Hila Zelicha, a registered dietician (R.D.) and Ph.D. student in the BGU Department of Public Health and her BGU colleagues researched the glycemic aspect of water lentils, otherwise known as duckweed. Her research was just published in Diabetes Care, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association.
Researchers compared obese participants who drank water lentil shakes over a two week period compared to yogurt shakes. Those who consumed the water lentil shakes showed a much better response in a variety of measurements including lower glucose peak levels; morning fasting glucose levels; later peak time; and faster glucose evacuation.
A previous water lentils study conducted by Alon Kaplan, a Ph.D. student in Prof. Shai's lab, published in Clinical Nutrition, showed that the absorption of the essential amino acids was similar to the soft cheese and plant (peas) equivalent in protein content, reinforcing its role as a high-quality protein source. Also, the study suggested that water lentils are a unique plant source of vitamin B12.
Another study by the researchers in the Journal of Nutrition published earlier this year by BGU Ph.D. student Anat Yaskolka Meir R.D., shows that participants on a Mediterranean diet along with taking water lentils can improve their iron and folic acid levels without having to consume red meat. This study also determined that iron from water lentils is efficient in treating iron-deficiency anemia in anemic rats.