In recent years, people from all countries have got used to consume different types of Comestible Algae. There are many varieties of this species, which besides having a delicious flavor, provide multiple properties and benefits for our body.
Table Of Content
- 1 Comestible Algae Around The World
- 2 What are Marine Algae?
- 3 Types of Comestible Algae
- 3.1 Sea Spaghetti
- 3.2 Benefits to lose weight.
- 3.3 They have a high content of Iron.
- 3.4 Useful for treating thyroid problems
- 3.5 Kombu Seaweed
- 3.6 Agar Agar.
- 3.7 Nori Seaweed
- 3.8 Wakame Seaweed
- 4 Benefits of Consuming Algae
Comestible Algae Around The World
The custom of consuming comestible algae comes from the Japanese culture; but it has gained huge popularity within western countries. As a result, people are eating more algae than a few years ago; although they don´t know what are algae exactly yet.
Algae or seaweed are a type of vegetables, that can grow both in freshwater and saltwater. They go through the same cycles, than the terrestrial plants that we know; this means that they grow, multiply and die without the aid of fertilizers or pesticides.
An important aspect to keep in mind about algae, is that not all of them can be used in gastronomy. In fact only 50 species are edible, from a total of 25,000 species of seaweed that exist in the world. There are differences between most of these species, because despite having about 2,000 million years of existence; they have been evolving and changing constantly.
What are Marine Algae?
Algae are present in all waters of the world; although there are many of them that also that develop on land. The cultivation of algae is developed mostly in coastal areas; bringing economic benefits to the communities that perform this activity . In Latin America, these crops are not enough developed, but there are some organizations working in order to improve this system. So, they are providing help , to fishing communities and giving a viable option in economic matters.
Before classifying the types of comestible algae, we must learn about them; which will help us understand all the benefits they provide .
Marine algae are merely vegetables organisms, that can live both in fresh and saltwater. They don´t develop flowers like other terrestrial plants. The algae release substances based on CO2; and other kind of compounds , that are dissolved in water.
The main difference between them and terrestrial plants; is that they don´t develop driving or supporting tissues. They keep in upright or firm position, because gravity does not interfere on them, since they develop in water.
Classification of Marine Algae.
These are plants with large amounts of chlorophyll inside of them. They are closely linked to CyanoBacterias.
These algae have big amounts of chlorophyll and starch and they are mostly distributed in freshwater, 90% of them. The remaining 10% live in salty seas. They prefer cold and / or cool zones for their reproduction.
These algae have biliproteins, that contribute to eliminate the green color of chlorophyll . They accumulate starch and sulfates like agar among other complements.
These algae owe their color, to the presence of big amounts of xanthophylls; and the abundance of other pigments, that may appear in the long run. They only live in salty water, and they are quite used to prepare emulsions such as fertilizers. They have a high content of iodine, which is very useful for this purpose.
Benefits of Marine Algae
There are many benefits related to the amazing properties of these plants. We should start mentioning , the high concentrations of vitamin B12, vitamin E and antioxidants; which are quite useful for our body. They don´t absorb pollutants and they are also energetic plants. Their high content of minerals such as iodine, calcium, magnesium, and fiber, facilitates the production of natural fertilizers.
They are also employed as natural remedies against constipation, and in strict regimes of alimentation for problems in the thyroid gland.
Types of Comestible Algae
There are 50 types of comestible algae which provide multiple benefits for the body. They represent a great complement to our health. Similarly, they are an important element of different types of gastronomies around the world; since they are quite used by the most recognized restaurants in different countries. In this article we’ll show you some types of comestible algae, and the benefits they provide.
This type of comestible algae, has the scientific name Himanthalia Elongata, but it’s commonly known as sea spaghetti. It is characterized for being very similar to noodles. Its color is yellow with greenish shades. This species is not very popular in the Eastern countries; but in Europe it’s one of the most consumed.
The sea spaghetti is thick and very fleshy; and its flavor is not so intense, so it canbe combined very well in different recipes. It has high content of potassium, vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Properties of the Sea Spaghetti.
All algae are rich in calcium, specially the sea spaghetti which is probably the species with the highest content of this mineral. It provides much more calcium than 100 ml of milk. This is the reason why many doctors and nutritionists prefer to balance the amounts of milk and algae, including this food into the daily diet especially for elder people.
It is also very effective for athletes, since it’s really useful to equalize the levels of minerals in their bodies, after long and exhausting competitions or exercises.
Benefits for the Heart
Given their high content of potassium, these algae have become really necessary to achieve a good cardiac function. They are especially recommended for people who suffer cardiac diseases . It is good to know, that the medicines commonly used to control these kind of diseases; make the body lose big amounts of potassium. So, this is the reason why it is recommended, to consume these algae periodically, in order to replenish this loss. A single portion per day is more than enough.
Benefits to lose weight.
All types of comestible algae, are considered as vegetables with high contents of minerals. This fact makes of them very necessaries, to lose weight in a healthy way. Their high content of nutrients is ideal for any diet; as well as they also help purify the liver and detoxify it properly.
In the case of the sea spaghetti, they are also very beneficial for those who like natural diets, since it has been demonstrated that they are a very efficient remedy for hypertension and kidney problems.
They have a high content of Iron.
The Sea Spaghetti is the alga with the highest content of iron compared with any other one. Although iron which comes from vegetables , is not absorbed as much as that of animals; the consumption of this alga helps balance low iron levels and to combat anemia; if this is the case. It is very recommended, for people who have lost big amounts of blood.
Useful for treating thyroid problems
The content of iodine is another distinctive property of the sea spaghetti. This trace element is very important for the proper functioning of thyroid gland; which controls the human body metabolic process.
The absence or deficiency of this mineral produces adverse effects such as depresion, constipation weight gain and fatigue. So, its consumption should never be omitted.
Now, we should also mention; that a high consumption of this mineral, will produce the opposite effect. Note that according to specialists , a serving of 100-200 mcg per day, is enough to fulfill the human body requirements.
In case of hyperthyroidism, it is not advisable to consume this alga; because it is recommended to reduce or even eliminate the consumption of iodine in the usual diet. (See article nori seaweed for further information about the proper consumption of iodine)
Now, we invite you to watch this video to learn more about the Sea Espaghetti
This is a type of comestible algae which also has amazing benefits. It’s high content of fiber helps purify and strengthen the intestine; as well as it also stimulates the metabolism. This alga belongs to the species of kelp algae, which is constituted for a wide variety of specimen.
The consumption of kombu seaweed which began thousand years ago occurs mainly in Japan. It is used as the basis of a famous local broth called dashi; as well as in many others Japanese dishes. The properties of this seaweed were shown by Buddhist monks , and it can be found in any local market of organic food in the form of sheets whether dry or fresh.
Properties of Kombu Seaweed
This alga contains high quantities of alginic acid, which has excellent purifying properties. It is not absorbed by our organism, so it acts as an effective debugger of the intestines; fully benefiting the intestinal flora. The alginic acid also eliminates all types of toxin, ejecting them from the body in a natural way. In fact this alga is used in many recipes to combat colitis either normal or acute.
It reduces the cooking time of vegetables.
The glutamic acid of this alga has an intense and very characteristic flavor, similar to that of preservatives that are commonly used in meals. This acid is useful to soft some difficult fibers contained in vegetables, which makes them easy to digest by the body.
This seaweed possesses high contents of Iodine, whose benefits have been mentioned previously in this article. Including kombu two or three times per week in our diet would be enough to have the proper amount of this mineral .
Is good to remember, that Iodine is one of the most powerful stimulators of our body, mainly for the thyroid gland; which causes our metabolism to accelerate.
Other benefits of Kombu Seaweed and how to include it in your meals
The consumption of this alga also improves the lymphatic system, and it’s quite useful to prevent hypertension or to control different heart diseases that people may suffer. Thus it’s a good idea to employ it, in the diet of people with these health problems. The best way to do it, is by incorporating it in stews or soups, since kombu needs a high cooking.
There are also others options for example you can bake them at high temperature for about 10 minutes; then you just have to grind them with a mortar, until they become powder and thus more simple to add in any preparation. Remember that anyway, the dish will capture their flavor and all the nutrients they provide
This is a millenary alga used from ancient China combined with other algae. It’s very beneficial for treating obesity problems, and also for people who suffer of constipation, helping them to purify their metabolism by detoxifying the blood.
The agar agar has many medicinal benefits for the human body, since it contains a lot of prebiotic fiber and multiple minerals. We can find it in several forms, such as capsules or natural slices, which at culinary level can be combined with gelatins and other recipes .So this alga is ideal for any type of diet.
Benefits of the Agar Agar.
These algae are very beneficial for the human body, since their high fiber content helps the digestive system in constipation problems. Two teaspoons of agar agar powder dissolved into water every morning, will be enough to regularize your evacuations.
You can also prepare delicious dishes made of this sort of gelatin and refrigerate them, for being consumed several days later.
It helps people who suffer from hemorrhoids.
The consumption of this alga helps prevent hemorrhoids problems, since it hydrates the fecal bolus and stimulates the natural movement of the intestines; favoring the evacuation and facilitating a better expulsion of the feces.
It doesn´t have Calories
The most important thing about this alga, is that it doesn´t contain calories so it is very good for any diet
At the same time due to its high fiber content , the agar agar helps decrease cholesterol levels in our body, and those unwanted fatty salts that stagnate in our intestines. So, they are especially recommended to eliminate big amounts of cholesterol as well as bad fats that could be harmful in the future.
It’s useful to prevent various intestinal diseases
It is a great help in intestinal diseases either chronic or just temporal; if you suffer from diarrhea, gastritis, stomach flu, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, among others do not hesitate to add this alga to your diet.
The agar agar also helps improve the intestinal flora preventing constipation, since it acts as a great intestinal regulator, To make all this really work, doctors usually complement its consumption with a proper diet; in order to eliminate those foods that can be harmful to the intestinal flora.
Now, we offer you this video to learn more about the Agar Agar
This is a type of comestible alga that contains many interesting properties. Actually is one of the most consumed algae throughout the world; since it is the one employed to make the famous dish called sushi.
Benefits of Nori.
Like the other algae, the nori is characterized for its high contents of minerals, iodine, iron, calcium and potassium; as well as multiple vitamins such as vitamin B and C. It is suitable for the treatment of the kidneys and bladder problems; such as infections in the urine or watery systitis. These properties distinguish it a little from the others seaweed.(See article nori seaweed for further information about this species)
The nori is a type of brown seaweed; which contains big amounts of carotenoids, composed by multiple photosynthetic pigments. These elements are useful to counteract some individuals outside our body. They also prevent premature aging and depurate the skin.
Its minerals provide positive properties.
Even consuming these algae sparingly they provide multiple minerals for the body. So it is not necessary to abuse of them to obtain their nutrients.
Their high content of calcium and magnesium make them quite useful during menopause. It is also highly recommended for people with problems of osteoporosis and during pregnancy and lactation of the baby.
Like other types of comestible algae, nori is also beneficial for athletes who are recommended,to incorporate it into their calcium-rich diets. These algae are rich in trace elements, that help them to recover all the minerals lost, during their intense exercises or competitions.
This type of algae lives in leafy environments. It’s widely used in the eastern cuisine for example in Japan, China and Korea, which influence has transcended around the world leading the new gastronomic trends.
The properties offered by this plant are very similar to those of kombu seaweed, as they are composed almost by the same elements. Its content of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iodine in large quantities, just as kombu; is quite useful to soften the fibers consumed by the body .
This alga has a large amount of pigments such as chlorophyll, which help purify our body and to prevent premature aging. They are also useful to eliminate toxins.
Its high levels of calcium favor the body.
A teaspoon of wakame is equivalent to more than 100 ml of liquid milk .
It is very recommended during menopause and in those cases where suffering from illnesses such as osteoporosis. They also provide the calcium necessary in the diets of vegetarian people. As in all cases,athletes often benefit from this type of algae, as it helps to reintegrate to the body levels of minerals lost during the physical training.
Useful to lose weight naturally.
The wakame algae contain big amounts of soluble fiber, which is useful to reduce the levels of cholesterol .Wakame also contains potassium, which provides many benefits to the proper functioning of the heart; preventing this way cardiac diseases. It’s commonly employed in diets designed to prevent hypertension, and to purify the liver of unwanted organisms; likewise it helps to avoid fluid retention and the cellulite formation in women.
Benefits of Consuming Algae
Given all the properties and benefits listed in this article; algae have become very popular recently. Just to summarize we can mention their content of vitamins, fiber and minerals, which are essentials to take care of our body.
In addition, it’s known nowadays, that they have properties that provide multiple benefits for those who want to lose weight. They are natural products that fulfill all the expectations that we could have; since they literally satisfy hunger. A small serving is often enough, since when they get in contact with water, their volume increase.
They are quite useful to regulate the intestinal transit for people who may suffer from this problems.
Moreover, algae are considered one of the best antioxidants, due to their high content of vitamin E. It is recommended that besides of using them in foods, they can also be consumed in the form of algae powder dissolved in 2 glasses of water half an hour before eating. You will have a satiety sensation which helps avoid the anxiety that certain foods may cause…
Finally, we invite to watch this video; so you can learn about the harvesting of Comestible Seaweed….