Nutritional value of seaweed/glyco-nutrients
The plants we call seaweeds are a much older group of plants than many of those we grow today on the land. In fact algae and seaweeds are no plants and never will be.
A crossing between a plant part and bacteria and therefore and as a result unique in properties. In many ways there are no alternative to this symbiotic entanglement on earth. Having supported and stimulated the development of almost all types of life within and outside the ocean. Algae and seaweed do like plant not travel other than by using the currents and is passive, but when reproducing the eggs and sperms travel actively and controlled, similar as seen by animals and humans.
Based on the knowledge that the body can heal itself through cell to cell communication if given the proper nutrients, glyco-nutrients are seen by many scientists and doctors as the missing link to optimal health. Research conducted at leading institutes around the world demonstrated that saccharides (glyconutrients/essential sugars) have been shown to lower cholesterol, increase lean muscle mass, decrease body fat, accelerate wound healing, ease allergy symptoms, and allay autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetes. Bacterial infections, including the recurrent ear infections that plague toddlers, often respond remarkably to saccharides, as do many viruses--from the common cold to the flu, from herpes to HIV. The debilitating symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and Gulf War syndrome frequently abate after adding saccharides. And, for cancer patients, saccharides mitigate the toxic effects of radiation and chemotherapy--while augmenting their cancer-killing effects, resulting in prolonged survival and improved quality of life
One of seaweed's most prominent health benefits is its ability to remove radioactive strontium and other heavy metals from our bodies. Whole brown seaweeds such as kelp contain alginic acid which binds with the toxins in the intestines rendering them indigestible and carries them out of the system.
Because the Japanese and Chinese are among the greatest consumers of seaweeds, and many seaweed or sea vegetable varieties are best known by Japanese and Chinese names.
The sea or the marine environment is known as a rich source for chemical structures and life forms like fish with numerous beneficial health effects.
Seaweeds are traditionally consumed in Asia as sea vegetables, but in Western countries they have been used as sources of gelling or thickening agents.
From a nutritional point of view, they are low-calorie foods, with a high concentration of: minerals (Mg, Ca, P, K and I), vitamins, proteins, calcium and phosphorous and indigestible carbohydrates, (fibre) and a low content in lipids. Quality of protein and lipid in seaweeds is acceptable comparing with other diet vegetables mainly due to their high content in essential amino acids and their relative high levels of unsaturated fatty acids.
Dietary fiber content range from 33% to 75% of dry weight, and mainly consist of soluble polysaccharides (range from 17% to 59%). Seaweeds constitute a source of dietary fibre that differ chemically and physico-chemically from those of land plants and has different physiological effects. No surprise because the composition of human plasma, or fluid surrounding cell membranes, is similar to that of sea water.
They also contain vitamins A, B1, C and E, as well as protein and carbohydrates.
Most of the soil has deteriorated to the extent that without fertilizer nothing will grow properly. The plants are sick and poor quality, as a result, are attacked by insects and disease resulting the need for insecticides and pesticides to get any real produce. If the soil is low on minerals the plant will be too. That is one of several reasons why it is good to use food grown in the sea like fish, shellfish and seaweed which are rich in substances hardly found than in limit amounts as such present in land grown plants/products.
Some countries use more food derived from the sea than others such as China and Japan and comparing them gives us important information about the effect of different diets.
An article, published in the National Geographic Magazine, claims that the world's healthiest old people are actually the inhabitants of the islands of Okinawa in Japan who remain hard working and sexually active beyond the age of 100 untill the US decide to build a number of basis there. Their diet contains lots of tofu and seaweed.
For the first 5000 years of civilization, humans relied on foods and herbs for medicine. Only in the past 50 years have we forgotten our medicinal "roots" in favour of patent medicines. While pharmaceuticals have their value, we should not forget the well-documented, non-toxic and inexpensive healing properties of whole foods. The following list is but a sampling of the health benefits from whole foods. Seaweed and Kelp (brown or Laminaria type seaweed).
One of the best foods that you can eat in cases of hypo-thyroid. It is rich in many important minerals. Antibacterial and anti-viral activity in brown Laminaria type seaweed known as kelp. It kills herpes virus, for example. Kelp may also lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Wakame boosts immune functioning. Nori kills bacteria and seems to help heal ulcers. A chemical from wakame seaweed is a clot-buster, in one test twice as powerful as the common drug heparin. Most types of seaweed have anti-cancer activity.
Many tested marine species appear to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, anticancer and immuno-suppressive (useful in treating autoimmune diseases) properties (Webb). Among the most noted of the marine medical finds include the benefits of seaweed as a dietary supplement. Seaweed has been a dietary supplement and salt replacement for hundreds, if not thousands, of years to people whose cultures have evolved by the sea.