Barley flour vs Teff: How To Choose?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between barley flour and teff, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the barley flour vs teff comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 28, 2023.

Barley flour and teff belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare barley flour and teff and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Barley flour

Barley flour (Hordeum vulgare) is made from ground barley, which is a type of cereal grain that is grown in many parts of the world.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Barley flour is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes such as bread and porridge. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in most recipes. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Barley flour is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Barley flour is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.


Teff (Eragrostis tef) is a small, gluten-free ancient grain that is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

It is a good source of iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins like niacin and thiamin. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and essential amino acids.

Teff has been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and weight management. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Teff can be cooked and eaten as a porridge, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make bread, pancakes, and other baked goods. It can also be used as a replacement for grains like quinoa, millet, or oats in recipes.

Teff is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid).

Barley flour vs Teff Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing barley flour vs teff.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of barley flour and teff and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Barley flourTeff
Energy345 kcal367 kcal
Carbs74.5 g73.13 g
Sugar0.8 g1.84 g
Fiber10.1 g8 g
Protein10.5 g13.3 g
Fat1.6 g2.38 g
Saturated Fat0.335 g0.449 g

Barley flour vs Teff Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing barley flour vs teff for weight loss, barley flour is slightly lower in calories, with 345 calories per 100 grams, compared to 367 calories per 100 grams of teff.

However, both barley flour and teff can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Barley flour vs Teff Protein

Grains and most grain products, including barley flour and teff, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Teff offers around 21% more protein than barley flour.

Teff has 13.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley flour has 10.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Barley flour vs Teff Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in barley flour and teff.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 2% higher in barley flour than in teff. It has 74.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 73.1 grams in teff.

There’s less sugar in barley flour than in teff, 56% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of barley flour contains 0.8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of teff contains 1.8 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in barley flour and teff.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 10.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams, barley flour is a better source of fiber than teff which barley flour offers 8 grams per 100 gram portion.

Barley flour vs Teff Fats

Like most other grains, barley flour and teff are low in fat.

Fats in barley flour and teff are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in barley flour and teff:

  • Barley flour: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Teff: 2.4 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, barley flour is 25% lower in saturated fats.

Barley flour and teff contain 0.3 grams and 0.4 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Barley flour vs Teff Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of barley flour and teff.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Barley flour has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

However, teff has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Barley flour and teff contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins barley flour and teff contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Barley flourTeff
Vitamin A09 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.37 mg0.39 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.114 mg0.27 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.27 mg3.363 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.145 mg0.942 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.396 mg0.482 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)8 µg0
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.57 mg0.08 mg
Vitamin K2.2 µg1.9 µg

Barley flour vs Teff Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the barley flour and teff comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Barley flour is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc than teff.

On the other hand, teff is a higher amount of selenium.

Barley flour and teff contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how barley flour and teff compare when it comes to mineral content.

Barley flourTeff
Calcium32 mg180 mg
Copper0.343 mg0.81 mg
Iron2.68 mg7.63 mg
Magnesium96 mg184 mg
Manganese1.03 mg9.24 mg
Phosphorus296 mg429 mg
Potassium309 mg427 mg
Selenium37.7 µg4.4 µg
Sodium4 mg12 mg
Zinc2 mg3.63 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between barley flour and teff.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


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