood trends goes on and on.

But now, the latest superfood to hit health craze status is a gluten-free grain known as teff, according to the New York Times.

Teff originally comes from Ethiopia, and is the size of a poppy seed. Despite how tiny it is, teff packs a serious punch and is high in minerals and proteins — such as calcium, iron, copper, aluminium, and more — and can be used as an alternative to wheat.

The Times spoke with Laura Ingalls, a runner from Boston, who started to add teff to her oatmeal, in addition to cooking and baking with it, to combat iron deficiency.

“Teff is like a runner’s super food. It’s great as a pre-race meal. It’s high in iron and it’s a whole grain so it provides a slow release of energy, which is exactly what I need,” Ingalls told The Times.

In fact, Ingalls is merely one of many runners who has been turning to teff as her go-to grain. Due to its high mineral levels, teff is beloved by endurance athletes, as well as Ethiopia’s legendary long distance runners, including 1996 and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie.

Registered dietitian Julie Lanford, of North Carolina, told The Times that she recommends teff to her clients because it offers a variety of different nutrients.

So prepare your blenders, and clear out some room in your kitchen cabinets, because it looks like teff will soon become a staple in diets across the world.

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