Algae and their properties
Seaweeds (海藻, kaisō) have been an important part of the Japanese diet for many centuries.
These are the main ones with their properties and some are certainly also found in Europe: Nori; Kombu; Wakame; Mekabu; Hijiki; Kanten.
NORI: contains a balanced presence of vitamins (vitamins A, C and B), mineral salts and Omega 3. They are particularly rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids: linoleic acid, linolenic acid, gamma-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), essential for the human body, are rich in amino acids, including arginine. The considerable amount of taurine present in them is able to help the liver perform its functions properly. Nori seaweed also contains essential trace elements, including manganese, zinc, copper and selenium (Aonori is the powdered seaweed)
KOMBU: It is rich in iodine and therefore stimulates the metabolism and helps burn calories: it is an excellent ally in anti-cholesterol diets. Among the vitamins it contains the A, B1, B2 and C. Calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus among the minerals.
WAKAME: seaweed rich in proteins, essential amino acids, such as tryptophan, which make it a complementary food to traditional vegetable protein sources, such as legumes and cereals.
MEKABU: it is the root of the wakame seaweed
HIJIKI: it is an algae very rich in calcium, in fact it contains much more than cow's milk. The minerals and trace elements present make it a particularly popular and nutritious algae in the East. In fact, it also has considerable quantities of potassium and iron. - for the yoghurt the easiest option is to make it at home.
KANTEN or AGAR AGAR: it is rich in vitamins of group B, vitamins A, C, E and K. Furthermore, this alga has a protective action on the mucous membranes of the stomach and helps to activate the intestine in case of constipation. Furthermore, the kanten seaweed promotes the elimination of toxins and therefore exerts a purifying and detoxifying action.
Algae are an important source of iodine and therefore can lead to an over-functioning of the thyroid, so they should be taken in moderation.