What Is Duckweed?Duckweed, sometimes called “water lentils”, are a type of aquatic plant that grows on the surface of slow moving bodies of water like ponds, swamps, and other wetlands. There are a number of different kinds, but none of them grow much larger than a centimeter wide. They most often appear as an oval-shaped green leaf, with an appearance similar to a clover leaf or a green lentil. Duckweed is a big element of the diets of many kinds of ducks (duh!), fish, and other wetland animals, but researchers have found that the nutritional value of duckweed could mean it might become an important part of our diet too.
Benefits Of DuckweedThe benefits of duckweed seem to be endless: a 2017 study by nutritional scientists have found that these tiny plants contain levels of vitamins, minerals, and even protein that are higher than almost any other vegetable! Some species of duckweed have been found to have protein make up 40% of their dry weight, about as much as medium sized chicken egg. This protein content has led to hundreds of years of consumption in some areas of Southeast Asia, where it grows naturally. This protein power also comes with a ton of other nutrients:
- All essential and conditional amino acids
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamins A, B complex and B12
- Iron and zinc