Treasure of the seas! It is not news that there is a lot of wealth in the depths of the oceans, after all, they make up about 70% of our planet. Undoubtedly, seaweed is among the most outstanding. According to the medical nutritionist Dr. Marcella Garcez, director and professor at the Brazilian Association of Nutrology, from a food standpoint, seaweed represents one of the great treasures of the ocean, as it absorbs nutrients from the seabed. This makes some of these aquatic vegetables even richer in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than fruits and vegetables. All of this is due to photosynthetic efficiency and because it is often able to withstand extreme conditions, such as cold, during its vegetative state, reserving energy that will be available when conditions return to normal.
Lately treated as a superfood, seaweed has appeared everywhere: drinks, meals, cosmetics, and even supplements. If you want to know the reason for so much popularity, L'OFFICIEL lists four benefits that they can bring to your health.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Some studies have shown that seaweed reduces the risk of heart disease, while many experts agree that it stabilizes blood sugar levels, thanks to its rich fiber content. "Seaweed is rich in fibers, which can reduce blood lipids and improve blood sugar control," observes vascular surgeon Dr. Aline Lamaita, a member of the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery. In addition, there is a detox effect on the blood and lymphatic system. “As many of them have arginine, taurine, and mineral salts, algae also increase the production of nitric oxide and improve vascularization," completes the vascular surgeon.
The edible form of seaweed is rich in fiber, which is great for promoting satiety, reducing swelling, and facilitating digestion. In addition, due to the climatic conditions they face, algae (consumed orally or in cosmetic ingredients) can also function as an energy booster. “This is the case with the Bio-Arct supplement and the topical ingredient Arct-Alg, both from the red algae hibernating in the Arctic Sea, called Chondrus crispus. This integral and 100 percent natural biomass concentrates the citrullyl-arginine dipeptide, microminerals, florosides to ensure energy reserves for the spring season. With this, it acts on the skin to increase the expression of sirtuins, which regulates the energy metabolism of the mitochondria - the lungs of the cells. So, in our body, the ingredients have the ability to triple energy production and provide the body with good quality energy, avoiding cell and other protein wear and tear, maintaining homeostasis in a balanced and balanced way," says Maria Eugênia Ayres, manager of Biotec Dermocosmetics.
Another popular type is the freshwater green alga chlorella. “Rich in chlorophyll and proteins with all the essential amino acids, this seaweed can have a high content of good fats, composed of unsaturated fatty acids and complex carbohydrates, with a good concentration of dietary fibers. Among vitamins, it is rich in B vitamins, mainly B12 and, among minerals, it has high concentrations of iron and good amounts of selenium," says Dr. Garcez.
The underwater wonder contains many minerals and vitamins that strengthen the immune system. "Seaweed is a source of potent antioxidants, vitamins, in addition to regulating intestinal functioning, due to the concentration of fibers," says Dr. Garcez. All of this collaborates to strengthen immunity.
Algae - applied topically or ingested - are great for fighting skin problems and signs of aging. “Seaweed brings important antioxidant benefits to the skin because it contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese and, thus, it fights free radicals, reducing oxidative stress, a major villain of aging. And, they still have the presence of organic silicon, which stimulates skin hydration," highlights cosmetologist Ludmila Bonelli.
The main algae to act as a natural anti-aging on the skin are Arct-Alg (an energy booster for skin cells), Algisium C, and Lanablue. “Algisium C is a manuronic acid, extracted from laminaria, a brown alga. It stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin, responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin, in addition to moisturizing and improving the texture of skin tissue. Lanablue is an extract of endemic cyanophytes (blue-green algae), rich in vitamin B, amino acids, and specific pigments. In the skin, the active acts as a natural retinol, improving cell renewal without causing irritation and redness common to acids," says Ayres.
Since they contain iron and calcium, nutrients that help support bones, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for joints, algae are also important for orthopedic health. In addition, omega-3 is important for improving eye health and improving cognitive conditions, which may include better memory and performance. “These algae, as they are developed in the sea, have a high concentration of iodine which works by reducing edema in cases of cellulite as well," states Bonelli.
"But it is always important to consult a doctor who, after assessing the need for your organism, can prescribe the best way to include algae in your routine," concludes Dr. Garcez.