Spelt vs Teff: How Do They Compare?

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

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 29, 2023.

Spelt 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 spelt and teff and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Spelt (Triticum spelta) is an ancient type of wheat that is believed to have originated in the Near East.

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

Spelt is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes such as bread and pasta. It has a nutty and slightly sweet 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.

Spelt is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to have a positive impact on 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.

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

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) 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).

Spelt 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 spelt vs teff.

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

Energy338 kcal367 kcal
Carbs70.2 g73.13 g
Sugar6.82 g1.84 g
Fiber10.7 g8 g
Protein14.6 g13.3 g
Fat2.43 g2.38 g
Saturated Fat0.406 g0.449 g

Spelt vs Teff Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing spelt vs teff for weight loss, spelt is slightly lower in calories, with 338 calories per 100 grams, compared to 367 calories per 100 grams of teff.

However, both spelt 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.

Spelt vs Teff Protein

Grains and most grain products, including spelt 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.

Spelt offers around 9% more protein than teff.

Spelt has 14.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while teff has 13.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Spelt 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 spelt and teff.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 4% higher in teff than in spelt. It has 73.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 70.2 grams in spelt.

There’s less sugar in teff than in spelt, 74% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of teff contains 1.8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of spelt contains 6.8 grams.

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

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

With 10.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, spelt is a better source of fiber than teff which spelt offers 8 grams per 100 gram portion.

Spelt vs Teff Fats

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

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

Total fat in spelt and teff:

  • Spelt: 2.4 grams per 100 grams
  • Teff: 2.4 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, spelt and teff contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.4 grams per 100 grams.

Spelt vs Teff Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of spelt and teff.

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

Spelt has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

However, teff has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

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

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

Vitamin A10 IU9 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.364 mg0.39 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.113 mg0.27 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.84 mg3.363 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.07 mg0.942 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.23 mg0.482 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)45 µg0
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.79 mg0.08 mg
Vitamin K3.6 µg1.9 µg

Spelt 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 spelt and teff comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Spelt 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.

Spelt and teff contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

Calcium27 mg180 mg
Copper0.511 mg0.81 mg
Iron4.44 mg7.63 mg
Magnesium136 mg184 mg
Manganese2.98 mg9.24 mg
Phosphorus401 mg429 mg
Potassium388 mg427 mg
Selenium11.7 µg4.4 µg
Sodium8 mg12 mg
Zinc3.28 mg3.63 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between spelt 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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