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Seaweed and Nutrition

It is because of current advances in our understanding of the relationsip between diet and health, we the consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this relationship by seeking out what are called "functional foods", i.e. foods that do not just meagerly fulfill our nutritional needs that also confer additional health benefits (46).

Currently 221 species of seaweeds are ucommercially utilised and as much as 65% of those are utilised by humans for directly for food (50). By adding seaweeds to any of your own recipes at home or consuming seaweeds whole confirs many nutritional and health benfits to the consumer, these are indeed exciting "functional foods", below you will find a few of the multitude of health and nutritional benefits that seaweeds can confir on you as part of any normal healthy diet, in addition to providing you with superior nutritional intake.

Many Pacific and Asian cultures (and I believe Irish and many other European countries prior to the late 19th centuary) consume relatively large amounts of seaweeds on a weekly basis, for example, typically within a traditional Japanese diet, seaweeds constitute between 10 and 25% of their food intake of most Japanese (53, 54). Whilst on the otherhand, Western and North American populations had a low to zero intake of seaweeds up to the end of the last centuary (54), this trend has now started to reverse this section shows some of the reasons why from a nutritional stand point, other pages on this site illustrate the increasing health reasons for a new trend of western societies are increasingly turning to seaweed consumtion as part of their everyday diet.

Organic Food

Once the consumtion of organic food was seen as a fringe interest, where only cranks included these foods in their diets. Organic foods have now gone masively mainstream, nearly the world and his wife now realises the desperate state the general food industry has reached, GM-foods abound, poor animal husbandry practises are common place, worries about the overall nutrition in the food we do eat worry many. It is because of fundamental reasons like this, that people are turning in droves to seaweeds for food.

All of our seaweed products listed on our product pages here and here are harested from the wild, by hand with no mechanical means applied, dried using only the most natural means, employing the sun and wind. None of our products are farmed, , which means you recieve some of the most natural, genetically diverse foods still available to man today. We do not add anything or take anything away. This means that all our products are organically produced using the highest standards.

Mineral Content of Seaweeds

Dr Linus Pauling, who won no less than two Nobel prizes for science, once stated: “You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”

The mineral content of seaweed is considerably higher than just about nearly every other land plant, for example, the ash (or mineral content) of seaweeds can be upto 39.3% for the comomnly ingested seaweeds (6), whilst some typical land plant ash contens cof the fruits of some selected plants include 0.3% for apples, 1% for carrots and a mere 3% for almonds (ref ?).

The human body requires around 80 minerals to function properly and stay healthy (33). The nutrients a human body requires are broadly broken down into three classess depending the relative amounts your body requires on a relative basis. These classes are macro, micro or trace elements or nutrients (3), nutrients required in larger amounts are simply termed macro-nutrients and those required inrelatively smaller amounts are termed micro-nutrients, and trace elements, also generally called dietry minerals and many are essential for a properly functioning metabolism, that are required in the lowest amounts.

It is because marine seaweeds chigher amounts of both higher amounts of macrominerals (e.g. potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc.) and trace minerals (e.g. iron, zinc, manganeese, copper, etc.) than edible land plants, scientific researchers have concluded that sea vegetables are an excellent surce of dietry mineral nutrients, to help us reach our recomended daily intake of these vitals elements to maintian a healthy diet (6).

For a more detailed explanation of each element that the body requires and their function within the human body, please follow the folloing link (click here)

Carbon-Based Organic Nutrient Content of Seaweeds

For a more detailed breakdown of the organic, carbon based molecules that greatly effect or are essential to our health that are to be found in seaweds are outlined here as opposed to inorganic constituents, that are not carbon based. then click here.

Seaweeds and Vegetarianism

Seaweed is the perfect vegetarian food, they do not eat or consume other organisms in any way. Can the same be said of any land grown plant ? Even the many so-called parasitic algae known, e.g. the Polysiphonia on Ascophyllum nodosum, while it grows on the tips of the plant, it does not feed on the knotted wrack, it merely uses this plant as a support.

In many cases, strict vegetarians must take vitamin supplements with their normal diet to stay healthy, this is because of the low number of land-based foods that contain vitamin B12 (or cyanocobalamin). Indeed, higher plants (such as fruits and vegetables neither possess vitamin B12 nor does it have any function in them, this means the only source of vitamin B12 in our diets comes from animal products and animals and of course seaweeds, mainly due to the fact it is only micro-organisms that can make this essential vitamin (55). Almost all seaweeds not only contain this essential B vitamin, but it is present in relatively high concentrations, that is bioavailable to the consumer.

Brown seaweeds have also been shown to increase the liver concentration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) without supplimenting the diet with fish (39). This essential lipid or fat functions by ...(ref).

Click here to view a complete list of all the documents cited in the formulation of the documents produced herein.

While the above list is large it is not intended to be exhaustive, all care has been taken to insure that the above information is accurate with specific references for each point made for your further investigative work. If you do find any errors or inconsistencies please to not hessiate to contact us using our contact page.

The above information is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any aliment that you might have. We strongly advise that you contact your health professional about any medications or health problems that you have.