It is a question that I imagine will be asked much more often in 2017 than it was in year that have passed. That is because more and more science is coming out that proves the various health benefits that algae provides for the human body. And in fact, finding this out about Algae is not even a new discovery.
What Are The Types Of Algae?
Many ancient human civilizations have used algae as just a consumable food product and even as a kind of medicine. We are just re-discovering what makes algae so good for human to consume in one way or another. And the ancient people were even eating the right kind of algae – known as spirulina.
This is a bluish green colored algae that is completely safe to consume and is one of the main types of algae that is contained within algae supplements. The other main type of algae that is contained within algae supplements is chlorella, another bluish green colored algae that is considered a “cousin” to the aforementioned spirulina.
Did you know that many health experts call algae a “superfood”?
This is because algae is loaded with all kinds of nutrients such as proteins, minerals, antioxidants, and various kinds of vitamins. Other superfoods that are packed with nutrients like algae is include kale, which was a huge health trend last year in 2016.
Chlorella and spirulina are not the only types of algae that provide a plethora of health benefits, however.
Brown algae, which is also safe and beneficial for human consumption, has shown to be effective in helping people lose weight and deal with various ailments such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. This type of algae has also been found to lower a person's cholesterol as well as relieving their stress and anxiety.
And going back to the bluish green spirulina, it has a bunch of health benefits as well. Spirulina algae has been linked to helping people lose weight and relieve their stress and anxiety, much like the brown algae. Where they differ is that the spirulina algae can also help people deal with diabetes, hay fever, tiredness, and depression. Spirulina can even help women who are dealing with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Spirulina algae will also make you feel more energized because it is a natural source of energy and it can even enhance your brain's ability to keep and store memories. In addition to that, spirulina algae has been found to be able to get rid of lumps that form in a person's mouth in the beginning of cancer development. This means that both brown algae and bluish green spirulina algae have cancer fighting properties. Let's delve deeper and see what other health benefits algae provides and what nutrients they have inside of them that enables them to be so effectively healthy for us.
5 Ways Algae Can Enhance Human Health
Helping People Lose Weight
As I stated before, all the kinds of algae mentioned so far have been proven to be effective in helping people lose weight. But which kind is most effective? I would have to say that the brown algae is the most effective algae for weight loss and this is because it contains a kind of pigment known as fucoxanthin.
Fucoxanthin is especially potent in causing weight loss because it amplifies the effects of a protein known as thermogenin. Thermogenin is a protein that requires energy (from stored fat in the body) to heat up the interal temperature of the body. This means that since more fat is burned off as energy, less is left stored as fat to contribute to weight gain.
Being Able To Combat Cancer
A whole bunch of different kinds algae, even some that have not even been mentioned in this article, have been shown effective in fighting cancer. Unfortunately, not many human trials have been done so we do not know how effective algae would be in treating human cancer patients. But based on its effect on animals who have cancer and lab experiments on live cancer cells, it definitely looks promising.
One human study did corroborate the results of an animal study as it pertained to algae's ability to halt the development of cancer in the mouth.
The bluish green spirulina algae has also been shown to work as a sort of shield against the harmful effects of common cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. This is because it contains polysaccharide, which has natural chemo-protective properties. On top of that, the algae can also work as a protective shield against radiation.
Hopefully more studies are done to look into the radio-protective and chemo-protective properties of algae so that it may become a part of those cancer therapies.
Good For Your Heart
All kinds of studies have been done on algae's effect on human heart health and they have all corroborated the fact that algae can greatly reduce one's risk of developing heart disease.
This is because of the various chemicals and substances contained within algae, such as carotenoids, phycocyanin, plant sterols, gamma linolenic acid, and various kinds of fiber. Some of those substances are known as antioxidants, which work to inhibit oxidation and the harmful effect it has on cells in the body. Oxidative stress is one of the causes of heart disease as well.
It Can Reduce Your Cholesterol Level
This benefit was actually discovered very recently just last year. Algae's ability to lower one's cholesterol when consumed is because of something known as fucosterol that can be extracted from algae. Research and studies have been done on fucosterol and found that it is an all natural cholesterol reducing agent.
Fucosterol is not the only reason algae can reduce your cholesterol, though. Algae also contain other sterols known as phytosterols. Phytosterols have also been proven to be effective in reducing a person's LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol, as most of you should know, is the unhealthy cholesterol that you definitely want to reduce your levels of.
It Can Rapidly Increase The Amount Of Stem Cells You Have
When you are a grown adult, your body is full of stem cells. These cells work to regenerate cells that are about to die and try to fix up cells that are damaged. The issue is that stem cells do not live forever. They get older just as the human body gets older. And their functionality diminishes with age just like every other part of the body.
However, the diminishing functions of stem cells actually play a heavy role in the diminishing functionality of other parts of the body because they are no longer to fix up those damaged cells as efficiently or regenerate the ones that are about to die.
Enter algae. Due to promising results on animal studies, it was decided to conduct some studies on the effect algae has on human stem cell production. And once again, the human trials corroborated with the animal trials. Early results from those studies indicate a clear link between algae consumption and the rapid production of stem cells. Could algae be the key to slowing down or stopping the effects of aging?
Algae Health Benefits Conclusion
As you can see, 2017 is set to be a breakout year for algae and algae health supplements. Research and studies are still going on and are bound to produce more promising findings about this new superfood. And there is no better time than right around the new year to rethink your diet and add new beneficial foods to it.
Perhaps you should find ways to incorporate algae into your meals, or you could just purchase some algae supplements and consume them that way. Whatever you do, make sure that you consume algae in one way or another because you simply cannot pass up these health benefits.