14 May What the Heck Is Mankai® and Why I Love It!
This post was sponsored by Eat Mankai USA. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are my own.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in ten Americans don’t get the recommended amount of daily vegetables in their diet. I’m always looking for simple, easy ways to add vegetables to my diet and Mankai is so easy, versatile, and packed with nutrients! In 2020, I told you about the tiniest vegetable in the world, Mankai. Since then, there’s been even more research showing the benefits of this versatile green leafy vegetable. Here’s a look at the latest findings and an unbelievably simple Mankai Banana Apple Smoothie that’s packed with nutrition.
What is Mankai
Mankai, Wolffia globosa, is a green leafy vegetable and the tiniest vegetable on the planet. It measures less than 1/64th of an inch! It is so tiny that a spoon full of Mankai has over 3,000 plants! Mankai originated from Southeast Asia and is now grown in Israel and Western U.S. It has a neutral taste, like romaine lettuce but delivered in a tiny package. The texture is also neutral and is easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes.
Mankai is cultivated in a safe and sustainable ecosystem which was built for it to grow using a cutting edge, dynamically adaptive hydroponic system (pictured below). Mankai can be grown anywhere and harvested year-round. To grow, Mankai uses little light, little water, and has no waste. It’s also all-natural, minimally processed, allergen-free, and non-GMO.
Mankai’s Nutrition Information
Mankai is sold as a frozen cube (as seen below) with a serving size equal to 3 cubes (85 grams). It has a rather unique nutrient profile. Per serving, it provides 45 calories, 1 gram of total fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. Mankai is a complete protein providing all 9 essential amino acids. It is free of cholesterol and added sugar. It’s very low in sodium with only 10 milligrams per serving. It’s simply the frozen vegetable, with no added preservatives or fillers.
Mankai is also an excellent source of numerous nutrients including vitamin K providing 580-percent of the recommended daily value. It’s also an excellent source of folate, vitamin A, zinc, and iron and a good source of vitamin B12, choline and fiber. To put it into perspective, Mankai has 9 times as much iron as kale! It’s also one of the only plants that provides vitamin B12. Further, it provides omega-3 fats and a variety of polyphenols (natural plant chemicals that help prevent and fight disease). There truly is no other plant on this planet that provides the wide array of nutrients as Mankai.
An Update on Research
A 2020 study published in Heart examined the effects of a green Mediterranean Diet on risk factors for heart disease. This randomized control trial assigned 294 participants into one of three groups: The first group received healthy dietary guidance, the second group was the Mediterranean Diet group, and the third was a green Mediterranean Diet group. All groups were encouraged to have regular physical activity. Both Mediterranean Diet groups were calorie restricted and included 28g of walnuts per day. The green Mediterranean group included 3 to 4 cups of green tea and 100g per day (or 1 frozen cube) of Mankai plant-based protein shake. After 6 months, participants in both Mediterranean Diet groups lost a similar amount of weight compared to the first group who only received dietary guidance. However, the green Mediterranean Diet group had a greater reduction in waist circumference compared to the traditional Mediterranean Diet group and the dietary guidance group. In addition, there was a greater decrease in LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, diastolic blood pressure, and insulin resistance in the green Mediterranean Diet group compared to the other groups. Overall, the researchers concluded that the green Mediterranean Diet group achieved better improvement in all the risk factors that were looked at, which can help protect the heart.
A January 2021 study published in Gut examined the effects of a green Mediterranean Diet on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). According to medical experts, one out of four individuals in the world has NAFLD, where fat accumulated in the liver and affects how your liver functions. If untreated, it can lead to inflammation in the liver, cirrhosis, liver tumors, and even liver failure. The study showed that you can reduce the amount of fat in the liver through weight loss and dietary changes. The study groups were the same as listed above from the study published in Heart. The results found both the Mediterranean Diet groups reduced the amount of fat in their livers, but those on the green Mediterranean Diet reduced the amount of fat in their livers by twice the amount as those following the traditional Mediterranean Diet. Researchers also found that those on the green Mediterranean Diet ate the most folate-rich foods had the highest reductions of fat in their livers. It should be noted that folate is found in green leafy vegetables, like Mankai, and in walnuts.
Mankai can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen such as smoothies, dips, sauces, dressings, and more. It’s available in frozen cubes and can last for several months in your freezer. Mankai cubes can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Eat Mankai USA was kind enough to share their Mankai Banana Apple Smoothie recipe. It’s amazing that even the simplest fruit smoothie can be elevated into superfood status, with a wholesome boost of iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. Below you will find the first Mankai recipe I tried (which made me fall in love with the vegetable!) and a video showing you how quick and easy it is to make.
*NOTE: Website to order is EatMakai.com
Courtesy of Eat Mankai USA
3 frozen Mankai cubes
½ medium sized apple, core removed
1 small banana
2-3 pitted dates
1 cup cold water and ice cubes
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Nutrition Information per serving
Calories: 41; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Protein: 5g; Fiber: 3.5g; Added Sugars: 0g; Sodium: 5mg; Iron: 6.9mg; Potassium: 269mg; Vitamin B12: 0.27 mcg; Vitamin E: 2mg
You can purchase Mankai online. They are delivered as frozen cubes in a 12-count tray as seen below. It ships frozen with free 2-day shipping anywhere in the U.S. (no P.O. boxes). Use discount code TobyMankai15 for a 15% discount. Code is valid through July 2021