Wellness Resource

Is Teff the New Super Grain?
The New York Times
by Anahad O’Connor

When Laura Ingalls, an avid runner from Boston, found out after a routine blood test that she was iron-deficient, she turned to the kitchen instead of the medicine cabinet: She started eating teff.

A grain the size of a poppy seed that hails from Ethiopia, teff is naturally high in minerals and protein. Ms. Ingalls started baking with it, cooking with it, and using it to make hot cereal with coconut oil. Now she loves it so much that she doesn’t run a race without it.

“Teff is like a runner’s super food,” she said. “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.”

Teff has long been a dietary staple for Ethiopia’s legendary distance runners, like the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, who called teff a secret to the success of Ethiopian runners. But now teff is becoming a go-to grain for a growing number of Americans.

Endurance athletes like the grain because it’s naturally high in minerals. People who can’t tolerate gluten use teff as an alternative to wheat. And dietitians recommend teff as a way for Americans to introduce more whole grains into their diets.

The growing interest in teff is part of an increasing consumer desire for so-called ancient grains like faro, quinoa, spelt, amaranth and millet. Health-conscious consumers have been gravitating to these grains because they’re nutrient dense and have not been genetically modified. (source)

Wellness Resource

Obesity and Diabetes Tied to Liver Cancer
The New York Times
by Nicholas Bakalar

A large study has found that body mass index, waist circumference and diabetes are all associated with an increased risk for liver cancer. Liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer, and its incidence has tripled since the mid-1970s in the United States.

For the study, in Cancer Research, researchers pooled data from 14 prospective studies with more than 1.5 million participants. After controlling for age, sex, alcohol use, smoking and race, they found that being overweight increased the relative risk for liver cancer by between 21 percent and 142 percent as B.M.I increased. For each 2-inch increase in waist circumference, the risk of liver cancer increased by 8 percent, even after controlling for B.M.I. And those with Type 2 diabetes had more than double the risk for liver cancer, even among the non-obese.

There was no association of B.M.I. with cancer if the patient had hepatitis, a cause of liver cancer so strong that it overwhelms any other cause. But among those without hepatitis, the increased risk was significant.

“This study underscores that the parallel increase in obesity is part of the increase in liver cancer rates,” said the lead author, Peter T. Campbell, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society. “Now we have to accept the fact that obesity and Type 2 diabetes are strongly associated with liver cancer.”