Teff vs Wheat germ: How To Choose?

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

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 23, 2023.

Teff and wheat germ 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 teff and wheat germ and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


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).

Wheat germ

Wheat germ (Triticum aestivum) is a by-product of wheat milling and is derived from the inner part of the wheat kernel.

It is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It is particularly high in vitamin E, folate, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Wheat germ is also a good source of plant-based protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

It is often used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, granolas, and baked goods or as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and salads. It can also be added to smoothies and other drinks for an extra boost of nutrition.

Wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains Vitamin E, and Vitamin K in a small amount.

Teff vs Wheat germ Nutrition

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

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

TeffWheat germ
Energy367 kcal360 kcal
Carbs73.13 g51.8 g
Sugar1.84 g0.98 g
Fiber8 g13.2 g
Protein13.3 g23.2 g
Fat2.38 g9.72 g
Saturated Fat0.449 g1.66 g

Teff vs Wheat germ Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing wheat germ vs teff for weight loss, wheat germ is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 367 calories per 100 grams of teff.

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

Teff vs Wheat germ Protein

Grains and most grain products, including teff and wheat germ, 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.

Wheat germ offers around 43% more protein than teff.

Wheat germ has 23.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while teff has 13.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Teff vs Wheat germ 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 teff and wheat germ.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 29% higher in teff than in wheat germ. It has 73.1 grams per 100 grams, compared to 51.8 grams in wheat germ.

There’s less sugar in wheat germ than in teff, 44% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of wheat germ contains 1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of teff contains 1.8 grams.

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

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

With 13.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, wheat germ is a better source of fiber than teff which offers 8 grams per 100 gram portion.

Teff vs Wheat germ Fats

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

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

Total fat in teff and wheat germ:

  • Teff: 2.4 grams per 100 grams
  • Wheat germ: 9.7 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, teff is 76% lower in saturated fats.

Teff and wheat germ contain 0.4 grams and 1.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Teff vs Wheat germ Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of teff and wheat germ.

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

Teff has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, wheat germ has a higher amount of vitamin A.

Teff and wheat germ contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

TeffWheat germ
Vitamin A9 IU0
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.39 mg1.88 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.27 mg0.499 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.363 mg6.81 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.942 mg2.26 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.482 mg1.3 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)0281 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.08 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg5.9 µg

Teff vs Wheat germ 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 teff and wheat germ comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Teff is a better source of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than wheat germ.

On the other hand, wheat germ is a higher amount of calcium, copper, and iron.

Teff and wheat germ contain the same amount of fluoride, and sodium.

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

TeffWheat germ
Calcium180 mg39 mg
Copper0.81 mg0.796 mg
Iron7.63 mg6.26 mg
Magnesium184 mg239 mg
Manganese9.24 mg13.3 mg
Phosphorus429 mg842 mg
Potassium427 mg892 mg
Selenium4.4 µg79.2 µg
Sodium12 mg12 mg
Zinc3.63 mg12.3 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between teff and wheat germ.

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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