The new superfood, mankai duckweed, has recently been found to help control the blood sugar and offer other health benefits by researchers in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). The rich protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and other nutrition in mankai duckweed make it an ideal food for the overall health.
Superfoods: the new fashion
Superfoods are foods that are thought to be nutritionally dense and thus foods for one’s health. Blueberries, salmon, broccoli are some examples of what have garnered the “superfood” label.
“Superfoods don’t have their own food group,” said Despina Hyde, a registered dietician at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “I think ‘superfood’ is more of a market term for foods that have health benefits."
More and more superfoods are discovered these years because of their rich nutrition or great benefits they have on people’s health.
For people with diabetes, especially type-2 diabetes or prediabetes (a condition under which the person has a higher blood sugar than normal but not as critical as to be diagnosed as diabetics), superfoods for lowering or controlling blood sugar are essential to their treatment.
(To see more about preventing diabetes, click here: Nobody is Safe: Your Ultimate Diabetes Prevention Guidebook)
A newly published study by researchers from BGU showed that Mankai duckweed performs better in lowering blood sugar compared with the control group.
In the study, the researchers set two groups of people taking Mankai shake and yogurt shake respectively.
The shake consumption in the two groups are equal in carbohydrates, protein, lipids, and calories.
After two weeks of monitoring with glucose sensors, participants who took duckweed shake showed a much better figure in a variety of measurements including:
1. Lower glucose peak levels
2. Lower morning fasting glucose levels
3. Later peak time
4. Faster glucose evacuation
5. Greater satiety
The research group in BGU led by Prof. Iris Shai has been studying the effects of duckweed for some years.
A previous study showed that the absorption of the essential amino acids from Mankai duckweed was similar to the soft cheese and plant (peas) equivalent in protein content. The result showed that duckweed could be used as a high-quality protein source. It’s also a unique plant source of vitamin B12.
Another study by the group indicates that a Mediterranean diet with Mankai duckweed elevates iron and folic acid levels, despite low quantities of red meat.
Natural duckweed contains 86-97% water, so measurements of nutrient composition are taken from the dried product. Ideally grown duckweed contains:
35-45% protein by weight
The calorie of duckweed is still uncertain, but for your information, the calorie of dried spirulina, a similar hydrophyte, is 51 calories per 100g.
There are some other superfoods which are believed to help lower the blood sugar listed below.