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THE CONSUMPTION OF SOMETHING ALSO KNOWN AS MARINE VEGETABLES HAS INCREASED DURING THE LAST YEARS DUE TO THE LAST FASHION OF THE SO-CALLED SUPERALIMENTS
The reason for the rise in seaweed consumption basically comes because we want provisions that help us feel and look better, lose weight and have more energy.
Unfortunately, the fruits and vegetables that currently reach our homes are proving to be an insubstantial source of those minerals necessary for the physiological functions of the organism, such as potassium, iron, magnesium, iodine and calcium, among others, due to the poor exploitation of the lands, monocultures, fertilizers, and the absence of the much needed fallow.
And, although seaweeds have recently become fashionable, we have already seen that they are a food that our ancestors already ate and that has remained forgotten for many years.
Fortunately, we are recovering its consumption again, by understanding the multiple properties and the many benefits that algae can provide to our health.
Everything they can contribute to our body is, for the most part, still to be discovered, although scientific studies indicate that seaweed concentrates high doses of nutrients, and that they are characterized by a balanced proportion of vegetable protein of high biological value, containing all the essential amino acids. In addition, they have a contribution of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidant substances far superior to terrestrial foods.
But there are still more remarkable benefits, let’s see:
THE 12 BENEFITS THAT WE ARE GIVEN BY THE ORGANISM TO EAT ALGAINS ARE:
- Seaweed is full of nutrients. In fact, its nutrient content is generally much higher than that of terrestrial plants. They contain vitamin A, B1, B2, C, D, E, iron, iodine, fiber, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and small amounts of vegetable proteins. And all these essential nutrients are easily assimilated.
- The chemical structure of seawater is very similar to the composition of human blood. So much so, that frequent consumption of algae in regulated and revised doses can help cleanse the lymphatic system, stabilize blood sugar levels, purify and alkalize the blood, and clean the digestive system.
- For the same reason, algae are considered to be purifying and chelating; that is, they have the ability to absorb toxins and heavy metals accumulated in the body, helping to expel them from our body. Alginic acid from algae binds to radioactive elements and heavy metals, and forms insoluble alginates, which are eliminated from the body by feces.
- Seaweed is rich in iodine, which is an essential mineral for the thyroid and for health in general. We know that the thyroid is one of the largest glands in our body and is responsible for some of the most important processes in the body, such as the use of energy, the creation of proteins, the protection of the immune system, among others. We also know that the vast majority of thyroid problems are due to a lack of iodine, since the body itself does not make the precise amount on its own, and must obtain it from the food it consumes. Therefore, they are able to prevent goitre.
- Seaweed contains more calcium than milk and more iron than lentils. They provide calcium in a very important dose, if we consider that algae have up to 10 times more calcium than milk, and 4 times more iron than lentils. This is, most likely, the main reason why algae are considered superfoods. Although the seaweed iron does not assimilate the same as that of animal origin, it is still very interesting because of its quantity and the presence of vitamin C, which plays an important role in its absorption.
- They have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, so that they strengthen the immune system and prevent numerous diseases.
- Seaweeds are satiating and reduce appetite, but not fat, so they are great to avoid overweight and obesity, being great allies in weight loss diets.
- They are restorative, because they are abundant in iron, calcium, silicon, magnesium, and in all essential amino acids, their contribution to the human body increases the defenses and strengthens the skin, nails and hair.
- Seaweed is a good anti-cholesterol remedy, since its fiber is rich in polysaccharides, it seizes cholesterol and limits and prohibits its absorption.
- They act as a digestive protector, since the algae mucilages (gelatinous plant substance, such as carrageenan and alginic acid, which are the best known) exert a mucoprotective, anti-inflammatory and even healing effect on the stomach, thus making digestions be softer
- Also, the fiber of the algae tones the walls and muscles of the colon, thus helping the intestine in its work. We can conclude, following scientific studies, that seaweeds are effective assistants to avoid constipation.
- Finally, it should be noted that seaweed has vitamin B12. This is especially striking, because lately it has been questioned a lot if the vitamin B12 that contains the algae is really active or is an analog unusable. In this regard, it should be said that the latest research projects carried out at the University of Japan, specifically those undertaken in the research of Dr. Watanabe and his team, have identified authentic and usable vitamin B12 in Nori seaweed. This is important insofar as it is a good contribution to vegan and vegetarian diets, which cannot extract this vitamin from natural food, since meat, fish, eggs and cheese are mainly responsible for the contribution of vitamin B12.
In conclusion, and after the benefits we have just explained, we can say that seaweed can be considered one of the foods of the future.
In medical consultations, both family medicine and internal medicine, it is evidenced that a large proportion of the problems consulted by patients derive, on the one hand, from poor intestinal absorption and, on the other hand, from high deficit of minerals and trace elements, because they all have an essential and decisive role in the proper functioning of the nervous system.
The patients show, with these deficits, several symptoms, mostly: lack of concentration, feeling of flattening, lack of will and sleep disorders, which suggests that these patients suffer from demineralization and intestinal permeability.
With the benefits that we have just explained, all these symptoms would be largely eliminated by the prevention of marine contributions, given the exceptional contributions of algae.
We can reflect, ourselves, on what would be other extrapolated benefits (economic, sanitary,…) of the use of seaweed in food and in the use of these superfoods in the form of nutritional supplements. We still have a lot to know about it, but the investigation is still open, taking continuous steps, each time with more determination and possibilities.
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Rupérez P, Gómez-Ordónez E, Jiménez-Escrig A. (2011). Nutritional quality and biological properties of brown and red edible seaweeds. In V.H. Pomin (Ed.), Seaweed: Ecology, Nutrient Composition and Medicinal Uses, pp 51-66. Chapter 3. Series: Marine Biology. Earth Sciences in the 21st Century. Nova Science Pub. Inc., Hauppauge, New York, USA. ISBN: 978-1-61470-878-0