Useful chemicals in seaweed
Seaweed is a source of unique chemicals, so almost all seaweed products are biologically active.
The main components of seaweed biomass are polysaccharides: alginates, laminaran, mannitol. The increased interest in these compounds can be explained by their multifunctional effects on the human body. Alginates are used to remove dangerous radionuclides of strontium-90 and cesium-137 from the body, for treatment of diseases of gastrointestinal tract and skin, and also as ancillary drugs in restoring the function of hematopoiesis.
The polysaccharide composition of brown seaweed also includes fucoidans. This group of substances shows antithrombotic, antiviral, antiulcer and antitumor biological activity.
Seaweed of the White Sea is a source of macro- and microelements (calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, selenium, zinc, iodine and others).
Iodine is the most significant mineral component. Being chemically bound to proteins, it is effectively absorbed by the human body and used to treat iodine deficiency disorders. It is enough to consume 4gr dried laminaria or fucus to get a daily dose of iodine in the body of an adult.
The amount of vitamins in seaweed of the White Sea is compared to their amount in terrestrial plants. Significant amount of antioxidant – vitamin E – has been found in seaweed.
The amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is seaweed is compared to its amount in oranges, strawberries, gooseberries, tangerines, green onions and sorrel.
The amount of vitamin A in laminaria and fucus corresponds to its amount in apples, plums, oranges.
The amount of vitamin B1 (thiamine) in laminaria is compared to its amount in dry yeast.
Interestingly, vitamins B12 and D in laminaria are not found in products of vegetable origin at all or are found in very small quantities.
In addition, some other vitamin complexes have been found in seaweed, for example, vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), K (phylloquinone); nicotinic (PP), pantothenic (B3) and folic (B9) acids.
It is worth mentioning that the best effect on the human body is achieved due to the complex content of nutrients and vitamins in seaweed.
Seaweed products are recommended for:
- prevention of iodine deficiency, normalization of thyroid gland;
- prevention of diseases of cardiovascular system, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischemic heart disease;
- increase of immunity, normalization of metabolism, prevention of mineral insufficiency;
- prevention of iodine deficiency during pregnancy (there’s an increased need for iodine in a woman’s body, lack of iodine can lead to incorrect development of fetus);
- prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal tract; cleansing digestive tract from slags and toxins; stimulation of intestinal peristalsis, since seaweed has a slight laxative effect;
- weight loss;
- improvement of liver function and normalization of its antitoxic function;
- stimulation of growth and development of young organisms, skeleton formation;
- vision stimulation (especially in case of night blindness symptoms);
- vitamin D (to compensate for the lack of sunlight in the North, in urban conditions, especially in winter);
- prevention of rickets;
- athletes and people engaged in heavy physical labor; recovery of a weakened organism.
In addition, seaweed is recommended for vegetarians and raw foodists. Suitable for fasting.
There are some contraindications for seaweed use. Products with a high content of iodine are contraindicated for people with hypersensitivity to iodine and hyperthyroidism, individual intolerance is also possible.
Consult your doctor before use.
Information from scientific resources has been used for this article.
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