The world of food is swamped with superfoods like quinoa, oats and kale. These foods earned this title because of their high nutritional value, as they contain almost all of the essential nutrients. More and more superfoods are coming to fore and being recognised for their various health benefits; the latest one being mankai (duckweed). Also known as water lenses, duckweed (Lemnoideae) is a leafy aquatic plant that is found atop water surfaces, and has become a common food product in Southeast Asia. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel, recently studied the effects of duckweed on overall health and discovered that this new 'superfood' positively affects the the level of blood sugar by providing glycemic control; it also curbs excessive food cravings. Due to its high-protein content, duckweed is also known as 'vegetable meatball' in some areas.
The Duckweed research
The findings of the research were published in the official journal of the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care. It aimed to compare the glycemic response of mankai shake with an iso-carbohydrate/protein/caloric dairy/yogurt shake.
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Duckweed can help in controlling diabetes
For the study, 20 abdominally obese participants above the age of 51 were asked to replace their dinner meal with either, a green mankai shake or a yogurt shake. A flash glucose-monitoring system was used for two weeks to determine the effects of the new diet regime. It was found that participants who switched to mankai shake showed a better response and had improved fasting blood sugar levels, lower peak blood sugar levels, a later peak time, and faster evacuation of the glucose. They also felt fuller after their meals as compared to the participants who drank yogurt shakes.
The study determined that mankai duckweed may be used as a powerful alternative plant protein source for diabetes care and also for effective weight loss, especially in a vegan diet.
Benefits Of Duckweed
- Mankai duckweed is known to be an excellent source of necessary nutrients.
- It contains the same amount of proteins as found in eggs, and also harbours all nine essential amino acids.
- Duckweed abounds with dietary fibre, vitamins A, vitamin B complex and vitamin B12 and vital minerals like iron and zinc.
- The impressive profile of duckweed makes it an inexpensive yet healthful food for diabetics and dieters.