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The What, Why, and How of Healthy Seaweed by Eric Clark

The What, Why, and How of Healthy Seaweed by
Article Posted: 04/22/2013
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The What, Why, and How of Healthy Seaweed

Food & Beverages,Health
My most recent post regarding the University of Aberdeen seaweed report devoted to the health rewards of assorted varieties of seaweed including brown, red, green, and micro algae. Here I am going to concentrate on the added benefits of individual elements in the various algae and what makes them helpful from a more academic view. The following paragraphs will offer the how, what, and why of seaweed health features, hopefully bringing you a better sense of what you should be attempting to put in your daily diet to beat whatever difficulty ails you. Polysaccharides, present in virtually all seaweeds, are long strings of carbon that has a individual repeating unit. These look something similar to figure 1, where the black spheres depict carbon atoms, as the red dots model oxygen atoms finally the white demonstrate hydrogen molecules.

These simple molecules repeat hundreds of times to form a intricate molecule known as the polysaccharide. These polysaccharides may have a host of assorted qualities and names, though the name familiar to all of us is starch. So, polysaccharides, made of strings of repeating glucose structures appear to be that which we know to be starch. One repeat unit would be an individual ring of the dark spheres shown in the image above. These chains are known to be things such as starch from tubers, wheat, etc. Included in this common selection of polysaccharides are gel formers like pectin and fibers like cellulose. Even so, in seaweed we have seen some different glucose molecules consisting of alginates, carrageenans, agars, fucanes, laminarans, ulvans, and floridean starches. Every one of these are known as hydrophillic because of their tendency to produce gels in water by separating themselves through the entire material. This offers these types of carbon strands a $1 Billion/yr market all over the world with applications which range from biomedical to culinary.

One of the first critical polysaccharides in seaweed is cellulose, or insoluble fiber content, which is nearly double the amount as the ones present in vegetables and fruit famous for the dietary fiber content that include prunes and cabbage. Cellulose can be described as strand of glucose molecules which the body are unable to split the bonds for, so it enables you to maintain consistency in bowel movements and boost the body’s power to be full, without actually consuming calories.

Another prominent polysaccharide in seaweeds is agar, which is actually a gelling chemical that you can use for numerous intentions, and yet even more importantly for the 1 percent worldwide that is prone to some form of celiacs or gluten allergy, it can be used for a gluten stand-in. If truth be told, seaweed flour can completely replace common wheat flour if that is desired. On the other hand, the identical flour should be considered at amounts under .1% to significantly reduce the rate that breads go bad for the duration of time stored due to the fact agar and other algal polysaccharides may absorb fluids more effectively in comparison to the polysaccharides of traditional vegetation.

Among additional great things about polysaccharides are their success as antithrombotic, anticoagulant, and antiinflammation solutions. In particular, alginates, fucoidans, and laminarin are known to help in the decrease in hypertension in addition to other blood pressure related difficulties. Alginates, situated in the cell walls of many seaweeds including laminaria (brown algae) and ascophyllum nodosum (Norwegian kelp) are made of sodium, potassium, ammonium, calcium, propylene glycol, and alginic acid and decrease the absorption of cholesterol and even inhibit the growth of cancer cells. These alginates increase the body’s ability to feel full by undergoing a gelling operation after exposure to liquids. These alginates could be utilized as replacements to pectin or starch simply because they become heat resistant gels even at room temperature merely by adding a bit of calcium or zinc. This means that rather than thickening your sauces by using flour and needing to to raise the temperature of it to boiling as a way to thicken, you can just stir a modicum of the alginate and your soup will quickly thicken. Moreover alginates can be used to become frostings and other creamy treats including ice cream!

Carrageenan, found in red algae, is a really water soluble polysaccharide which has been demonstrated to prevent the development of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Along with its anti-microbial components, it may form solid or firm gels and also behave as an emulsifier. Consequently , your could employ carrageenan alternatively to something such as butter or oil, which is often used for an emulsifier with liquid and flour mixtures.

Fucoidans have been proven to avert several viruses from replicating by upsetting the cell surface properties. They're able to defend in opposition to HIV, herpes, and even polio. Ulvans, conversely, exist mostly in green algae and have been proven to help tremendously in collagen and cartilage structure simply because of the presence of iduronic acid. These nutrients are ideal for affected individuals addressing joint pain and scar tissue restoration.

Hopefully, this summary of the polysaccharides within seaweed will encourage you to understand and decide just what nutrients you should hunt for, whether within your supplements or perhaps your dinner. You should understand what you are currently inserting into your system so that you could personalize your food intake more specifically to your preferences. More resources for the benefits of seaweed as well as some awesome recipes, please go to Seaweed Superfoods and don’t forget to read the upcoming installment of this collection addressing the lipids, proteins, and minerals found in seaweeds!

Related Articles - health, wellness, seaweed, superfood, polysaccharide, agar, carrageenan, alginates,

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