Acai, kale, and quinoa are only a few nutritious foods that were branded “superfoods” recently. Superfoods are foods that include beneficial substances like antioxidants, fiber and fatty acids. They are said to improve wellbeing and longevity in many respects, such as by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure and avoiding cancer. The word “superfood” isn’t scientifically controlled and is widely utilized to impose trends in health and marketing.
But marketing aside, some of these superfoods are studied in order to uncover their benefits. Moreover, with climate change raging on, it is imperative to come across new ways to maintain our immunity. One new food being researched for its advantages is mantai duckweed, mainly as a protein source. Okay, let’s explain that a bit more closely before diving into its many benefits – duckweed is the smallest flowering plant out there, located in aquatic environments like ponds and lakes, while mankai is one of its strains.
Bursting with protein, mankai has been known in Southeast Asia for generations, widely called a ‘veggie meatball.’ Duckweed seems to have the equal protein composition as an egg and comprises 9 essential amino acids. The mankai duckweed is especially high in iron, zinc, vitamins A, B and B12.
A small research by Ben Gurion University of the Negev contrasted the effects of gulping down a mankai shake to a yoghurt one and discovered that the mankai helped reduce glucose levels. Past studies showed that this duckweed has the equal good quality protein content like soft cheeses and peas and established the weed as a significant origin of vitamin B12.
Some of the places where mankai is being grown for commercial purposes are Israel and the USA. Specifically, it is cultivated in closed sustainable environments, since it requires much less water to produce every protein gram than spinach or soy. This weed is cultivated during the whole year with hydroponic cultivation. Still, not everything is yet rosy in the world of mankai research – we have yet to find out how mankai is exactly metabolized when we consume it as a whole food.
Often we squirm at the thought of kale and its taste, while mankai holds a slight advantage due to its pretty much odorless and tasteless nature, so of course mankai shakes already started popping around. Not only can you find this superfood in powdered form, you can also slather your skin with this benefit-rich duckweed. So don’t be surprised if you soon find yourself bumping into mankai duckweed at your local supermarket in all forms and shapes!
And before you go, here’s a quick and flavor-rich recipe that’ll spice up your mornings and provide a robust serving of iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin E:
MANKAI SMOOTHIE BREAKFAST RECIPE
- 3 FROZEN MANKAI CUBES
- ½ CUP RAW PEACH PIECES
- 3.5 OZ. BANANA
- 0.4 OZ HONEY
- PINCH OF GINGER POWDER
- PINCH OF CINNAMON
- 6.5 OZ. COLD WATER AND ICE CUBES
Prep instructions: Pop it all in a blender, blend until smooth and enjoy the quick guilt-free meal!