General, Minerals | April 8, 2018 | Author: Naturopath
People have been harnessing food from the sea for 1000s of years. Not only do we have an abundant choice of fish to eat, we also can choose from crustacean, such as shell fish and lobster, and various types of algae such as sea weed, chlorella and spirulina.
Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of seafood. Some of the best sources of nutritional fats (such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexsaenoic acid – EPA/DHA), protein, vitamins, and minerals that promote health can be found in seafood. Some of these health benefits include:
A large amount of the beneficial health effects of seafood have been contributed to the naturally high amounts of PUFA Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is due to fact that marine phytoplankton has a high ratio of EPA and DHA these fatty acids are accumulated in the food chain starting from the phytoplankton.
Clck Here for further reading - Fish Oil
Antioxidation comes from the carotenoids; fat-soluble brilliant yellow and orange pigments. These help to inactivate the harmful reactive oxygen species, and include astaxanthin, lycopene, and fucoxanthin.
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Alga (singular) is described by oxford dictionaries as a simple, nonflowering plant of a large group that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled forms. They contain chlorophyll but lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue.
Algae has become a popular source of food of late as people explore different culinary alternatives, but the truth is algae has been consumed for thousands of years. Algae is also marketed as a functional food.
Different forms of algae, and often depending on where they are obtained from, can determine the content of nutrition and health-giving value.
Types of algae include:
Seaweed, or macroalgae, is a general term applying to several species of macroscopic, multicellular, marine algae. They are very high in fibre, calcium, magnesium and iron and trace minerals.
Seaweed is based on the pigmentation and is classed as:
In animal studies, polysaccharides extracted from various edible seaweeds have been found to reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol. This may be due to blocking of fat absorption in the small intestine or from an increased excretion of sterols and biliary acids from the bowel. In addition, sulfated polysaccharides, such as fucoidan and carrageenans, have been recognized to possess a number of biological activities including:
You might be familiar with these types of Seaweeds
Spirulina and chlorella are two forms of algae that have been found to have a protein content of approximately 70% of dried weight, found to be similar to egg protein, containing all the essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body, and must be obtained from the diet. Historically, wild spirulina was harvested by cultures outside Europe and North America as a high protein rich food source but more recently both spirulina and chlorella are farmed and harvested for market.
Spirulina (Blue-green algae) is listed as a type of alga but it does however have a different structure than other algae and is therefore technically known as cyanobacteria, one of the photosynthetic prokaryotes (a microscopic single-celled organism) found in aquatic ecosystems.
Spirulina is a nutritious product containing a rich source of essential amino acids, γ-linolenic acid (GLA), fibre, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, iron, pigments such as β-carotene, xanthophylls, and chlorophyll, and other bioactive compounds.
Studies have revealed an abundance of health benefits from blue-green algae which include offering:
Studies have also shown Algae exerts a positive effect towards cardiovascular disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver
Studies demonstrated that the properties from active components from several BGA species are able to lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood.
They do this by modulation of intestinal cholesterol absorption and hepatic lipogenic gene expression.
BGA can also reduce production of pro-inflammatory mediators, reducing inflammation; inhibit the oxidation of fats (lipids) and scavenge free radicals (the guys that cause oxidation), all of which can be beneficial for the protection against oxidative stress in heart disease.
NAFLD is the name given for inflammation of the liver in patients without alcohol consumption or other causes of hepatitis. Obesity and diabetes are major cause of disease in Australia and considered contributors to NAFLD. BGA was able to reduce oxidation decrease hepatic lipids – meaning reduce the fat accumulating in the liver in NFLD and limit the damaging effect of these lipids.
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Spirulina and Chlorella can be added to food to increase the protein and other nutritional contents or consumed by themselves. Try a green smoothie by adding 2 teaspoons of spirulina or chlorella to -
To sum it up there is evidence the bioactive components derived from fish, shellfish, and seaweeds could have a positive impact on in the maintenance and enhancement of health.
As with all things, use caution and do not over-use. Check with your health care provider if you are on medication or suffering from illness before use.
Click Here for further reading - Heavy Metals in Fish
Seafood Consumption and Components for Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4776937/
Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5387034/
Health Benefits of Blue-Green Algae: Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576896/