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Teff vs. Millet — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on November 29, 2022
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan
Teff
vs
Millet

Summary

Teff contains more manganese, iron, copper, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin B1 than millet. It is also lower in saturated fat, sugar, and glycemic index.

Millet is richer in Vitamin B2, B3, B6, and A and has less sodium than teff.

Introduction

In this article, you can find a detailed description of the differences between millet and teff.

What's The Actual Difference?

Teff is just one of the wide millet varieties classified as small millet. However, scientifically, it only belongs to the same subfamily and tribe. Millet has a mild corn-like flavor that is slightly sweeter than other grains, while teff has the mildest flavor and darker varieties have an earthier taste. Teff resembles tiny flax or brown poppy seeds, while millet resembles tiny corn kernels or seeds.

Nutrition

In this section, we will look into the differences between the nutrients of millet and teff. Below you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between them․

Calories

Teff contains 101 calories per 100g, and millet contains 119 calories per 100g.

Fats

Both have tiny amounts of fats

Carbs

Teff contains 19.86g of carbs per 100g, whereas millet contains 23.67g of carbs per 100g. 

Fiber

The amount of fiber in teff is higher than that of millet. Teff has 2.8g per 100g, while millet contains only 1.3g fiber. 

Vitamins

The vitamin content of millet is richer than that of teff.

Millet contains more Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin B6.

On the other hand, teff contains more Vitamin B1.

Both have equal amounts of folate.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Teff
1
:
11
Millet
Contains more Vitamin B1 +72.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +50%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +148.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +46.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +11.3%
Equal in Folate - 19
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1% 0% 0% 0% 46% 8% 18% 0% 23% 14% 0% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1% 1% 0% 0% 27% 19% 25% 11% 25% 15% 0% 7% 1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +72.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +50%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +148.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +46.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +11.3%
Equal in Folate - 19

Minerals

Teff contains more calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc than millet.

In addition, teff falls in the range of the top 8% of foods as a source of iron.

Millet has less sodium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Teff
8
:
2
Millet
Contains more Calcium +1533.3%
Contains more Iron +225.4%
Contains more Magnesium +13.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +20%
Contains more Potassium +72.6%
Contains more Zinc +22%
Contains more Copper +40.4%
Contains more Manganese +951.5%
Contains less Sodium -75%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 15% 77% 36% 52% 10% 2% 31% 76% 374% 0%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 1% 24% 32% 43% 6% 1% 25% 54% 36% 5%
Contains more Calcium +1533.3%
Contains more Iron +225.4%
Contains more Magnesium +13.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +20%
Contains more Potassium +72.6%
Contains more Zinc +22%
Contains more Copper +40.4%
Contains more Manganese +951.5%
Contains less Sodium -75%

Glycemic Index

Teff is considered moderate glycemic index food, and millet is considered high glycemic index food. The GI of teff is 57, whereas the GI of millet equals 71.

Health Impact

Teff contains more iron than millet, which benefits the overall blood and circulation system. It prevents the development of iron deficiency anemia. This was most noticeable in pregnant women [1].

Teff is also higher in zinc, which has several health benefits and regulates overall homeostasis. Zinc boosts the immune system, reduces the onset of chronic diseases, and lowers the risk of diabetes and cancer [2].

Gluten-Free

Section reviewed by gastroenterologist Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan

Gluten is a protein group found in wheat and other grains that gives dough its elasticity. Some people cannot consume gluten due to celiac disease, an autoimmune condition. Celiac disease is characterized by your immune system attacking the lining of your small intestine. This can cause anemia, weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, and bloating by impairing nutrient absorption. Teff and millet are gluten-free alternatives to wheat flour [3].

Diabetes

Both millet and teff are high in fiber and non-starchy polysaccharides, two types of indigestible carbohydrates that aid in blood sugar control [4]. As a result, millet and teff are regarded as the ideal grain for people with diabetes. For example, a study [5] of 105 people with type 2 diabetes discovered that switching from a rice-based breakfast to a millet-based breakfast reduced blood sugar levels after the meal.

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: November 29, 2022
Medically reviewed by Arpi Gasparyan

Infographic

Teff vs Millet infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Teff
3
:
2
Millet
Contains more Protein +10.3%
Contains more Other +68.3%
Contains more Fats +53.8%
Contains more Carbs +19.2%
Equal in Protein - 3.51
Equal in Water - 71.41
4% 20% 75%
Protein: 3.87 g
Fats: 0.65 g
Carbs: 19.86 g
Water: 74.93 g
Other: 0.69 g
4% 24% 71%
Protein: 3.51 g
Fats: 1 g
Carbs: 23.67 g
Water: 71.41 g
Other: 0.41 g
Contains more Protein +10.3%
Contains more Other +68.3%
Contains more Fats +53.8%
Contains more Carbs +19.2%
Equal in Protein - 3.51
Equal in Water - 71.41

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Teff Millet
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Teff Millet Opinion
Net carbs 17.06g 22.37g Millet
Protein 3.87g 3.51g Teff
Fats 0.65g 1g Millet
Carbs 19.86g 23.67g Millet
Calories 101kcal 119kcal Millet
Sugar 0.13g Teff
Fiber 2.8g 1.3g Teff
Calcium 49mg 3mg Teff
Iron 2.05mg 0.63mg Teff
Magnesium 50mg 44mg Teff
Phosphorus 120mg 100mg Teff
Potassium 107mg 62mg Teff
Sodium 8mg 2mg Millet
Zinc 1.11mg 0.91mg Teff
Copper 0.226mg 0.161mg Teff
Manganese 2.86mg 0.272mg Teff
Selenium 0.9µg Millet
Vitamin A 2IU 3IU Millet
Vitamin E 0.02mg Millet
Vitamin B1 0.183mg 0.106mg Teff
Vitamin B2 0.033mg 0.082mg Millet
Vitamin B3 0.909mg 1.33mg Millet
Vitamin B5 0.171mg Millet
Vitamin B6 0.097mg 0.108mg Millet
Folate 18µg 19µg Millet
Choline 11.2mg Millet
Vitamin K 0.3µg Millet
Tryptophan 0.041mg 0.038mg Teff
Threonine 0.149mg 0.113mg Teff
Isoleucine 0.146mg 0.148mg Millet
Leucine 0.311mg 0.446mg Millet
Lysine 0.109mg 0.067mg Teff
Methionine 0.125mg 0.07mg Teff
Phenylalanine 0.203mg 0.185mg Teff
Valine 0.2mg 0.184mg Teff
Histidine 0.088mg 0.075mg Teff
Saturated Fat 0.172g Teff
Monounsaturated Fat 0.184g Millet
Polyunsaturated fat 0.508g Millet

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Teff Millet
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
8%
Teff
10%
Millet
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
67%
Teff
22%
Millet

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Teff
Teff is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.13g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Teff
Teff is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.172g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Teff
Teff is lower in glycemic index (difference - 14)
Which food is cheaper?
Teff
Teff is cheaper (difference - $0.6)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Teff
Teff is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Millet
Millet contains less Sodium (difference - 6mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Millet
Millet is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Teff - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168918/nutrients
  2. Millet - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168871/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.