Seaweed as Food
The benefits of including seaweed's as part of your daily diet are extensive. Seaweed has been part of the traditional diet of all coastal cultures, including the people of Japan, Korea, China, Iceland, Denmark, Wales, Scotland, Hawaii, and the South Pacific Islands. The Japanese are among the greatest consumers of seaweeds and many seaweed or sea vegetable varieties are best known by Japanese and Chinese names.
Seaweed draws an extraordinary wealth of mineral elements from the sea that surrounds it and can account for up to 36% of its dry mass. The mineral macronutrients include sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulphur and phosphorus; the micronutrients include iodine, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel and cobalt. The consumption of these vitamins and minerals is very beneficial to life. Water is traditionally associated with certain properties in the living world, and plants, animals, fish and shellfish take on some of these qualities from their environment. Seaweed is a universal type of food and humans and all kinds of animals and fish can thrive on it.
Seaweed is now recognised as a super food. Your lifestyle and dietary choices can make an enormous difference to your lifespan and to your quality of life in later years. A good diet will help to keep you healthy. All it takes is a little work in the 'here and now' to keep you in a good shape for later.
Toxins play an important part in ageing. A toxin is defined as any compound that has a detrimental effect on cell function, cellular growth, tissue regeneration or structure. Seaweed offers a natural balance between minerals and corresponding vitamins, rich in natural fibre and other macro and micro nutrients. In Japan, where sea vegetables make up 10% of the diet, the incidence of obesity is low - statistically the lowest in the developed world. People in undeveloped areas of the world such as the Hunza people in the Himalayas experience lower rates of such illnesses due to the lack of man-made substances affecting their food supplies.
Alignate expands when it enters the stomach into a soft, gel-like solid. This remains stable in the acid environment of the stomach for several hours and brings about a prolonged feeling of satiation as a result. The Alginate then travels into the small intestine, where it dissolves due to the alkaline environment present in the small intestine. Alginate makes it easier to eat less.. Alginate counteracts pangs of hunger and makes it easier to keep to special dietary measures. It is suitable as an aid for longterm weight control.
Science long ago proved that the earth's surface is comprised of 85% water, the major portion of which is saltwater. Although humans cannot safely consume saltwater, our seas provide an abundance of living nutrients whose existence and uses are only now being investigated. Edible seaweeds and echinoderms are among this group and they have proven a rich source of Fucoidans.
Fucoidans are sugars comprised of a complex mixture of fucose, galactose, mannose and uronic acid. While mankind has learned to cultivate and extract fructose, glucose, lactose and sucrose from ready sources, Fucoidans have been long overlooked. They are one of the largest molecular sugars known to exist, but collecting the raw materials and consistently refining the sugar is challenging.
Brown seaweeds offer the highest concentration of Fucoidans and individual seaweeds produce specific Fucoidans. This is not dissimilar to antioxidant sources: fruits and vegetables. The colors of fruits and vegetables represent specific families of antioxidants. Optimal nutritional support is achieved by eating a wide variety of antioxidants daily in order to provide the best protection to the body's cellular structure.
Various extraction techniques are employed in industry in an effort to preserve and deliver the highest quality Fucoidan available in nutritional supplementation. The process begins with the selection of seaweeds to ensure a comprehensive selection of Fucoidans. The raw seaweed is stabilized in water through its extraction process to maintain stability in the molecular weight and ionic charge of the material. It seems that this is critical to producing the highest quality Fucoidans. Once extracted, the Fucoidans are converted into a powdered formula that can then be reconstituted for use in beverages and other dietary supplements.
Widely used in certain Asian cultures for hundreds of years, seaweeds - and particularly certain varieties of brown seaweeds - have been revered for their ability to stabilize health and speed healing. In recent years Fucoidans have been more widely studied for their ability to heal and protect the body from acute illness. As clinical trials expand and its health benefits become more widely considered and publicized, Fucoidans will most likely become readily utilized in alternative medicine.
Fucoxanthin is a type of carotenoid found naturally in edible brown seaweed such as wakame and hijiki. Fucoxanthin can also be found in red and green seaweed, but in much smaller amounts.