Dried Sea Vegetable Facts
The dried kelp (Durvillea potatorum); comes from the West Coast of Tasmania where this unique species of Bull Kelp thrives in the mixing zone of nutrients welling up from the depths of the Great Southern Ocean. Due to cold sea temperatures, it has the highest alginic acid content and natural growth stimulants vitamins and minerals of any brown kelp in the world.
Dried sea vegetables contain extraordinary amounts of minerals, which are found in the sea. In some species the mineral content is so high that it’s 36% of its dry mass. Some of the most common minerals include cobalt, nickel, boron, manganese, fluoride, molybdenum, selenium, copper, zinc, iron, iodine, phosphorous, sulphur, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium.
Dried sea vegetables have such high quantities of iodine as compared to the minimum required in our diets that it’s primarily known for this particular nutrient. Brown algae contains the highest amount of iodine and its amount ranges from 1500-8000 parts per million. It’s only in green and red algae that the iodine content is slightly lower, but it’s still higher compared to any other land plant. If you consume very small quantities of dried seaweed every day, your daily requirement of 150 µg/day would suffice.
In several places people consume more than a gram of dry seaweed every day. Research on seaweeds and their effects on the human body shows that, our body can adapt easily even if the iodine intake is high.
Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormone which in turn helps in the proper growth and development of the body. If the amounts of iodine in the body is less than required the body would show stunted growth. As the
land plants produce very low levels of iodine it’s recommended to have dried seaweeds to increase the iodine content in the body. However, make sure that you don’t consume it in large quantities at a time or else it may be harmful. Many a times iodine is mixed with table salt so as to ensure enough levels are maintained.
Apart from iodine, dried seaweed is also rich in calcium, but compared to the iodine content the calcium content is not that high. Usually the calcium content is about 4 to 7% of dry mass. At around 7% a gram gives at least 70 mg of calcium. This is still higher compared to other food items rich in calcium, but of course lower than milk based food items.
Dried seaweeds also contain high amounts of protein, but it varies as per the species. In some species it is only 5 to 11% of dried mass while in others 30 to 40%. Vitamins constitute another essential part of seaweeds. They are a rich source of carotenes and many a times is used as a dietary supplement. Vitamin A content ranges from about 20 to 170 parts per million. Moreover it is also rich in vitamin C and its content ranges from 500 to 3000 parts per million. Some of the other vitamins include vitamin B12, a vitamin which is found in very less amounts in land plants.
Dried Seaweed Health Benefits
There are several seaweed health benefits, the major one being helping in the proper growth of the body. Seaweeds are low in cholesterol, besides being an excellent source of vitamin B5. This vitamin is helpful for cutting down the amounts of cholesterol in the body. Moreover, it also helps in reducing acne and rheumatoid arthritis. Minerals like magnesium and iron found in high amounts in dried seaweeds are helpful in preventing heart attacks and diabetes. They contain niacin and riboflavin which help in repairing the tissue quite fast. The only downside is that the calories in dried seaweed is slightly higher, but not as high as several other foods. Know more on seaweed salad calories.
With the kind of health benefits dried seaweeds provide, it’s no surprise that they have become a popular source of food among a majority of people. While consuming them make sure that you don’t consume it in huge quantities at a time.
Seaweed is a rich source of highly absorbable minerals and is low in calories, making it an ideal food, especially for anyone on a weight-loss diet. Agar, a gel-like substance in seaweed, also promotes weight loss by making you feel
full longer, according to Parragon Books’ “100 Best Health Foods.”. Overweight or obese participants took the seaweed supplement 30 minutes before meals for 10 days.
A compound in brown seaweed, often prepared and used in dried form, might provide protection against radiation, according to a study published in the February 2008 issue of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies’ journal “FEBS Letters.” In the laboratory animal study, eckol, a tannin molecule, protected blood cells, repaired damaged DNA in immune cells and promoted immune cell growth and reproduction. The molecule also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Similarly, a type of seaweed known as cyanobacteria may offer anti-inflammatory and antibiotic benefits, according to the University of California Medical Centers.
This Article is from the Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes and “The New Encyclopaedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs”; Nicola Reavley; 1998
Seaweed, also called sea vegetables, grows in saltwater oceans on coral reefs or rocky areas and fresh water lakes. Seaweed once was a delicacy served to honoured guests throughout ancient China. Today, seaweed has become increasingly popular in Western cultures, primarily for its nutritional benefits and also its low calorie count. You can purchase dried seaweed in sheets, flakes or powder form.
Dried seaweed is rich in vitamin K and folate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database. Vitamin K in your bloodstream helps your blood clot when needed, gives protection against osteoporosis and prevents cell damage by fighting against free radicals created from the breakdown of food. Some signs that indicate you may need additional vitamin K include easy bruising and bleeding and liver or gallstone problems.
Folate is a B-complex vitamin responsible for supporting red blood cell production, skin cell development and keeping the nervous system healthy. According to the Institute of Medicine, a man between 19 and 70 needs 120 micrograms of vitamins K while women in the same age group need 90 micrograms a day. Both men and women between 19 and 70 need 400
micrograms of folate a day. One-quarter cup of dried seaweed supplies 13.2 micrograms of vitamin K and 36 micrograms of folate.
Dried seaweed is rich in iodine and magnesium. Iodine is essential for human life. Without it, your body cannot synthesize thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism and play a role in many body functions. One-quarter cup of kelp, the powdered form of seaweed, supplies 415 micrograms of iodine. According to the Institute of Medicine, men and women 18 and older need 150 micrograms a day. Author Nicola Reavley states in her book, “The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs, that “a fatal dose of iodine is two to three grams.”
Magnesium keeps your heart healthy, your muscles and blood vessels strong and helps break down carbohydrates for energy use. One-quarter cup of magnesium gives you 24.2 mg. According to the Institute of Medicine, men 31 and older need 420 mg a day, while women 31 and older need 320 mg a day.
Seaweed contains lignan phytonutrients, which are nutrients found in plants. Seaweed’s phytonutrients promote women’s health by converting within your body to compounds that act like estrogens. If stored levels of estrogens become low, these compounds have an estrogens-like effect. When estrogens levels are too high, lignan phytonutrients crowd out the hormone and minimize unwanted side effects. These nutrients also have antioxidant properties that work against damaging free radicals that circulate in your body. Another phytonutrient present in seaweed is fucan, which reduces the body’s inflammatory response and prevents blood clot formation.
The carotenoid beta-carotene is a natural pigment in dried seaweed. Beta-carotene has antioxidant properties and works to protect you from ultraviolet damage. Carotenoids also help prevent cancer, heart disease and stroke. Carotenoids are converted into vitamin A and require fat and bile acids for absorption. Currently, there is no recommended dietary allowance for beta-carotene.
Contains an additional 40 trace elements to those listed above.
HOW IS THE KELP DRIED, PROCESSED & ANALYSED?
1. First the kelp is first hung and washed with potable water to remove salt
2. Then it is Air dried to between 35% – 40% moisture – see Left-side photo.
3. After, It is hung inside a dehumidification chamber where dehumidified (dry) air at 20ºC is blown in at the top and moisture laden air is removed from the bottom until the kelp contains between 10% – 13% moisture and becomes brittle.
4. Then it is milled and screened to produce several particle size grades.