Seaweed: A Superfood
One of the buzz words in nutrition these days is superfoods. A superfood, according to its definition, is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. Superfoods can range from kale, salmon, garlic, broccoli, nuts and eggs. But one that may not immediately come to mind (outside of the sushi bar) is seaweed.
Seaweed may make you think of the green slimy stuff at the beach or the algae that grows in lakes, rivers, oceans or even swimming pools that haven’t been properly cared for. However, despite these images, seaweed is one of the most nutrient-rich organisms on the planet.
In fact, it’s essentially the foundation of every food chain on Earth. What we typically think of as seaweed is actually a form of multi-cellular algae. Essentially, all seaweeds are algae but not all algae are seaweeds. This basically means algae is the larger umbrella under which seaweeds reside. Algae and seaweed take in their nutrients through their leaves, not through their roots as land plants do; and they take these nutrients from sea water and not soil.
Rich in Vitamins, Nutrients & Trace Elements
Because of this, algae are 10 times more concentrated in trace elements than earth plants.
Algae (seaweeds) are rich sources of:
- Vitamins, especially A, B, C, E and K
- Minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, potassium, iodine, iron and zinc
- Trace elements such as vanadium, chromium, selenium and more
- Soluble fiber
- Carbohydrates (the good ones)
- Amino acids
- Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
- Alginic acid
– all vital to human bodily functions. The nutrients present in algae are so complete they support entire ecosystems, including the human ecosystem.
All of these elements, balanced in nature, are compatible with our inner sea which circulates throughout our bodies, carrying life-giving food to every cell. Not only are these nutrients beneficial to our bodies internally, but also fundamental to restoring the health and vitality of our body’s first line of immune defense – our skin.
Skin Loving Benefits
This is why algae extracts are the heart of nearly all Source Vitál Apothecary products for the face and body. We believe if you successfully feed the skin and give it the nutritional components it needs to function at an optimal level, you can achieve better and healthier results.
Our product line infuses algae that flourish in the cold, pollution-free waters off the coast of Brittany, France. It is derived from the most natural of conditions, with no genetic manipulation, fertilizers or pesticides, only sea, sun and tides.
In fact, algae have been found to be effective at purifying their environments, even those that are near polluted coastlines. Numerous marine biologists have noted the seemingly untarnished and constant state of purity of seawater, in spite of its coastlines’ pollution. Even when heavily polluted river water enters the sea, the bulk of bacteria die the moment they enter the sea.
These are just some of the properties that make algae (seaweeds) so beneficial in skin care. All healthy skin care regimens start with clean, purified skin. Through the use of pure seaweed powders and extracts, products will cleanse and stimulate the skin on a deeper level, adding rich nutrients to the skin topically and internally, thus allowing for more effective results and the reduction of the visible signs of aging.
Benefits of Seaweed for the Skin
Here’s a quick outline of some of the most impressive benefits of algae and seaweeds for skin:
- Providing essential hydration to alleviate the feel of dry, tight & uncomfortable skin
- Soothes & calms a variety of irritations for smooth, healthy, glowing skin
- Purifies for a more even skin tone
- Deeply nourishes for skin that looks firmer, more youthful
The history of using algae for both internal and external therapeutic purposes is well documented in cultures around the world from indigenous people throughout the American content to traditional Chinese medicine and throughout Europe and even New Zealand. It truly is a gift from nature.
We will continue to explore the different kinds of algae and get into more detail about their uses for the body and skin. Let us know if you are a fan of seaweed and how it has enhanced your nutrition of skin care ritual.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fran Higgins is Source Vitál's in-house esthetician, massage therapist and aromatherapist. For more than two decades, Fran has been helping and educating customers with their holistic health needs. She brings a wide array of topics ranging from at home skin care tips, DIY aromatherapy formulas, step-by-step product protocols and much more.