Nutritional Aspects of Wakame: Protein, Lipids, Vitamin

2) Protein

The protein content of Wakame is very nearly equal to that of land plants such as grains and vegetables. Not only is Wakame's protein level high, but the quality of its protein is superior to that of wheat, soybeans, and other "high protein" grains and lentils. Where protein quality is concerned, the balance of amino acids determines how nutritious the protein is; as a protein source, eggs provide the best balance, and have been assigned a protein "score" of 100, to which other foods can be compared:

Protein Content (100g)
Soybeans 33.0g   Rice 6.8g
Wakame, dried 15.0g   Cabbage l.4g
Wheat 11.7g   Tomato 0.7g
Protein Score
Source: Japan National Institute of Resource,The Science and Technology Agency, Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan,1983
Egg 100   Soybeans 55
Pork 90   Wheat 55
Rice 77   Corn 51
Milk 74   Potatoes 47
Wakame,dried 66      

3) Lipids

The lipid content of Wakame is small, usually just 3% of the weight of dried Wakame. The fatty acid composition is nearly equal to that of vegetable oil. Although Wakame contains much more unsaturated than saturated fat, it is characterized by containing high levels of unsaponifiable matter such as sitosterol and oil-soluble vitamins.
Wakame is also rich in unsaturated fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid, linolenic acid and arachidonic acid. Eicosapentaenoic acid is a precursor of a physiological!y active substance called prostaglandin, which promotes dilation of the blood vessels and has been proven effective in helping prevent arteriosclerosis and hypertension.

4) Vitamins

Wakame's reputation for being high in nutrition is due in no small part to the fact that it is extremely high in vitamins and minerals. It is especially rich in vitamins B1, B2, C, niacin and carotene (which is transformed into vitamin A in the body). Compared to tomatoes, for example, the vitamin content of Wakame is truly superior, lending further credence to its being called a "sea vegetable".



Vitamin Content, Wakame and Tomato (100g)
Source: Japan National Institute of Resources, The Science and Technology Agency, Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan, 1983.
  Carotene(µg) VitaminB1 (mg) VitaminB2 (mg) Niacin(mg) VitaminC (mg)
Wakame dried 3300 0.3 1.15 8 15
Tomato 390 0.05 0.03 0.5 20
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