Algae are underwater plants, seaweed, as many call them-sea vegetables. All who have tried them agree that they have unique taste.
Some algae taste good, on some the taste is more prominent and stronger, but what is common is that they are “Umame”, which means that they are delicious on Japanese. Algae are extremely helpful and healthy for the body because they are a rich source of nutrients and herbal ingredients.
Full of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and food proteins, amino acids and other valuable nutrients.
About 20,000 species
It is known around 20,000 species of algae, many of which are used in food, medical and cosmetics.
We divide the algae as: micro and macroalgae. Microalgae are also called a blend of bacteria and plants. Algae are old 3.5 billion years. They are actually the green sludge in the home aquarium with fish, they are the green deposits in the pool in your back yard. Makroalgae are grasses that grow in great depths of the ocean, and the water surface. They grow pretty quickly, and can grow to 100 feet in length.
Algae can be green, blue, red and brown. Green, red and brown are mirkoalgae and blue belong to makroalgae. The best known are Spirulina, Chlorella, Alpha, kelp, wakame, Kombu and others
They are rich source of nutrients
All nutritionists agree without a doubt that algae are among the richest nutritive herbs. They are the source of many important vitamins, minerals and other valuable ingredients. One gram of algae has nutrients as much as there are in a kilogram of fruit and vegetables.
Besides being rich in vitamins and minerals, algae have high fiber. 75 % of the total weight of the algae is fiber.
Algae contain substantial quantities of almost all minerals: calcium, iodine, iron, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and are rich in carbohydrates, proteins and protein. Rich in vitamins C, A, B1 , B12, E. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are known to have positive impact on human health.
From a medical standpoint algae are very useful for prevention and to prevent pain.
1. Successfully regulate metabolism due to the extremely high concentration of iodine in some seaweeds that act positively on the thyroid gland, responsible for regulating metabolism.
2. Encourage detoxification of organism: they are rich in chlorophyll which is a strong natural detoxification.
3. They purify the blood: the chemical composition of algae is so similar to human blood plasma they successfully help purify the blood.
4. Excellent impact on bone marrow: some algae contain large amounts of calcium, making them an valuable ingredient for quality and bone health.
5. Great for weight loss: due to the large share of food fibers and nutrients, along with low -calorie, algae are ideal for weight loss.
6. More successful in preventing cardiovascular diseases: some algae contain high levels of magnesium, which has been proven that lower the high blood pressure and prevents heart attacks.
Besides these medicinal properties of algae, they have a beneficial impact on health:
1. help in the fight against diabetes
2. acting antibacterial
3. stronger immunity
4. help in cancer prevention
5. protection against viral infections
6. mitigate PMS symptoms
7. Increase fertility
8. increase the endurance and strength of the body
The most famous and most appreciated algae
1) Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) is green microoalgae, which contains a very high concentration of chlorophyll. It is rich in protein, beta-carotene, vitamins(C, E and B complex), minerals(iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc), enzymes and a number of amino acids. Chlorella helps to detoxify the body, strengthens the immune system and has been successful in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar.
2) Spirulina algae is dark green algae with helical shape, after which it was named. This algae is rich in vitamins( A, C, D, E and B), minerals and fiber. It is significant as an outstanding source of beta-carotene, protein and minerals(iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium). Strengthens immunity, protects the body from harmful substances, regulates digestion, helps in lowering the obesity, it reduces the risk of cancer. This algae composition protects the nervous system, brain and eyes, thanks to strong antioxidant- zeaxantine. And has anti-allergy properties, helps with stress and depression and relieves symptoms of PMS.
3) Alpha-algae known as Klamath algae has unique composition and absorption in the body, which amounts to almost 100 %. It contains a full spectrum of minerals in kelaten form (the one that allows the good usage and absorption in organisam). Unusually rich in enzymes, protein, chlorophyll, antioxidants and vitamins. Considered as the most famous source of iron in organic form, which is easily absorbed in the body. Protects against radiation, has a soothing effect on the nervous structure and the brain. It improves memory, concentration and creativity.
4) Kelp is a brown algae, known for dense leaves and rapid growth. In 24 hours can grow up to 60 cm. Used in food, in cosmetics and as a medicine. It contains many important ingredients, vitamins( A, B1, B2, C, D, E) and minerals(calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium and magnesium). It is rich in fiber that improve metabolism. Kelp has anticancer properties, protects the body from harmful substances and positive effect on the immune system. This algae is known for antiviral and antibakterial action, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Rich in iodine, which makes a great stimulator of metabolism. Helps with arthritis and treat stress and anxiety.
5) Wakame is greatly appreciated brown algae with mild flavor, grows deep in the sea, and is especially popular in the cuisines of the eastern nations. An excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, D and minerals(magnesium, calcium, iron, copper and manganese). Famed for its antibacterial properties, helps in lowering high blood pressure, relieves cardiac pains, refreshes and recover the body. Like most brown algae, wakame is helping in losing weight due to pigment fukoksantin, which stimulates consumption of fat and thus helps in reducing the weight.
6) Kombu (Laminaria japonica) is a brown algae that grows in the cold sea depths. In perfect conditions this alga can grow up to 10 meter. It has sweet taste. It is extremely popular and common in Japanese cuisine, especially used as a base for various soups. It is rich in vitamins, especially vitamins (C, K, E and B12), as well as many minerals, of which the most important is the iodine. Algae combo improves digestion, positive effect on the nervous structure and function of the brain. It strengthens blood vessels, lowers high blood pressure, improves gallbladder and thyroid gland, and is credited for beautiful and radiant skin.
Anticancer action of algae is well known in many cultures. Tradicional Chinese medicine uses the brown alga Laminaria for treatment in cancer. Ancient Ayurvedic texts recommend using algae to treat tumors. In eberskiot papyrus, however , mention that the ancient Egyptians used seaweed to treat breast cancer.
The first research on the healing properties of seaweed have been conducted in 1960. According to a report presented in 1966, 68 % of cancer patients showed significant improvement after injections with algae. Patients also exhibited a good tolerance of chemotherapy, fixed appetite, and hair began to grow normally. It is assumed that it fukoidanot-polysaccharide complex, which is present in vakame and comby algae causes apotoza or self-destruction of cancer cells.
This is confirmed from the research conducted in Japan, which fukoidan was applied directly on cancer cells, causing their destruction for 72 hours.
Algae in culinary
The most widely use of algae is in the cuisines of Asian countries, especially China and Japan. Consumed as supplements in soups, salads and spices. The most widely used algae in diet are kelp , Aram , WADE, vans.Gastronomic research confirmed that the Japanese and Chinese cooking use more than 20 types of algae.
Wakame is used in preparing of soups. Kelp is a great addition to soups. Arame is used in addition to salads, cooked vegetables and dried again Algae nori is known for the preparation of sushi. Since kombu stimulating metabolism, used in addition to heavier dishes for their easier digestibility and used as tea.