Algae: incredible superfood

May 22, 2018

Algae: incredible superfood

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you have probably heard about algae. Algae don’t refer to the green nuisance present in your fish tank. They are single-cell organisms, which grow at sea and aren’t necessarily related. However, algae are more than that. Not only are many types of algae edible, but also they are great for your health. They are superfoods. You can’t afford to ignore algae. Well, not anymore. Why? Because they offer a range of tasty possibilities. And because this is going to be their year. Don’t you believe us? Continue reading and be amazed.

The past, present, and future of algae food
Seaweed in human food and examples of today:
There is no reason why you shouldn’t try to refuel yourself with algae every now and then. Ever since prehistoric times, people have been eating algae. They are consumed widely in countries like Japan, China, and Korea. Additionally, populations along the North Atlantic coasts loved indulging in algae. What about Europe? In Great Britain and Iceland, people used to feast upon Dulse, which is a sea vegetable with a salty flavor. This meal still has the power to attract home cooks and chefs.
As surprising as it may seem, NASA puts their confidence in algae when it comes to astronaut food. While astronauts don’t have access to algae meat sausages, they can indulge in leafless plants growing under water. Seaweed serves one very important function for space-based occupants: offering high-quality protein and nutritional elements. It’s important not to forget about Olympic athletes. The matter of the fact is that algae – more precisely seaweed – are one of the best-kept secrets. 

Seaweed is in the mainstream of modern living
If a couple of years ago, things like wrapping sandwiches in seaweed sheets was regarded as something exotic, now algae have their rightful place in the kitchen. One of the biggest trends at present is represented by seaweed. It can be found on the menus of the most imaginative restaurants. Countless varieties of edible seaweed are available on store shelves.
Examples include but aren’t limited to:

Nori seaweed –it’s available in thin sheets for wrapping, being commonly used for sushi. Nori is a type of red algae that has a pleasant aroma and it can be used for seasoning rice dishes. If you’re hungry for Nori seaweed, then sprinkle crushed toasted algae onto your favorite salads or eat it just as you would eat any other crispy snack. 
 
Kombu seaweed – Kombu is viewed as the king of seaweed. It’s adequate for vegetable soups, as it makes the greens easier to digest. Spaghetti and Kombu mix very well. People just can’t get enough of seaweed pasta. The spaghetti is as filling as it’s flavorful.

Dulse seaweed – the salty sea vegetable can be used in soups and fish dishes. Researchers have discovered that this seaweed tastes exactly like bacon when it’s cooked. Simply put, it’s salty, sweet, and moist. People from Oregon State University have labeled it the unicorn of vegetables. 

Attention needs to be paid to the fact that there are more than 100, 00 species of microalgae. Approximately 630 species have a home in UK waters. Unfortunately, people haven’t gotten around to study close enough this group of living organisms. This means that there are plenty of resources that haven’t yet been exploited.  
Many companies have started to stock algae and sell sea spaghetti and bacon seaweeds. What is more, they cultivate their own sea plants, producing tens of thousands of tons per year. It can be concluded that they really make an impact on the niche market for algae. The focus is on humans, sometimes on animals. Industry experts affirm that plant-based foods have out to shame the food and beverage industry, exceeding billions of sales in the US alone.

Algae will be used for the production of ingredients
It seems that this nutritional source has yet to be exploited in Western cuisine. Why? Probably because the Western World ignores the fact that seaweed can be eaten. Or that they bring about health benefits. Algae occupy the position of least importance, which is the reason why they are included in the plans for the future. However, it’s about time that people from the West embraced seaweed as an important food. 
In addition to being used as sea vegetables, algae are frequently used for the production of ingredients. Where? In Europe, of course. The thing is that there are numerous edible materials combined with seaweeds. For instance, in Brittany seaweed is added to homemade loaf, which is offered to the population on spending their holidays there. France isn’t a stranger to algae. Didn’t you hear of Kumbu Breton, the well-known canned tuna? Whether people like it or not, algae will be in present in everything from salad dressings to cookies. That is a promise.  

What evidence will convince you to eat seaweed?  
Many experts, dieticians, and nutrition scientists agree with the fact that algae, in particular seaweed, are a dense nourishment source for supporting of life. According to them, the leafless plants living under water have the potential to transform the way we eat completely. That’s something, right? Just as experts have been singing their praises, the lively an exciting ingredient was already making headlines.
If you would start to investigate the advantages of eating leafless plants growing under water, you would see that the list is long. What you need to know is that algae contains antioxidants, they are a great source of protein. Medical evidence points that the compounds in the single-cell organisms can improve certain illnesses. Even if you don’t particularly like Dulse, which is impossible, you should eat algae to stay in good health.
These are the health benefits you should know about:

Colon cancer
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common illnesses in both men and women. Taking into account that the worldwide incidence has increased, there is reason for concern. The good news is that Fucoidan, which is found in brown seaweed, helps protect against this disease. Multipl studies have found that Fucoidan inhibits the growth of colon cancer, as well as that of breast cancer.

Type 2 diabetes  
There are millions of people with type 2 diabetes. According to scientific evidence, Consumption of brown algae works pretty well in this case. The problem of insulin resistance can be managed through diet as well. It’s sufficient to consume algae.

Blood pressure
It’s common knowledge that algae is rich in omega-3  and omega-7 fatty acids. Tiny amounts of omega-3 can have a beneficial effect when it comes to blood pressure. To be more precise, the content reduces blood pressure, therefore promoting a healthy heart. The best types of seafood to consume are blue and green algae.
Algae and seaweed are considered safe and sound, at least when they are compared to traditional ingredients like butter, eggs, and vegetable oil. If you haven’t dived into the world of algae, you should do it right now. While the leafless plants growing under water aren’t yet food, not in the usual sense, anyway.
How to include algae in every course of your meal  
Are you looking forward to eating algae? If the answer is yes, some congratulations are in order. In case you didn’t know, you have the possibility to include algae in every course of your meal. Don’t know how to? Check the following tips.

Soups
Women in Korea indulge in seaweed soup right after giving birth. They have a preference for Wakame that is rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium. New moms aren’t the only ones who can benefit from algae soup. To make the soup, you need to rehydrate the seaweed with a cup of cold water. When it’s nice and soft, usually after 5 minutes, chop it. Heat a little bit of sesame oil, add mushrooms, garlic, hot water, and, last but not least, Wakame. You’ll find that the result is delicious.
Main courses
If you’re a fan of seaweed bacon, then include it in the primary dish. What can you make with algae? Well, you can make some guacamole. It’s necessary to mash 2 avocados with half a cup of tomato, chopped onion and, you guessed it, bacon seaweeds. If you like, you can add some lime and salt.

Sides 
Wakame, the edible brown seaweed, can be cooked together with bamboo shoots. But maybe you’re looking for a much tastier alternative. If this is the case, you should consider trying pasta made from seaweed. You know how to make spaghetti, right? Instead of zucchini noodles, you just use seaweed pasta noodles. It’s as simple as that.

Last course
Yes, there are dessert recipes with algae. For example, you can make a pudding. How? You may ask. You soak the seaweed in cold water, cook, cover, and, in the end, add vanilla and sugar. Pour the mixture in a bowl and wait until it becomes firm.
Here in the West, algae food is regarded as a novelty. Nonetheless, there is hope for food recognition. By eating edible seaweed, you can contribute to the revolution. And why shouldn’t you? Algae tastes really good and there are many species of leafless plants that you can eat.



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