Published: 04/29/2013 - Updated: 02/07/2018
When we think of algae, we think of the sea and plants that we see on the edge of the beach. They might look awful, but nature has endowed them with incredible benefits.
Commonly called as sea vegetables or lettuce, seaweed, are healthy and complete foods that revitalize and rejuvenate.
They help cleanse the body as they contain all the nutrients needed to maintain good health. As one of the most nutritious foods are ideal to both prevent and fight disease.
Protein: About 25 percent of dry weight of algae proteins is easily assimilated. They are rich source of essential amino acids the human body cannot synthesize and must be obtained through food. Proteins from seaweeds are easily digested and contains minerals and in some cases enzymes which aid digestion thereof. Furthermore, unlike animal proteins, algae do not contain residues of hormones, antibiotics and cholesterol.
Carbohydrates: Algae are low in carbohydrates, and contain a type of carbohydrate known as manitiol, which in our body, has a slight laxative effect, and it does not increase blood glucose levels.
Fat: Algae have on average 15 percent of their dry weight composed of fat. Contain lipids like polyunsaturated fatty acids that transport cholesterol preventing the formation of atheromatous plaques and stimulate the formation of lymphocytes. The fats, contained in the algae, reduce hypertension, have an anti-inflammatory effect and regulate the immune system.
Vitamins: are rich in vitamins B, C, E and provitamin A. If you want to maximize the contribution of vitamins is best to consume raw algae or after they are rehydrated by soaking.
Fiber: seaweed is rich in fiber, specifically mucilage, which help fight constipation and improve digestion.
Mineral Salts: Very known to be a source of minerals, some algae reach even to 36 percent of its dry weight of these. They are rich in calcium, iron, sodium and magnesium. When algae are used in cooking, some mineral salts may dissolve in the liquid and it is for this reason that we must seize the stock for teas or soups.
Trace elements: are responsible for detoxifying properties of the algae, are rich in iodine, silicon, cobalt, zinc, chromium and magnesium. Iodine is necessary for thyroid function. Zinc is involved in insulin secretion and its deficiency causes fatigue and difficulty concentrating. The silicon in combination with calcium strengthens the bones and keeps them flexible and also maintains them strong and prevent hair fall. Cobalt and iron are needed to produce hemoglobin.
Uses of algae
Slimming: They are a good addition to your diet as they help to achieve satiety and are low in carbohydrates.
Digestive: If you consume heavy meals can aid digestion, its mucilage covers the walls of the stomach, preventing the acids produced by the digestion affect the stomach walls and facilitate the transit of food through the digestive tract.
Laxatives: their fiber content that has a mild laxative effect, which can help fight constipation.
Cosmetics creams: made from algae or extracts are excellent for moisturizing the skin, being a good choice for dry skin. They also have a bio-activate and invigorating power. Consuming algae helps maintain healthy skin, and protects against the action of free radicals. Besides, the return compounds are useful in the treatment of cellulite.
Relaxing: seaweed baths help to relieve stress, but also can be useful for rheumatism and circulatory problems.
Types of algae
Algae can be classified into four groups according to their pigments:
- The Chlorophyceae: green algae.
- The Phaeophyceae: brown algae.
- The Red algae: red algae.
- The Cyanobacteria: blue algae.
Algae can be an ingredient in your kitchen, but to be rich in minerals, it is recommended to use maximum one meal a day, then you can use in sushi, soups, soups, salads, etc.
The dried seaweed can be crushed with your fingers and sprinkle on toppings or salads. They are a good way to add nutrients and flavor to your dish. Are commonly used in the oriental kitchen.