Seaweed: The Optimal Food for Ridding the Body of Toxins

weed1Nutrient-rich seaweed detoxifies the body as no other food can. Eating seaweed daily provides unique protection against the rising level of environmental pollution. The preparation of seaweed is easy, as it goes well added to stews, soups and cooked beans in daily meals. The cleansing effect from a daily portion of seaweed is ongoing and works better than just doing a detox program now and then.

All seaweed protects against environmental toxins, but most effective of all is brown seaweed such as kombu, wakame, arame and sea spaghetti. Brown seaweed contains sodium alginate, which binds heavy metals and even radioactive substances, and removes them from the body. A seaweed product called agar (agar agar) also contains indigestible sodium alginate, which binds the toxins in the digestive tract and takes them out through rectal elimination.

The liver detox mechanism must have minerals such as zinc and magnesium to form the enzymes needed to remove toxins. However, many people now have a mineral deficiency that limits the production of detox enzymes. In many farming areas, the soil has become so depleted of minerals that the food produced there has only a fraction of the full mineral content of earlier times. Seaweed is the ideal food to fill this mineral gap as it has a much higher concentration of minerals and trace elements than land vegetables.

Small amounts of seaweed are enough. It only takes a few cm (a couple of inches) of dried seaweed to meet the body’s daily needs, since the seaweed swells to a much greater size when soaked. Kombu and wakame go well with beans, lentils and chickpeas, which you can cook in a big pot to last several days with cold storage. Work out how much seaweed you want to eat over the days the pot of beans lasts and add that amount. A further benefit of cooking pulses with kombu is that it makes them more digestible and less gas forming.  Wakame helps too. The cooking time for wakame is short, which makes it just right for soups. A small portion of wakame is enough. Sea spaghetti is the easiest of all. It is tasty soaked and mixed raw in a salad.weed2

Japan is the main seaweed exporter and many consumers are uneasy about a possible radioactive contamination from the meltdown at Fukushima. However, top-quality seaweed from the Atlantic is available in natural food stores in Europe and North America. Australians can buy seaweed from Tasmania. This gives the added benefit of shorter transport to consumers with less fuel burned and less pollution as a result.

Those dealing with a thyroid disorder such as an overly active function or Hashimoto should start slowly with seaweed, especially kombu. Because it is rich in iodine, kombu can trigger an unpleasant reaction when the thyroid is unstable. With such a medical condition, it is better to begin with small amounts of wakame, arame and sea spaghetti, which are brown seaweeds with a moderate amount of iodine. In any case, most people need the iodine in seaweed, because iodine deficiency is common. The thyroid is the body’s pacemaker and it takes iodine to keep it functioning properly to support health, including strong detox ability.


The Soy Debate


Soy products such as tofu and tempeh are known as the wholesome food of the health conscious and vegetarians. Soy has continued to grow in popularity as a replacement for animal protein. While the fermented soy products tempeh, miso and tamari/shoyu are beneficial, unfermented soybean products such as tofu and soymilk are best not eaten regularly. Fermentation breaks down most of the anti-nutrients that disrupt body functions and hinder the uptake of nutrients. Fermented soy is easier to digest. The worst soy product is highly processed soy protein isolate, consumed both as a protein concentrate and as an additive in many commercial food products.

The phytic acid in soybeans is an anti-nutrient, which blocks the absorption of calcium, magnesium, zinc and other minerals. When fermentation dissolves the phytic acid, the body can get the minerals. Taking unfermented soy products often can lead to mineral deficiency and the health problems that go with it. Protease inhibitors are another anti-nutrient, which stops the enzyme breakdown of protein into the amino acids that the body needs. Even though soybeans are rich in protein, eating too much unfermented soy can leave the body lacking amino acids from the protein. It takes enzymes to split protein into individual amino acids that they body can absorb.

The best known anti-nutrient in soybeans is phyto-estrogen, which mimics the effects of the female hormone estrogen in the body. This upsets the hormonal balance of men and women as well as boys and girls. Experts still debate the role of phyto-estrogens as a factor in breast cancer, which is the most common female cancer and often hormone-related. These hormones can come from birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy in menopause, or the growing environmental contamination of food and water such as the endocrine disrupting xeno-estrogens in plastic and other synthetic products.

The soy debate shows the limits of scientific analysis, as there is research that supports both sides. Some researchers believe that phyto-estrogens prevent breast cancer by occupying the estrogen receptors in breast tissue. According to this theory, when the soy substance blocks the estrogen receptors, then the body’s own, stronger estrogen can’t lock onto the receptors, overstimulate breast tissue and trigger cancer. Other researchers maintain the opposite, namely that soy phyto-estrogens themselves are strong enough to cause cancer. These experts recommend avoiding soy to reduce the risk of breast cancer. The debate goes on, but I think that those who warn about soy make a stronger case. Moreover, even apart from the breast cancer issue, phyto-estrogens suppress thyroid function and can cause autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland.

For all these reasons, it is wise for everyone, especially vegetarians, to limit soy consumption. Read labels in supermarkets to find the processed soy products that the food industry adds to many packaged foods. Naturally fermented soy sauce (tamari and shoyu) and soy paste (miso) are fine, since the long-time fermentation process breaks down most of the anti-nutrients. Even though the phyto-estogens remain, most people have no problem with the small amount eaten as seasoning. Tempeh is normally made from fermented soybeans, but the short 24-hour fermentation time doesn’t give as much benefit as long-term fermentation. Australian natural food shops now sell tempeh made from chickpeas or fava beans, which is a great alternative to soy tempeh.


Die Lebenserwartung durch den regelmäßigen Verzehr von Meeresalgen verlängern?


Mineralstoffreiche Meeresalgen fördern die Gesundheit, während viele Menschen an einem allgemeinen Mineralstoffmangel leiden, der die Gesundheit untergräbt. Dadurch verbessern die Algen die Aussichten auf eine längere Lebenserwartung. Im Laufe des 20. Jahrhundert hat die moderne Landwirtschaft die Ackerböden ausgelaugt und entmineralisiert. Als Folge enthalten die angebauten Nahrungsmittel weniger Mineralstoffe wie Magnesium, Zink, und Selen. Das schwächt die Selbsterneuerungskraft des Körpers.

Darüber hinaus schwächt dieser Mineralstoffmangel auch die Abwehrkraft und bringt das Nervensystem durch einander. Insgesamt bescheunligt dieser ungünstige Zustand den Alterungsprozess. Meeresalgen haben eine höhere Nährstofffdichte und kräftigere basenbildende Wirkung als andere Nahrungsmittel. Die Algen liefern die Mineralstoffe, die der Körper benötigt, um sich zu erneuern. Die Algen sind eine bessere Mineralstoffquelle als die üblichen Nahrungsergänzungsmitttel. Sie sind echte Lebensmittel mit Nährstoffen, die der Körper in dieser natürlichen Form gut aufnehmen kann, im Gegensatz zu den Tablettren mit synthetisch hergestellten Mineralstoffen. Die Meeresalgen werden in Zukunft sicher an Bedeutung als Nahrung gewinnen. Der berühmte Meeresforscher Jacques Cousteau hat vorausgesagt, dass zukünftige Generationen ihre Nahrung aus dem Meer holen würden. Cousteau hat auf die besondere Beziehung zwischen dem Menschen und dem Meer wegen der Ähnlichkeit zwischen dem Meereswasser und menschlichem Blut hingewiesen.  Das Verhältnis zwischen den Mineralstoffen wie Calcium, Natrium und Kalium ist im Meereswasser und Blut sehr ähnlich. Die Algen brauchen nur Meereswasser und Sonnenlicht zum Leben. Wer Algen regelmäßig ißt, stärkt die Gesundheit bis in die Tiefe. 

Abgesehen von Nori-Alge in Sushi, kommen die Algen selten in der heutigen europäischen Eßkultur vor. Obwohl die Algen exotisch und fremd erscheinen mögen, aßen die Kelten und Wikinger Algen als Grundnahrung in der früheuropäischen Zeit. Dulse und Laver (der walisische Name für Nori) gehören seit Jahrhunderten zum Stammessen im Küstenbereich von England, Wales, Irland, Bretagne, Skandinavien und Island. Laverbrot war ein traditionelles Gericht in Wales. Heutzutage essen die meisten Menschen Algen ohne es zu wissen. Die Lebensmittelindustrie benutzt Alegnextrakt als Zusatz in vielen industriell hergestellten Erzeugnisse für eine bessere Konsistenz und Stabilität. Auch in der Konditorei benutzt man Algen regelmäßig.