Is Seitan Healthy?

bowtie pasta with seitan and mushrooms protein
bowtie pasta with seitan and mushrooms

Seitan, pronounced say-tan, is a stringy type of gluten that is made of wheat. Seitan is popular among vegans and vegetarians because of its remarkably high protein content. Seitan is almost completely made of vital wheat gluten. On top of that, seitan is easy to prepare and can be made from simple ingredients.

Although it’s convenient to make seitan at home, many people prefer to buy it pre-made from stores and restaurants. However, store-bought seitan can come with extra sodium, flavoring, preservatives, or oils. The best way to avoid subtracting from the nutritional quality of your seitan is to make it yourself. Making your seitan yourself not only safeguards you against undesirable additives, but it also allows you to better customize your meal to your liking.

Seitan Protein Content

Seitan is low in calories, low in carbohydrates, low in fat, contains zero cholesterol and is high in protein – as it is derived from pure wheat gluten. Gluten is a class of proteins which can also be found in barely, rye, spelt, durum, emmer, semolina, farina, farro, graham, khorasan wheat, einkorn, and triticale.

According to Kerith Duncanson, senior research fellow, School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, seitan has about three times as much protein as beef or lamb. Hunter also states that a small serving of seitan (a portion no bigger than the size of one’s palm) contains 75 grams of protein. Among other nutrients, vital wheat gluten contains omega-6 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus and selenium. Omega-6 fatty acids has properties which have proven useful in the management of inflammatory skin diseases, like dermatitis, and acne. Dietary iron aids in oxidation-reduction reactions and oxygen transportation. Phosphorus, plays a critical role in gene transcription, intracellular energy storage and energy transfer. Foods containing selenium can help protect our bodies against oxidative stress and protection against infection.

Check out more of seitan’s benefits here!

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