There is no doubt that algae belongs to the highest quality products available. Although it is mostly used by the macrobiotics, there is really no reason not to become part of everyday usual diet.
Algae is used as food in China and Japan for more than 4,000 years. Today Japan is a major user.
These are photosynthetic plants that live in water. Many species are very small, some can be seen only under a microscope and often swim as plankton. Some of them, which are frequently called “seaweed”, are prominent forms of vegetation.
Algae contains chlorine, sodium, calcium, potassium, sulfates, , iron, copper, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, phosphates and trace elements of iodine, manganese, nickel, boron and cobalt. They have large amounts of iodine, and are primarily known because the content of this element. It is mostly represented in brown algae such as kombu. The red and the green one have large amount of iodine. If we only eat one gram a day, we will provide the daily requirement of this element! Furthermore, algae are one of the richest products in calcium. They contain several vitamins such as vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and carotene. They contain little fat. 1% to 5% of dry matter, but they have a high percentage of essential fatty acids. Green algae contain linoleic and alpha-linoleic fatty acid. Also they have high level of fiber, 32% to 50% of dry matter, which reduces cholesterol!
Japanese are growing the famous red algae, porphyra, which in Japan is called nori. In two months, the plant becomes large, gets cut down and dried in the sun. Nori is used for making sushi.
The most known plants used in macrobiotic diet are kombu, hidzhiki, wakame, agar-agar, nori and aram.