Men’s Fitness Highlights Vegan Sea-Based Protein Sources

Algae, seaweed, and a widespread pond plant called the “water lentil” could be the future of sustainable, animal-free protein.

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Men’s Fitness magazine recently recommended three plant-based sources of protein it says “you’re not eating, but should.” Macroalgae and microalgae is highlighted for being packed with vitamins and minerals (including A, V, E, folate, calcium, iodine, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids), carbohydrates, and proteins—with the macro variety being composed of 50 percent protein and the micro leveling at 70 percent. The fitness publication also touted spirulina, a form of microalgae, as having more protein and iron than 20-percent-fat ground beef. Seaweed’s protein-per-calorie ratio (1 gram per 10 calories, or 50 grams per 100 calorie serving), beneficial amino acid profile, high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12 make it another top pick, while duckweed—a small, floating aquatic plant regularly harvested from ponds and still water in much of Asia—is spotlighted for having “among the highest protein levels in the plant kingdom.” Dubbed “water lentils” by the French, duckweed even outpaces soy in terms of protein, with 45 percent compared to the bean’s 36 percent.