3/15/2018 | Whole-Food Nutrition & Supplementations | Red Algae | Blog #3
Red Algae or Rhodophyta
The history and use of seaweed and specifically Rhodophyta are very old. Ancient Asian cultures have been using and realizing the benefits for thousands of years, but it’s been just since the 1970’s that Chinese and Japanese scientists have been studying red algae.
Red algae, almost exclusively found in the ocean. They commonly live below the kelp forest because they can survive with less light than brown algae.
Red Algae are consumed by humans, representing a rich source of fiber, protein, and minerals. The mineral content can be 20 times higher than plants growing in the ground. They retain both their gelatinous nature and color even when cooked.
Practical Uses of Red Algae:
- Red Algae Supplements & Vitamins
Benefits of Red Algae or Rhodophytes
Studied Health Claims:
- Weight Loss
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Lowers Inflammation
- Cardiovascular Health
- Studies claim that red algae are Cancer Fighting
- UTI treatment
Another critical benefit is that rhodophytes are a potent antioxidant and help to counter the cellular damage done by free radicals. Free radicals are common by-products of normal internal reactions. Furthermore, pollution, UV radiation, and strenuous aerobic exercise have been connected to free radical formation.
They are also a good source of vitamin K, an important fat-soluble vitamin which plays vital roles in building your bones, protecting your heart, helping your blood to clot properly, and optimizing your insulin levels. Symptoms of a deficiency in vitamin K include hemorrhage, prolonged clotting time, and excessive bleeding.
Algae used in Food Products
According to the University of California at Los Angeles, a type of algae called carrageenan is commonly added to dairy products to give them a denser consistency. The most common algae containing products are sour cream, chocolate milk, and cheese.
The Hawaii Department of Education says algae is often added to liquids to make them thicker. For example, algae are put in shakes and malts to thicken them. It’s also an ingredient in mayonnaise to prevent it from becoming runny. Alginic acid contained in algae acts as a stabilizer or emulsifier.
The green paper-like substance used to wrap sushi rolls is algae. The green paper is a particular “leafy” variety of algae grown on farms in Asia and shipped throughout the world. The green algae are grown on strings then dried in the sun. This types of algae are exceptionally high in vitamins and nutrients.
Gelatin contains a type of algae called agar. It can solidify just about anything that comes in a liquid form. Agar was first used in China in the 17th century and is found in hundreds of foods sold in grocery stores, such as pie crusts, pumpkin pie filling, and flavored gelatin.
Non-Food Products with Algae
Algae is used in a lot of non-food products, most notable is toothpaste, without algae, toothpaste would be a runny liquid. Algae make toothpaste into a semi-solid that then dissolves with the brushing action of cleaning teeth.
It’s clear that algae and red algae are important in our lives, but when consuming algae or algae-based products, it’s important that the algae are from the ocean because algae coming from the ocean contains the highest level of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.
ATimes.com Article: Food Fight Allergies the Asian Way
Oilgae.com Article: Red Algae
Marie Franceasia Article: Taming Algae
Saeiceland.com What Is Red Algae
Livestrong.com Side Effects of Red Algae Supplements
Your Health Remedy: Uses & Benefits of Red Algae