Seaweeds are classified as plants.
Unlike plants on land, seaweed lacks true roots, stems, and leaves.
Algae have been used for thousands of years as both food and medicine.
Food was in fact medicine to the Ancients.
And algae are the force that synthesizes the omeg-3 fatty acids of cold-water fish.
As is the case with all botanicals, the effect of plant compounds isioactive cumulative and strengthens over the course of time.
Edible algae are a treasure trove of phytonutrients and exotic bioactives.
Algae improves health.
And for athletes they improve performance.
Algae help prevent arthritis, fatigue and cancer.
Algae is useful to both athletes who exercise as well as to sedentary people who are looking to shed a few pounds.
Seaweeds or sea vegetables can be green, brown or red.
Algae is another name for these water-based plants.
Green algae (Chlorophyta) live close to the shore. Green algae are rich in chlorophyll and other nutrients that require energy in the form of sunlight to synthesize.
Brown algae (Phaeophyta) are found in somewhat deeper waters and its phytonutrient profile reflects that.
Red algae (Rhodophyta) live in deep salt water and require a different library of phytonutrients to survive.
Collectively, algae provides an enormous boost to the immune system and helps the body repress inflammation.
Certain compounds found in algae are believed to repress cancer initiation.
Scientists theorize that green algae are the ancestors of today's land vegetables.
Like all plants, seaweeds are an obvious choice of food for local cultures and their phytonutrients provided protection to their healing systems.
Cultures that live near the sea depend on its fruits.
The Japanese have always depended on the sea, for fish, seaweed and red plants.
The Japanese harvested these red plants and use them as food.
Their use of raw wild fish and seaweed created one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
The major reason why it is so healthy is the library of compounds embedded in the skin of the fish (omega-3s) and the multitude or library of phytonutrients synthesized by the algae.
Algae cells, utilizing the energy found in the rays of the sun, combine carbon to synthesize all of the carbohydrates and phytonutrients found in seaweed.
The chloroplast is the engine of that conversion and chlorophyll is its fuel.
This universe of compounds includes phycoerythrin, and phycocyanin, pigments that gives red algae its color.
These compounds also allows them to live in deeper and colder waters.
Seaweed contains iodine and has been used as a source for drugs, including anticoagulants, antibiotics and anti-hypertensive agents.
Sea vegetables are derived from all three types of algae.
Algae are believed to contain anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, and anticancer compounds.
When algae are dried, pressed into sheets and roasted, it is called Nori.
Nori is a paper thin sheet of red edible algae.
According to the Japanese, a sheet of nori a day keeps the doctor away.
Nori is used to wrap sushi and rice balls and is often added to noodle soups and salads in the form of flakes.
Nori’s value lies in its high protein content (up to 35% of nori’s dry weight) and its high vitamin C content, which is more than one and a half times that of an orange.
Sea lettuces are green edible algae that are eaten raw in salads and cooked in soups by cultures bound to the sea (Great Britain, Ireland, Japan and Korea.
Kelp are large brown algae, seaweeds or sea vegetables.
Whatever term, Kelp grows in underwater forests or kelp forests.
Brown algae contain a carotenoid called fucoxanthin.
Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid found in the chloroplasts of brown algae. It provides brown algae with their typical brown to olive-green color.
These brown algae are more often classified as protista rather than plants.
Edible kelp or brown algae includes Kombu from the Laminaria japonica and Wakame from Undaria pinnatifida.
Kombu is a very healthy Japanese food made from brown algae.
Wakame is another healthy Japanese food made from brown algae.
Wakame is added to miso soup and salads.
Brown algae belong to a very large group, the Heterokontophyta.
This group is most noted for its having chloroplasts.
The chloroplast in brown algae is surrounded by four membranes, suggesting an origin that brown algae may be the result of a symbiotic relationship between two or more cells.
It is the power of the chloroplasts that allows the amazing array of chemicals to be created by the plant.
These nutrients are contained in their cells and makes brown algae an essential ingredient in every diet.
Brown allgae are rich in dietary fiber, minerals, lipids, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, polysaccharides, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Low in fat and low in calories. This makes them one of the most nutritionally-packed foods on the planet.
The bioactivity of algae includes many numerous health-promoting effects, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer effects due to the library of compounds found in the weed.
This universe of bioactive metabolites include brominated phenols, brominated oxygen heterocyclics, nitrogen heterocyclics, kainic acids, guanidine derivatives, phenazine derivatives, amino acids and amines, sterols sulfated polysaccharides and prostaglandins.
The most studied compound, fucoxanthin, is a type of xanthophyll and an accessory pigment in the chloroplasts.
Focoxanthin has eneormous preventitive potential.
Ecklonia is a genus of kelp that is making its way to the forefront of healing.
Ecklonia belong to the family Lessoniacea
Ecklonia species produce eckol-type phlorotannins
Ecklonia Cava and Ecklonia Bicyclis are two species of edible brown algae commonly harvested, which contain similar spectrums of natural occurring constituents.
Differences lie in their polyphenol (phlorotannins) content.
Both species contain Eckol, Bieckol, Dieckol and Phlorofucofuroekol, however, the Bicyclis species also contains Phloroglucinol, Phloroglucinol Tetramer.
Ecklonia Bicyclis has a more diverse libarary of polyphenols and is therefore more comprehensive in the way it behaves as an antioxidant.
Ecklonia Cava, on the other hand, has less diversity in polyphenols but it also has higher concentrations of the polyphenols it does have
Both are extremely effective as antioxidants.
The Phaeophyceae or brown algae are a large group of sea weeds.
They litter beaches, rocks and bodies of water.
Brown algae play an important role in marine environments, both as a food source to the humans that inhabit the area but also for the habitats they become incorporated into.
Macrocystis, a kelp of the order of Laminariales, is a brown algae and the giant kelp (Macrocystis Pyrifera) forms underwater forests.
Kelp forests are underwater forests that trap the rays of the sun and use its energy to synthesize nutrients.
Brown algae contains the pigment fucoxanthin. Fucoxanthin is related to xanthin, the eye antioxidant.
It is this pigment which is responsible for the algae's distinctive greenish-brown color
Other brown algae, grow along rocky seashores.
Kelp is saturated with nutrients that sustain the humans that feed off them.
Worldwide there are over 2000 species of brown algae