A special welcome to guest writer, Nadra Shah who shares this exclusive look into the nutritional benefits of Turmeric and Teff.
Nadra aims to support mental wellbeing through nourishing food. Nadra is a graduate from the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, and is a registered Nutritional Advisor with the Naturopathic Nutrition Association (NNA).
Not only do we first and foremost want to create delicious satisfying healthy snacks that are interesting and flavoursome, but we want them to be naturally nutritiously sound. Our focus is nourishing food that supports mental wellbeing and gut health.
Alongside Holly Miles a registered Nutritional Therapist and co-conspirator of all things nutritional, we shall be shining a spotlight on some the key ingredients that are featured in the range: looking at the nutritional benefits and giving you an insight into the supporting evidence.
And then when you thought it couldn’t get any better I have created a nutritious recipe that uses Turmeric and the other wonder “T” of the moment, Teff.
So, what is all the fuss about Turmeric?
Turmeric has been growing in popularity for a while, mostly because of the rise of Turmeric lattes. It is a spice that has quite rightly earned its place in nutritional circles; with a body of evidence supporting its benefits.
I love using Turmeric with sweet flavours as it gives an earthy depth, much in the same way as Beetroot.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Asian food and in the practice of Ayurveda. It’s derived from the root of the turmeric plant and is a member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin which is what gives it is yellow colour and why you are stuck with yellow fingers after a curry!
The Benefits of Turmeric
There has been a lot of research into the benefits of curcumin, and it has been found to have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making this a very interesting and potentially health promoting spice. There is considerable research supporting the use of curcumin in osteoarthritis particularly with regard to reducing symptoms of pain.
Holly says, “including foods in the diet which have natural anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which can irritate the gut in some sensitive individuals”.
With the increasing amount of research that is emerging around the link between the gut and mental health, reducing gut related issues can only be beneficial.
Holly goes on to say,
“Preliminary evidence also suggests that curcumin may help improve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in some individuals, promote the production of pancreatic enzymes required for healthy digestion and may also have a protective effect on the lining of the gut ”.
As someone who suffers with depression what I found really interesting, is that initial research suggests that curcumin may have a role in reducing anxiety and depression.
Now, that’s Good Mood Food right there!
The Benefits of Teff
Teff, oh my goodness there is SO much to say about Teff it is difficult to know where to start.
Teff, or Eragrostis tef, which is its species name, is actually a grass seed from the lovegrass family and is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea.
It’s on par with Quinoa with regards to protein containing an extra 2.5g per every 100g. The benefits of protein for muscle repair is well known, with the fitness crowd chomping down on protein balls like there’s no tomorrow but it is also a key component in neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain that can influence mood). For example, the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine are required for the production of dopamine, adrenalin and noradrenalin and tryptophan is a precursor for Serotonin. Surprisingly between 80%-90% of Serotonin is found in the gastrointestinal tract.
I think the most surprising nutritional benefit of Teff is its calcium content which has an absolutely whopping 180mg per 100g compared to 50mg (oats) and 79mg (quinoa).
The last thing of note with Teff is its fibre content; “In simple terms fibre does really help to take care of the lining of the gut”.
And we love keeping our guts healthy!
So there you have it. You can now take this recipe and breakfast, safe in the knowledge that you are fuelling your day with some fantastic nutritional benefits.
Turmeric Teff Porridge
150g Teff Grains
200ml Nut milk of choice
2 tsp of Maple syrup
2 tsp of Tahini
1 heaped tsp Cocoa powder
¾ tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Ceylon cinnamon
Generous Pinch of salt
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Activated Pumpkin seeds (see below)
Sprinkling of Sesame seeds
Drizzle of Maple syrup
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How To Make The Porridge:
1. Add the teff grains, water, nut milk, syrup and spices to a saucepan and bring to boil.
2. Once you’ve reached boiling point reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20minutes stirring occasionally so the teff doesn’t stick.
3. Whilst simmering add in tahini and stir through.
4. You will know the teff has cooked when it has thickened and is creamy.
5. Remove from the heat and leave the porridge to stand in the pan for 2 minutes.
6. Divide between two bowls and top with the suggested serving.
How To Make The Activated Pumpkin Seeds:
You can do this in an oven if you don’t have a dehydrator
1. Place 300g of pumpkin seeds in a bowl with 500ml of water with 2tsp of salt, cover and leave overnight or for at least 8hrs.
2. The following day rinse well and then place in a dehydrator between 115-120 for 2 hours or in an oven on 100 for 3-4hrs.
3. Equally you could toast them if you are short on time!
4. Keep in an airtight jar, they will keep for several months.
To hear more from Nadra Shah & Holly Miles
Holly Miles is a registered nutritional therapist and health coach. She holds an MSc in Personalised Nutrition from Middlesex University and has a Nutritional Therapy Practice Diploma from the Centre of Nutrition Education and Lifestyle Management (CNELM). She is also a member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).