Vegetables versus Seaweed.
The Japanese 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 biological and other Chemical structures and as a result having 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 and undigestible carbohydrates, 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%). We do know that Seaweeds constitute a source of dietary fiber that differ chemically and physicochemically from those of land plants and thus induce different physiological effects. No surprise because the composition of human plasma, or fluid surrounding cells membranes, is similar to that of seawater.
Sea vegetables contain high amounts of calcium and phosphorous and are extremely high in magnesium, iron, iodine and sodium. For example, 1/4 cup of cooked hijiki contains over half the calcium found in a cup of milk and more iron than in an egg, important concerns for vegans, those who refrain from eating any animal-based products.
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. By examening the soil used to grow vegetable prior to the production of food a lot of low quality vegetables and other food products could be prevented from entering the food chain. The plants are sick and, as a result, are attacked by insects and disease. 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. Their diet Contains lots of tofu and seaweed. 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 combination of the blue algae with a bacterium and as a result unique in properties. In many ways there are no alternative to this symbiotic entanglement on earth.
Have 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.
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 (not granulated) such as kelp contain alginic acid, which binds with the toxins in the intestines rendering them indigestible and carries them out of the system.
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), is one of the best foods that you can eat in cases of hypothyroid. 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. Might aggravate acne flare-ups. The heavy outer fibres are sloughed off prior to processing. The rich nutrients remain.
These nutrients are polysaccharides and are easily absorbed by our bodies because the seaweed is "pre-digested." (The stomach does not first have to break down the rough outer fibres.) Forty to fifty pounds of raw seaweed are needed to make just one pound of Fucoidans. Though many marine animals and plants are seemingly unappealing to the mind, they may one day provide the cure for equally unappealing diseases, such as cancer. Many tested marine species appear to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, anticancer and immune-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 for hundreds, if not thousands, of years to people whose cultures have evolved by the sea. The benefits of sea plants are well known. In the west, seaweed is best known as an exotic ingredient in Japanese and macrobiotic cuisine. The benefits of seaweed are commonly enjoyed in Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii and other Pacific Islands and coastal regions of the United States. An unopened treasure chest of good nutrition, seaweed absorbs nutritive elements directly from the ocean water in which it lives.
Most varieties of seaweed contain between 10 and 20 per cent protein and are rich in fibre and vitamins, including A, C, E, B complex and minerals, including calcium, iodine, potassium, iron and trace minerals (Webb). The kainic acid found in Seaweed Digenea has been used traditionally to rid the body of intestinal worms and is sold commercially now for that purpose. Sea vegetables are virtually fat-free, low calorie and one of the richest sources of minerals as they have ready access to the abundance of minerals found in the ocean. Nourishment or uptake is acquired across the sea vegetables' entire surface while the seawater is refreshed through the gentle wave action of underwater currents. Sea water & human blood contain many of the same minerals in very similar concentrations. protein and carbohydrates. Most folks don't think of turning to the Earth's oceans for vegetables, yet there is a vast source of nutritious food available there. They, and the many other varieties, are among the most ancient life forms on earth and probably were the first life to exist. In many parts of the world, they have been harvested and eaten since long before land-based agriculture. They can be eaten fresh, but most often are granulated or dried and reconstituted while cooking other foods. They add a delicious variation to almost any dish, from rice to stir-fry to soup to popcorn.
We've all known for many years that consuming copious amounts of certain specific fruits and vegetables reduces our risk of developing various types of cancer. At the same time these studies did reminds us that this protective effect against cancer is not linked to all fruit and vegetables. Some foods contain larger amounts of anticancer molecules. Thus we need to be attentive to our choices.
It's particularly important to specifically include these in our diet, because not all fruits and vegetables share the same potential for active prevention against cancer. There are major differences in their levels of anticancer components. Worse in some cases the phytochemical components that provide the greatest cancer-preventing activity are present only in a few, very specific fruits and vegetables. For example, the isoflavones of soy, the resveratrol of grapes, the curcumin of turmeric, the isothiocyanates and indoles of broccoli and the catechins of green tea are all anticancer molecules whose distribution among plants is extremely restricted.