Sea Plants Emerge as Sources of Plant-Based Protein

Mar 18, 2016 07:13 AM EDT | By Mikhail Blacer

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According to a press release by the Chicago-based Institute of Food Technologists, seaweed and other water-based plants are nutritious and valid sources of protein. Yes, you read that right: aquatic plants can now meet your daily protein demands and the report even goes as far as saying it is as palatable.

Though this comes off as alarming and rather disgusting, these plants are actually healthy and contain a vast array of nutrients. According to the report, there are three types of sea plants which can meet your protein needs. This include: 

Algae

These plants, which appear as green liquid-like organisms on water's surface, are actually one of the most important organisms on earth. This is mainly because they are responsible for nearly half of the photosynthesis that occurs, making them the primary producers of oxygen. There are two types of algae - micro and macro. Regardless, both are chock-full of nutrients, according to the report. 

Both micro- and macroalgae are nutrient dense with varying amounts of vitamins A, C, E, folate, calcium, iodine, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein and a variety of other nutrients. The protein content macroalgae range from 3 to 50 percent and microalgae's protein content is even higher, ranging up to 70 percent. 

Seaweed

Seaweed is already stable in East Asian countries. After all, it is widely used to wrap sushi and hold the rice and fish together. According to the report, red seaweeds have the highest protein content. Nori, the one being used to wrap sushi rolls, contains the highest amount of protein, with 50 grams in a 100-gram sheet. 

Additionally, there's also a type of seaweed that tastes like bacon, so it's likely that we will seaweed becoming a staple food in the near future. 

Duckweed

Duckweed, a plant which is commonly a source of food for fish and birds, may also be consumed by humans. It has a high protein content and is eaten by people from Sout East Asia and Africa. 


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