The benefits of algae.
Food little known in Europe but nevertheless very popular in Asia (but if you are avid consumers of sushi, you have definitely already eaten it!), edible algae exist in large numbers. They are green, red, brown or blue and have names such as “sea lettuce”, “nori”, “kombu” and “spirulina”.
Also nicknamed “aquatic vegetables”, algae have many health benefits.
Some varieties are rich in protein. Most contain essential amino acid rate comparable to pulses and eggs! They have also another advantage: unlike meat, the proteins contained in seaweed are not associated with fat and therefore have a lower calorie intake!
Seaweed is also high in fiber (up to 50% in dry seaweed!): 8g dried seaweed makes 1 / 8th of fibers of the needs of an adult. The majority of the fibers are soluble, which helps to increase satiety and reduce snacking in the afternoon.
These fibers also can trap some of the sugars and fats present in the diet, which reduces the number of consumed calories. They thus have a preventive role in cardiovascular disease, by absorbing part of dietary cholesterol.
In terms of minerals, algae provide excellent calcium intake (wakame is perfect for fighting against osteoporosis, for example), but also magnesium (count to 2.5 g per 100 g) and iron ideal for pregnant women or people tired from a lack of iron!
Seaweed is also rich in iodine. However, for people with thyroid problems, choose the algae that contains little amount of iodine (such as sea lettuce).
As for the vitamins, they are the only vegetable containing vitamin B12, essential for the nervous system and maturation of red blood cells.
They also have a large number of antioxidants: red and brown algae are the perfect example: they contain carotenoids which protect our cells from free radicals caused by cigarette smoke or stress and polyphenols acting against skin aging and pathologies such as atherosclerosis or cancer, neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases.
You’ll understand that algae are nutritionally a very interesting food! It is your ally if you want to eat healthy and control your weight!