Although the use of functional foods such as dairy and fish oil have become popular ways to include foods with an additional health benefit into the diet, using algae such as Chlorella and Spirulina are increasingly being considered for everyday foods.
The inclusion of algae and seaweeds in the diets of populations from the East such as Japan and China has been in practice for centuries. The nutritional composition varies, but some are high in protein, high in long chain fats (EPA & DHA), high in fibre, high in antioxidants and minerals .
Microalgae such as Chlorella, Astaxhanthin (popularised by Dr Oz) and Spirulina have been found to have:
- Immune stimulatory
- Antihypertensive and
- Digestive properties
Simple ways of including algae into your diet:
It may be yet some time before you serve seaweed at your next dinner party but next time you are in the health food aisle, think of your health first and give algae a second chance before you turn a “blind green eye”
Reference: Lordan et al. Marine Bioactives as Functional Food Ingredients: Potential to Reduce the Incidence of Chronic Diseases. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 1056-1100; doi:10.3390/md9061056