Home Healthy nutrition Edible Green Algae; types and properties

Edible Green Algae; types and properties

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

Seaweeds have become an increasingly common food in healthy diets because they have a large number of properties, which is why they are increasingly used in gastronomy anywhere in the world. Not only Asians eat seaweed, every time we find seaweed in the dishes of the most prestigious restaurants, dishes that try to concentrate a large amount of nutrients in small amounts of food, great taste and that do not provide us with excessive calories, what more could you ask for ?

Many civilizations have consumed algae and used them to remineralize and charge their organisms with energy and nutrients. In fact, the use of algae in food attributed  restorative and remineralizing properties to all their dishes, something truly important in the type of life they led at that time since they were physically exhausted.

Seaweed was introduced into our diet due to the expansion of Asian cuisine, which incorporates this type of food in its dishes. Starting with sushi , a food that has been included in the diet of millions of Western people, or miso soup and other dishes that incorporate what are known as sea vegetables, seaweed are; today; part of our diet.

What are algae?

We all know what algae are but technically we can say that an algae is a living organism that is capable of carrying out photosynthesis in the aquatic environment, through solar energy.

They are part of the marine and aquifer flora; because they not only occur in the sea, but also develop in fresh waters. They can be unicellular or multicellular, they can form large colonies and usually live in the aquatic environment (we say usually because there are some types that live outside the water)

Next we are going to see the different types of edible seaweed that we find in the market, sea vegetables, a name by which they are also known.

Types of algae

They are classified into three large groups commonly known as blue-green algae ( Chlorophyta ), red algae ( Phylum Rhodophyta ) and brown algae ( Phylum Heterokontophyta or Phaeophita ).

Within these three groups we find both sea algae (that is, salt water) and river algae (fresh water), so we can say that there are species of marine algae or freshwater algae.

It is estimated that there are around 27,000 species described in the world between marine and freshwater, the majority being marine algae with respect to freshwater.

Why should we eat seaweed?

Those who have used algae the most throughout history are the Japanese, in fact they currently consume more than they can produce. At present, algae are consumed in different parts of the planet for their nutritional properties. With the tendency to improve health, lead a healthy lifestyle, with a healthy diet, the consumption of algae has increased considerably in Western countries and they are increasingly common in all cuisines.

Algae provide us with a multitude of properties and they are also foods that do not provide us with a large amount of fat or hardly any calories, which is why they become more interesting foods. They concentrate, in a small quantity, many properties and also give us a lot of flavor.

Although those who have used algae the most in history, and currently, are the Japanese, all previous civilizations have consumed them together with other vegetables to complete dishes, making them have a large number of nutritional properties and were restorative and remineralizing dishes .

The fact of its use by the Japanese, since ancient times has produced a modification in their system making them more tolerant to heavy metals, knowing how to eliminate them correctly, which does not happen to us, therefore we must take extreme precautions by consuming algae in its just measure, and spaced.

As we have said, algae are nutritious, remineralizing , they provide us with vitamins and minerals, some have anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer properties, all of them are low in fat, low in calories, cleansing and detoxifying , and in their fair measure, healthy.

We will start by talking about green algae, the majority group of edible algae.

Green algae, Chlorophyta

The green algae or blue-green algae ( Chlorophyta ) are the group with fewer species, but are among them many of the most common and algae consumed. This group of algae is characterized by having among its properties the

The green color predominates due to its high concentration of chlorophylls, this green pigment gives its name to the group of algae. They develop in shallow depths since chlorophyte pigments are the least sensitive to the sun, which is why they need to be shallow to photosynthesize correctly.

It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 species of algae within this group, so it is estimated that it is the most diverse and majority of all algae. It is important to note that 90% of the algae in this group are freshwater, that is, freshwater. that is, only 10% are seaweed .

Properties of green algae

They are rich in vitamins of the group B , A , C and some vitamin K . They provide us with potassium , iron , less sodium than some others, phosphorus , calcium and flavonoids , beta carotenes , omega 3 and 6, in addition to a multitude of amino acids.

Green algae provide us with a large amount of dietary fiber which improves digestion, and they are also highly detoxifying. They stimulate the metabolism, reduce the incidence of cholesterol, regulate blood pressure.

They also have alkalizing , depurative, antitumor and hepatoprotective properties due to the action of chlorophyllin. They stimulate our defenses, so they strengthen our immune system that protects us against viral diseases.

Discover the properties of each of the algae by clicking on the image.

Precautions in the consumption of algae

They are healthy, in small quantities, remember that our body is not prepared to ingest high amounts of algae since sometimes we can exceed the contribution of heavy metals that we are able to eliminate from our body.

If you have a thyroid problem, we recommend that you consult an endocrine specialist, as well as if you have previous diseases such as hypertension, since sometimes they can provide us with a large amount of sodium, which could alter our blood pressure.

Recipes with seaweed

If you don’t know how to introduce algae into your diet, you can check here the 10 best recipes with algae . In this post we offer you a compilation of recipes with different algae and different ways of consuming them, you cannot miss it.

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