Top 10 Natural Seaweed Skin Care and Health Benefits

Source: http://www.greenorganics.com.au

Buckle up and hold onto your seats, you are about to come with me on a journey into the depths of the high seas to discover a wonder plant that is rich in minerals, amino acids, vitamins  and trace elements capturing all the richness from the sea has to offer. This magic plant is a gift from mother nature and it’s here to serve you, giving you health, vibrant energy and youthful complexion.

Find out what a green slimy looking plant can offer you by reviewing the top 10 Natural Seaweed skin care health Benefits.

1. Get Rid of your Acne Toxins – Purifying & Detoxifying

Seaweed is high in anti-bacterial properties that works well for the treatment of acne. Red seaweed for example is best for drawing out impurities and toxins and regulating oil levels on your face. When applied topically, seaweeds draw out toxins from our body and your skin will absorb its nutrients through the pores. Beauty treatments such as face mask or spa treatments using natural red seaweed ingredients is popular for oily or acne prone skin because of it’s ability to work gently to purify and detoxify whilst promoting circulation and healthy skin rejuvenation.

2. Look years younger with its anti aging effects – Potent antioxidants and cell regenerating properties

The vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes present in sea seaweeds, are potent antioxidants with a lot of skin healing and rejuvenating properties. Seaweed does wonders to aging skin by working to promote tissue regeneration activities in the skin to create skin elasticity. It maybe one of the reasons why the Japanese people have such youthful looking skin. Much of their diet and skin care ingredients is dominated by the use of seaweed and in particular Wakame. For an external treatment, a seaweed bath can help to maintain hormone balance, and increase blood flow at the surface of the skin to make your skin more supple, smooth and radiant, for a more youthful appearance.

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Seaweed Ecology

Source: http://library.thinkquest.org

Large seaweeds that form thick underwater forests provide a physical structure that helps to support marine communities by providing animals such as invertebrates, fishes, birds, otters and whales with food and shelter for small marine animals like worms.

Adapting to stress

Physical environment has a tremendous affect on seaweeds, but the seaweed is an amazingly resilient algae.The seaweed absorbs gases and nutrients from the water and rely on the continuous movement of the water running through the plant to avoid nutrient depletion. Sometimes, when ocean waves and currents are strong, seaweeds are ripped right off the rocks so to cope with the stress of the waves, the strong holdfasts, flexible stipes and blades of the plant allow it to bend as waves mover over the plant.Exposure to air and weather conditions also create stress on seaweeds. Seaweed lose water through evaporation when exposed to air, and some can dry out almost completely when tides are low, however they take up water again with rising tides and are able to fully recover.Seaweed in tidepools are exposed to changes in water temperature and fluctuating salinity levels caused by weather conditions. When water in tidepools warm up and evaporate, the salinity in the water is higher and when it rains, salinity decreseas.Surviving in the intertidal zone, seaweeds must be able to tolerate the many stresses the plants are exposed to.

Seaweed Structure

Source: http://library.thinkquest.org

Air Bladder

Air bladder is known as hollow, gas filled structures. These help to keep the photosynthetic structures of the seaweed buoyant so they are able to absorb energy from the sun.

Seaweed Blade

The blade refers to the leaves of the seaweed. Its main function is to provide a large surface for sunlight to be absorbed. In some species of seaweed, the blade also supports the reproductive structures of the plant. Some seaweed have only one blade, which may be divided while other species have a number of blades.

Stipe

Stipe is the stem or stalk of a seaweed. Its function is to support the rest of seaweed plant. The structures of the stipe varies among the different types of seaweed, they can be flexible, stiff, solid, gas-filled, very long, short or sometimes even completely absent.

Seaweed Fruiting Bodies

Fruiting bodies that are mature become dry, leathery and when it is disturbed, sends out puffs of powdery spores through a hole at the top. The gigantic puffball, Calavatia gigantean, one of the many species that are able to eat when immature, grows as big as 1.2 m or 4 ft wide.

Holdfast

Holdfast is a root like structure that holds it to the rocky bottom. Holdfast is necessary for water and nutrients uptake, but it is needed as an anchor. Holdfast is made up of many fingerlike projections called haptera.

Thallus

Thallus is a way of saying the entire body of the plant, from top to bottom of the seaweed.

Seaweed Fact

Source: http://library.thinkquest.org

The Hawaiian way to say seaweed is limu. It is one of the sources we use for food. There are about 420 species that grow in Hawaii. 13 of the 420 species can only be found here in Hawaii. Seaweed can be found in different colors (red, green or brown), shapes and sizes.
Seaweed lack a specialized vascular system, roots, stems, leaves, and enclosed reproductive structures. With all parts of a seaweed in direct contact with the water, seaweed can absorb fluids, nutrients, and gases directly from the water and do not need an internal conducting system.

Knowing More about Seaweed

Seaweed

For the first two billion years of life on Earth, there were only one-celled creatures. But after early eukaryote cells began to reproduce by meiosis in addition to mitosis, about 1.4 billion years ago, they were able to evolve faster by mixing up their DNA with the DNA from other cells. They evolved in all kinds of ways, but a few of them evolved to stick to their sister cells after their parent divided, and these became the first creatures with more than one cell.

Beginning about 600 million years ago, seaweed was one of these early plants with more than one cell. Seaweed lived in the ocean. During the Proterozoic period, when seaweeds first evolved, the Earth was much colder than it is now. Most of the Earth’s water was probably frozen into ice, and the oceans were shallower than they are now. Seaweed evolved to live in shallow ocean water, where there was enough sunlight for photosynthesis, and rocks to attach themselves to.

Because seaweed had more than one cell in the same plant, it needed a way to reproduce the whole plant and not just one cell at a time. Seaweeds reproduced themselves in two ways. Some seaweeds reproduced when a part of the plant broke off, maybe when a strong wave hit it or a rock fell on it. The small part of the plant could hold on to the rocks and grow into a new seaweed with the same DNA as the parent.

Kelp

Other seaweeds reproduced by using meiosis. Specialized patches on all the leaves produced haploid spores. These haploid spores then produced gametes, sperm and egg cells that could mix with other sperm and egg cells to make new diploid seaweed plants.

Seaweed also evolved other specialized cells that could help the whole plant survive. Different types of seaweed have different specialized cells. All seaweeds arrange their cells into flat leaves so that as many cells as possible get direct sunlight. Many seaweeds have holdfasts, finger-like projections like roots that hold on to the rocks. Some seaweeds have stalks that support the leaves like the stem of a flower. Some make hollow air-filled balls called floats, that hold the seaweed up closer to the surface of the water where there’s more sunshine.

But seaweed has no vascular system to distribute food and water. Instead, each cell makes its own food by photosynthesis inside its chloroplasts. Because seaweed doesn’t have a vascular system, scientists think of it as one of the algae instead of as a plant.

Is Seaweed Good For You?

Trying to get more vegetables into your diet but getting bored with broccoli and spinach? There’s a whole category of super-nutritious vegetables you may be overlooking. Sea vegetables, otherwise known as seaweed, are a great way to add variety to your five-a-day routine. You can add sea vegetables to soups or stir-fries or make a seaweed salad instead of the same old tossed salad.  (I’ve included my own recipe for seaweed salad in this week’s Nutrition Diva newsletter.) You can even use seaweed to make nutritious—and addictive—chips to snack on.

What Kinds of Seaweed are Good to Eat?

As with land vegetables, there are lots of different kinds of sea vegetables, with various flavors and textures. Some are soft, others are chewy; some are mild, others very briny.  Here’s a brief guide to some common sea vegetables.

What Are the Different Types of Sea Vegetables?

Alaria is harvested in the Atlantic and is a distant cousin of Japanese wakame. It has a fairly pronounced briney flavor and a chewy, slightly rubbery texture.

Dulce, with its broad, reddish-brown fronds, is harvested off the Atlantic coast of Maine. It has a medium strong, somewhat smoky flavor.

Wakame is a tender, dark-green seaweed that is harvested in Japan. It has a mild flavor and a texture similar to cooked spinach.

What are the Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed?

The nutritional profile of different types of seaweed varies as well. In general, sea vegetables are low in calories and contain a variety of minerals including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Dulce and alaria, are quite high in iron and vitamin B12, which makes them particularly good choices for vegans who may otherwise have difficulty getting these nutrients.

 

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