Posts Tagged ‘Kombu’

Why would anyone want to eat sea vegetables?

How about, because they offer the broadest range of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean-the same minerals that are found in human blood.

That’s why!

Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K, a very good source of the B-vitamins, folate, and magnesium, and a good source of iron and calcium, and pantothenic acid. In addition, sea vegetables contain good amounts of lignans, plant compounds with cancer-protective properties.

Promote Optimal Health

Lignans, phytonutrients found in sea vegetables, have been shown to inhibit angiogenesis, or blood cell growth, the process through which fast-growing tumors not only gain extra nourishment, but send cancer cells out in the bloodstream to establish secondary tumors or metastases in other areas of the body. In addition, lignans have been credited with inhibiting estrogen synthesis in fat cells as effectively as some of the drugs used in cancer chemotherapy.

In postmenopausal women, fat tissue is a primary site where estrogen is synthesized, and high levels of certain estrogen metabolites (the 4OH and 16OH metabolites) are considered a significant risk factor for breast cancer.

In addition to lignans, sea vegetables are a very good source of the B-vitamin s and folic acid. Studies have shown that diets high in folate-rich foods are associated with a significantly reduced risk for colon cancer.

Promote Healthy Thyroid Function

Sea vegetables, especially kelp, are nature’s richest sources of iodine, which as a component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), is essential to human life. The thyroid gland adds iodine to the amino acid tyrosine to create these hormones. Without sufficient iodine, your body cannot synthesize them.

Because these thyroid hormones regulate metabolism in every cell of the body and play a role in virtually all physiological functions, an iodine deficiency can have a devastating impact on your health and well-being. A common sign of thyroid deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland, commonly called a goiter. Goiters are estimated to affect 200 million people worldwide, and in all but 4% of these cases, the cause is iodine deficiency.

Nutrient Prevention of Birth Defects and Cardiovascular Disease

The folic acid so abundant in sea vegetables plays a number of other very important protective roles. Studies have demonstrated that adequate levels of folic acid in the diet are needed to prevent certain birth defects, including spina bifida. Folic acid is also needed to break down an intermediate dangerous chemical produced during the methylation cycle called homocysteine. (Methylation is one of the most important cellular cycles through which a wide variety of important chemicals are produced.)

Homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls, and high levels of this chemical are associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Flavoring soups and stews with sea vegetables or using them in salads is a smart strategy, especially for those dealing with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.

Sea vegetables pack a double punch against heart disease. In addition to their folic acid, sea vegetables are a very good source of magnesium, which has also been shown to reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart attack.

Anti-Inflammatory Action

Some sea vegetables have been shown to be unique sources of carbohydrate-like substances called fucans, which can reduce the body’s inflammatory response. Plus, as noted above, sea vegetables are a very good source of magnesium, the mineral that, by acting as a natural relaxant, has been shown to help prevent migraine headaches and to reduce the severity of asthma symptoms.

Relief for Menopausal Symptoms

Sea vegetable’s supply of relaxing magnesium may also help restore normal sleep patterns in women who are experiencing symptoms of menopause. And the lignans in sea vegetables can act as very weak versions of estrogen, one of the hormones whose levels decrease during the menopausal period. For women suffering from symptoms such as hot flashes, sea vegetable’s lignans may be just strong enough to ease their discomfort.


Sea vegetables, often called seaweed, are one of Neptune’s beautiful jewels, adorning the waters with life and providing us with a food that can enhance our diets, from both a culinary and nutritional perspective. Sea vegetables can be found growing both in the marine salt waters as well as in fresh water lakes and seas.

They commonly grow on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes, and can grow at great depths provided that sunlight can penetrate through the water to where they reside since, like plants, they need light for their survival. Yet, sea vegetables are neither plants nor animals-they are actually known as algae.

There are thousands of types of sea vegetables that are classified into categories by color, known either as brown, red or green sea vegetables. Each is unique, having a distinct shape, taste and texture. Although not all sea vegetables that exist are presently consumed, a wide range of sea vegetables are enjoyed as foods.

The following are some of the most popular types:

Nori: dark purple-black color that turns phosphorescent green when toasted, famous for its role in making sushi rolls.

Kelp: light brown to dark green in color, oftentimes available in flake form.

Hijiki: looks like small strands of black wiry pasta, has a strong flavor.

Kombu: very dark in color and generally sold in strips or sheets, oftentimes used as a flavoring for soups.

Wakame: similar to kombu, most commonly used to make Japanese miso soup.

Arame: this lacy, wiry sea vegetable is sweeter and milder in taste than many others .

Dulse: soft, chewy texture and a reddish-brown color


The consumption of sea vegetables enjoys a long history throughout the world. Archaeological evidence suggests that Japanese cultures have been consuming sea vegetables for more than 10,000 years.

In ancient Chinese cultures, sea vegetables were a noted delicacy, suitable especially for honored guests and royalty. Yet, sea vegetables were not just limited to being a featured part of Asian cuisines. In fact, most regions and countries located by waters, including Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and coastal South American countries have been consuming sea vegetables since ancient times.

Presently, Japan is the largest producer and exporter of sea vegetables. This may explain why many of these precious foods are often called by their Japanese names.  Japan also has one of the lowest rates of disease on the planet.  50% of their diet consists of sea vegetation.

How to Select

The best way to consume sea vegetables is by liquid if you can find it.  This way, it is a live food and allows one to absorb 98% of the nutrients.  Probably the best reason is that one doesn’t have to face the rubber taste of the plants.

One of the best products available is Body Balance from Life Force International, made from a Sea Nine Blend (consists of 3 reds, 3 browns, 3 greens).  Body Balance also contains Aloe Vera which adds to the potency of the product.


  • Blondin C, Chaubet F, Nardella A, et al. Relationships between chemical characteristics and anticomplementary activity of fucans. Biomaterials 1996 Mar;17(6):597-603 1996. PMID:11800.
  • Blondin C, Fischer E, Boisson-Vidal C, et al. Inhibition of complement activation by natural sulfated polysaccharides (fucans) from brown seaweed. Mol Immunol 1994;31(4):247-253 1994.
  • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210.
  • Goldbeck N, Goldbeck D. The Healthiest Diet in the World. Plume (Penguin Putnam Inc.) NY, 2001, pp 378-80 2001.
  • Terry P, Jain M, Miller AB et al. Dietary intake of folic acid and colorectal cancer risk in a cohort of women. Int J Cancer 2002 Feb 20;97(6):864-7 2002.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988 1988. PMID:15220.

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Overwhelming evidence of the need for nutritional supplementation

US Senate Document #264 documents severe mineral depletion going back to the 1930’s. The United Nations 1992 Earth Summit Report notes an average of 85% mineral depletion over the past 100 years for North American farm and range soils.

Our fruits and vegetables, as well as the grasses and vegetation that farm animals eat, are deficient in minerals and vitamins. Refining foods further reduces nutrients (such as white bread, sugar and corn syrup).

Fruits and vegetables are cultivated using chemical fertilizers, pesticides and waste contaminants Harvested prematurely and artificially ripened, produce is then sprayed, processed, radiated and coated with toxic chemicals to improve appearance and prolong shelf life—all of which significantly reduces nutritional values.

Frightening livestock production practices Beef, poultry and pork are loaded with antibiotics, hormones, steroids, drugs and toxic chemicals to reduce the risk of disease in overcrowded pens and to increase yield. These substances accumulate in our bodies, interfere with normal cell functions, trigger abnormal immune responses, stimulate premature puberty, and are often known carcinogens. As well, the transfer of antibiotics from animals to humans is resulting in bacteria and viruses that have adapted to antibiotics, thus reducing the effectiveness of
antibiotics taken by humans.

Alarming increase in immune system disorders Over the past 5 years, the incidence of immune system disorders has increased more than 200%.

Auto-immune disorders are rapidly increasing with more than 8 million cases confirmed and 30 million additional cases suspected in the US (The Autoimmune
Diseases, Third Edition, Rose and Mackay, 1998).

Fatigue and lack of energy

Doctors report that a primary health complaint is extreme fatigue and lack of energy. Hectic lifestyles, Pressure-filled jobs and commutes, financial struggles, information overload, eating on the run, depression, anxiety, coping with health issues—all rob us of vital energy and essential nutrients. According to studies by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Health Statistics, lifestyle related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the US.


Fast food diets laden with salt, sugar, corn syrup, refined flours, bad oils and toxic additives exacerbate health problems. A Call to Action by the US Surgeon General (2001) noted that 61% of adults in the US are overweight and that the incidence of overweight among adolescents has tripled in the past 20 years.

Environmental pollution

The air we breathe and the water we drink are contaminated with a wide variety of pollutants.

Bowel irregularities

Stagnating waste and chronic constipation can poison the entire body.

Substance Abuse

Alcohol, tobacco and drugs (including many prescription drugs) all have significant side effects and long-term health implications.

What to Look for in a Dietary Supplement

Whole food is the key

The body recognizes whole foods and can readily assimilate and utilize them. Synthetic nutrients formulated in a lab lack the full spectrum of naturally occurring phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and other micronutrients. The lack of these co-factors limits absorption, increases the risk of toxicity and can even cause secondary nutrient deficiencies.

Liquid form

When a whole food dietary supplement is in a liquid, ionic solution, up to 98% of the nutrients are available for absorption and utilization by the body. Vitamins and minerals in pill form may be only 10% to 20% absorbable (1996 Physicians Desk Ref., pg 1542).

Natural and complete

Sea vegetables are the most mineral-rich plants on earth. They contain more vitamins and minerals than any form of land vegetation. Sea water contains mineral ratios that are remarkably similar to blood plasma. Sea plants pre-digest and concentrate this balanced source of minerals into a highly bioavailable ionic state.

Whole food dietary supplements are safe

They supplement the vegetables and fruits in your diet—a vital part of healthy eating and a good food budget. Whole food products are excellent prenatal supplements. Supplements in liquid whole food form may also increase the efficiency of diets, medicines and herbs, while reducing the time required to achieve the desired results.

Organic minerals

Minerals exist in two forms, organic and inorganic. Organic minerals are far easier for the body to use. Inorganic minerals can be used, but must be converted to organic form through chelation. Chelation attaches an organic carrier so that minerals can be transported through cell walls. Excellent chelating agents include
organic acids such as amino acids and orotic acid.

Sea vegetables

With the passage of untold millennium, vast amounts of life-sustaining minerals have washed into the sea. In the process of converting sunlight to energy, sea vegetables reabsorb these nutrients and organically bind them in an ionic state. In contrast, modern farming practices have depleted our soils of essential nutrients —thus sea vegetables are far superior nutritionally to land vegetables. Additionally, minerals that are toxic in their natural state, such as iodine, arsenic and aluminum, are neutralized by the sea vegetables—this makes them harmless and even beneficial. For example, iodine in its pure form is poisonous—however, in its ionic form it is an essential nutrient for health.

Sea vegetable harvesting

Sea vegetables should be harvested only when fully ripened and from pristine waters. These arctic regeneration zones are biologically active areas that are free from herbicides, pesticides and heavy metal contamination. Tides and intense sunlight provide a constant state of nutrient-enriched plants and a rich feeding ground for many species. Harvesting the tender new growth of these plants increases their rate of growth.

Blending with Aloe Vera

Blending sea vegetables with Aloe vera juice adds to the nutritional value of the dietary supplement. Aloe varies widely in quality. Look for whole-leaf, cold processed juice that is certified by the International Aloe Science Council.

Aloe vera has been one of the most popular remedies throughout human history. A vast body of research confirms that Aloe vera has powerful healing and soothing properties. In addition, it contains large-chain sugar molecules that are ideal transporters of nutrients.

Although there are over 200 species of aloe, one of the best is Aloe Barbadensis, which contains over 75 nutritional compounds including vitamins, minerals and 18 amino acids. It has long been used for ailments ranging from cuts, burns and bruises to digestive and intestinal irregularities.

Black cherry and honey

Black cherry has been shown to reduce uric acid levels in the body, while bee honey is an excellent source of B complex vitamins, royal jelly, propolis and pollen.

Benefits of Sea Plants Blended with Aloe Vera

Contains every essential nutrient in perfect balance

  • Vitamins
  • Macro minerals
  • Trace minerals
  • Amino acids
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Enzymes

Cleanses the colon and normalizes pH levels

  • Facilitates elimination
  • Enhances assimilation
  • Improves absorption

Supports the circulatory and lymphatic systems

  • Detoxifies
  • Nourishes
  • Promotes Healing

Supports the immune system and Fortifies the body with essential nutrients needed to fight disease

Supports the nervous system

  • Fights the effects of stress
  • Improves vitality
  • Promotes a feeling of well-being

Supports metabolic processes

  • Facilitates digestion
  • Reduces cravings
  • Nourishes the glandular system

Increases oxygen at the cellular level

  • Promotes energy
  • Combats aging
  • Promotes stamina
  • Supports memory

Excellent source of antioxidants

Contains free radical scavengers known to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and strokes

Anti-inflammatory properties

  • Helps relieve inflammatory diseases
  • Helps reduce inflammation in arthritis
  • Helps reduce inflammation in sports injuries

Combats side effects of harmful substances

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Drugs
  • Environmental Pollutants

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Dr. Peter Cohen, writing last October in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported that the FDA in August of 2009 discovered that many products labeled as dietary supplements contained numerous undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients.  Dr. Cohen wrote, “ Now, more than 140 contaminated products have been identified, but these represent only a fraction of the contaminated supplements on the marketplace…This trend is particularly alarming given that about 114 million people ~ more than half the adult population of the U.S. ~ consume dietary supplements.”

In episode #11 (season 2) of CSI, a woman poisons her husband with the chemical sodium selenite. Strange as it may sound, this exotic murder weapon and its close cousin, sodium selenate, are listed as “nutrients” on the labels of most mass-marketed vitamins.

Even though both sodium selenite and selenate are classified as dangerous and toxic to the environment by the EPA and the EU, they are the primary forms of selenium sold on the mass market today.

In fact, most mass marketed vitamins contain chemicals that the EPA does not allow in our public drinking water at levels above 50 parts per billion. This is the equivalent to a tablespoon of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

How can a vitamin manufacturer advertise something as being a “nutrient” when the EPA –  out of concern for our health –  has BARRED it from our drinking water at all but exceedingly minute levels?

Both sodium selenite and selenate have been shown to be toxic in reports from the Hazardous Substances Databank ( www.toxnet.nlm.nih.gov ) and PUBMED. These reports show that both forms can be carcinogenic and genotoxic and may contribute to reproductive and developmental problems in humans.

AND…here is a one for you…Sodium Selenate is in Centrum and One A Day Men’s, Women’s and teen formula, but is mysteriously missing from the One A Day Women’s PRE-NATAL formula…hummmmm I wonder why that is????

In the case of stannous chloride (tin), ferrous fumarate (iron) and manganese sulfate, there are significantly higher doses in CENTRUM than are considered safe for human consumption in a liter of water. Although the others listed are at levels well under the EPA’s allowable limit, it is simply amazing that they are found in a product for human consumption at any quantity, given their toxicity.

Here are the list of “ingredients”, their amounts present in Centrum and the limits set by the EPA

Sodium Selenate: 55 mcg, 50 mcg

Nickelous Sulfate: 5 mcg, 100 mcg

Stannous Chloride (Tin): 10 mcg, 4 mcg

Ferrous Fumarate (iron): 18 mg, 0.3 mg

Cupric Sulfate: 0.5 mg, 1.3 mg

Manganese Sulfate: 2.3 mg, 0.5 mg

Ultimately, we need to use common sense in our purchasing decisions and realize that some companies will intentionally mislead the public with the complicity of regulatory bodies like the FDA.

The irony is that BILLIONS of dollars in health care costs – and the suffering these costs represent – could be saved every year if Americans took the simple step of taking a good multi-vitamin every day. Look for manufactures that use whole foods, organic if possible. These vitamin supplements are easier for our bodies to absorb and to utilize and therefore contribute more significantly to filling the voids in our diet.

So, daily whole food vitamin supplements can help reduce health care costs…does anyone have the phone number to the White House?

Body Balance ~ Whole food nutrition as Mother Nature intended!

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There are literally thousands of scientific research papers and data on the powerful health benefits relating to Aloe Vera and wild ocean sea vegetables. While current laws are very specific about what substances can be said to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease, it is crystal clear from the following medical references that many of the compounds/ingredients contained in Aloe Vera and Sea Vegetables have very powerful health supporting benefits.

It should not take too long a leap of faith to come to the logical conclusion that any product in the marketplace that contains Aloe Vera and Sea Vegetables like Body Balance, should be an essential part of your personal health/wellness program.

Pub Med is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.

PubMed is on the NCBI…National Center for Biotechnology Information webpage.

NCBI was Established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information – all for the better understanding of molecular processes affecting human health and disease.


1. Research has shown that Fucoidan is a natural anti-coagulant that helps prevent thickening of arterial walls. Fucoidan was researched as a natural alternative to the anti-coagulant drug Heparin for post-angioplasty intimal hyperplasia (thickening of blood vessel walls after reconstructive surgeries and the main reason for late bypass graft failures)


2. PubMED has over 130 medical articles on the anti-tumor properties of Fucoidan

One anti-cancer research report summarized its findings on Fucoidan saying, ” These results suggest that the anti-tumor activity of fucoidan is related to the enhancement of immune responses. The present results indicate that fucoidan may open new perspectives in cancer chemotherapy. Antitumor activity and immunological properties of marine algal polysaccharides, especially fucoidan, prepared from Sargassum thunbergii of Phaeophyceae


3. Carrageenans…have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Medical research has shown that Carrageenans can kill both the bacteria Streptococcus and the Herpes Virus. http://www.bryantlabs.com/redmarinealgae-treatments.htm

4. Antitumor active fucoidan from the brown seaweed.


Palmaria palmate and Porphyra or Nori

Extracts from dulse (Palmaria palmate) are effective antioxidants and inhibitors of cell proliferation in vitro.

School of Nutrition, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3. yyuan@ryerson.ca

Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of extracts from a variety of edible seaweeds.

Yuan YV, Walsh NA.

School of Nutrition, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St., Toronto, Ont., Canada M5B 2K3. yyuan@ryerson.ca

Dietary Laminaria and Porphyra sp. have been reported to reduce the risk of intestinal or mammary cancer in animal studies.

Aloe Vera

1. Identification of five phytosterols from Aloe vera gel as anti-diabetic compounds.


2. The inner gel component of Aloe vera suppresses bacterial-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines from human immune cells.


3. The in vitro immunomodulatory effects of glyconutrients on peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome



1. IANA (International Academy Nutrition & Aging) task force on nutrition and cognitive decline with aging.


2. The role of diet in cognitive decline.


3. Metabolic and functional defects in selenium deficiency.


4. Selected vitamins and trace elements support immune function by strengthening epithelial barriers and cellular and humoral immune responses.


5. Nutrient intakes in women and congenital diaphragmatic hernia in their offspring. March of Dimes, California Research Division, Oakland, California 94609, USA. WYang@marchofdimes.com


PubMed PMID 7022654…says, “nutrient depletion in soil is leading to a continual decline of nutrients in foods”…”Humans need essential trace elements…they are indispensable for life”


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You may be more familiar with the term seaweeds (and the first thought following that may be ugh!), yet the history of these beautiful ocean plants tells a different tale.

Incredibly mineral-rich, they have been harvested for centuries and used as an important part of daily food and ceremony in many cultures around the world. In fact, at one time sea vegetable gardens were maintained in Hawaii specifically for royalty, and in Japan, kombu and nori were available to nobility only!

Because they use the sun’s energy for photosynthesis, sea vegetables are considered plants. However, they do not have a land-plant’s conducting tissues or root system; instead they absorb everything they need directly from the ocean around them.

Probably the most ancient of foods, the composition of sea vegetables is like a mirror of the blood and body fluids of a person in good health. Our blood contains all one hundred or so minerals and trace elements that exist in the ocean. Seaweeds contain these in the most assimilable form because their minerals and elements are integrated into living plant tissue.

As a result of chemical usage and depletion of our soil by modern agricultural methods, food grown today contains fewer minerals and nutrients. Seaweeds can supply many of these missing nutrients. In fact, as a group they contain the greatest amount and broadest range of minerals of any organism and hence make superb mineral-rich foods.

On account of this unusual mineral content, they are effective in relatively small, supplementary amounts. Normally, the ideal way to use seaweed is regularly as an ingredient in meals. They have a remarkable ability to combine with other vegetables, grains and legumes to provide better utilization of protein and all other nutrients. In addition to a wealth of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, seaweeds are especially excellent sources of iodine, calcium and iron. So… Still not so sure you’re ready to try them?

Take a look at just a few of the incredible benefits you can expect to get from these gifts from the sea. When compared to plants that grow on land, sea vegetables are 10 to 20 times higher in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Hijiki (also known as hiziki), arame and wakame contain 10 times the calcium of milk; when compared to the iron available in beef, sea lettuce has 25 times more, hijiki 8 times more, wakame and other kelps four times more. Nori, familiar to most as the dark green sea vegetable sheet used at sushi bars, can pack a walloping protein content as high as 25-50% of its dry weight-the highest of any ocean vegetable, and it is also high in vitamin A.

Dulse (so commonly eaten in the Canadian coastal area that you can find it next to the fruits and vegetables of any grocery store!) is also rich in vitamin A, as well as iron.

This should get your attention: After the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Russia, sea vegetable companies’ sales shot up. Why? Studies have proven that the sodium alginate found in sea plants in the kelp family (kombu, sea palm, wakame, and others) can bind with radioactive strontium to pass it out of our intestinal tracts with the stool.

After the Nagasaki bombing occurred, people who ate a strict macrobiotic diet—including brown rice and miso soup with sea vegetables—did not suffer from radiation poisoning, even though some were within a mile of the explosion!

The high iodine content was helpful here as well: If proper amounts of natural iodine already exist in the thyroid gland, then it cannot absorb any other forms of iodine, such as radioactive iodine, a toxic pollutant. The natural iodine in seaweeds is an easy, nontoxic way to meet the requirement of iodine in your diet.

The symptoms of iodine deficiency include: chronic fatigue, apathy, dry skin, intolerance to cold, weight gain and enlargement of the thyroid (goiter). These symptoms are the same as those of thyroid hormone deficiency. Just two tablespoons of a kelp seaweed taken daily (kombu and digitata kelp are especially high in this nutrient), or a few kelp tablets, can supply all the iodine you need. And while iodine supplements can be toxic if taken in excess, there is no need to be concerned when eating your sea vegetables. Have as much as you like!

Truthfully though, bringing sea vegetables into your diet can be a bit daunting at first. The newness of texture, taste and smell even stopped a few of us veteran ocean plant chompers in the beginning! Don’t be afraid to start with the one to which you are the most attracted. We veterans can tell you from experience that some of the “sea-weeds” we initially found the most difficult to make friends with, we now find the most delicious!

No matter how you choose to bring these wonderful plants into your diet, you will be glad you did… and your body will certainly be blessed with the addition of this ancient, nutritious food.

The Body Balance supplement I write about is a blend of 9 wild harvested sea vegetables in organic Aloe Vera juice. This is the easiest way to enjoy the nutritional power of these wonderful sea plants. Just take 4- 8 ounces of Body Balance a day and your body will thank you for the rest of your life.

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Every day I come across health articles, some are informative, some are intriguing, and some are downright BS. However, the article I am sharing with you here is not only informative, but I believe vital to our health and wellbeing. Here in the U.S. pharmaceuticals are King. I was brought up the same way, you feel sick you go see the doctor, they write you a prescription, you take the prescription and you feel better. The problem is, what if the drug doesn’t work? We are seeing more and more resistant strains of bacteria that our current line of antibiotics have little if no effect on. What is the solution?

I believe the solution lies in nature. Our bodies are miraculous biological machines that are designed to be in good health. The problem is the fuel, i.e. food “we” have been putting into our bodies has been substandard for several years, if not decades and we are now reaping this low octane food intake with drastic increases in heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. What is the solution?

With the severe depletion of minerals in our farm soils, where does one find a whole food supplement that still contains these essential minerals and ultra-trace minerals that are VITAL for our body to run at peak health efficiency? Answer: the ocean.

The following article was written by Ginger Webb in “Vegetarian Times” back in April of 1997. This article was way ahead of its time and sadly too many people still are not aware of the health benefits mentioned in this article. Enjoy!

“Seaweed is a healing food for the modern era,”observes John Lewallen, an herbalist, from his kitchen in Mendocino, Calif., where he is packaging seaweed at the kitchen table. John and Eleanor Lewallen are owners of the Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company, a small, direct mail company that specializes in “wildcrafted” seaweeds, which means seaweed responsibly gathered from the wild.

“Seaweed contains a wide spectrum of organic material including trace elements that are lacking from Western diets,” says Lewallen while sipping a cup of wakame tea prepared by soaking the seaweed in boiled water.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Md., agree with Lewallen that sea plants contain a remarkable spectrum of components valuable for human health. David Newman, Ph.D., a chemist with NCI’s Natural Products Branch says his research team is currently testing 15,000 compounds from about 6,000 marine species including algae, fungi, coral and seaweed for their biological activity. Many appear to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer and immuno-suppressive (useful in treating autoimmune
diseases) properties.

Newman is particularly intrigued by the powerful anticancer properties of an algae found off the coast of Curacao, named Curacin-A, that appears to be more potent than taxol, a substance isolated from the bark of yew trees that is used to treat breast and prostate cancer. To date, the algae has not been developed as a pharmaceutical agent because the highly insoluble substance can’t be extracted from the algae to “deliver” it in drug form. Newman hopes that, eventually, scientists will find a way to extract Curacin-A (a process requiring the help of an as-yet undiscovered solvent), noting that it took almost 10 years for scientists to find the right solvent to extract taxol. Once the material can be extracted, Newman adds, it can be “packaged” in a suitable, standardized pharmaceutical form for clinical evaluation.

Fortunately, the pharmaceutical industry’s difficulties don’t have to be yours. Even though drug manufacturers cannot patent an entire plant and therefore cannot make a dime on them, you can still receive amazing health dividends by consuming this and other natural products from the sea. And you don’t have to wait.

They’re available now at natural food stores and by mail.

The Other Seafood

To people whose cultures have evolved by the sea, where seaweed has been a dietary staple for hundreds, if not thousands of years, the benefits of , sea plants are well-known. In the West, seaweed is best known as an exotic ingredient in Japanese and macrobiotic cuisine.

To coastal people everywhere, however, it’s a dietary staple, enjoyed in iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii and other Pacific Islands and coastal regions of the
United States. A treasure chest of good nutrition, seaweed absorbs nutritive elements directly from the ocean water in which it lives.

By eating seaweed, we tap into the ancestral source of all life, the ocean, and replenish our bodies from this vast reservoir with essential and sometimes hard-to get nutrients.

Most varieties of seaweed contain between 10 and 20 percent protein and are rich in fiber and vitamins, including A, C, E, B complex and [B.sub.12], and minerals, including calcium, iodine, potassium, iron and trace minerals.

“People are like walking oceans. Our bodily fluids have the same composition as sea water,” says Ara Der Marderosian, Ph.D, professor of Pharmacognosy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.

“Sea water has been shown to contain organic acids, sterols, carotenoids, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, peptides, amino acids, free enzymes and many other materials, including essential trace minerals.”

An Ocean Of Promise
Among Herbalists, seaweed is treasured for its ability to nourish and strengthen the body. Bladderwrack (Fucus spp.), for instance, has been used in steam baths by Native Americans for rheumatism and illness. Dulse (Palmaria palmata) is used by people in Japan to treat colds.

Because of its high iron content, seaweed is often given to anemic people by herbalists, as well as to menstruating and lactating women whose iron requirements are high. Adding seaweed, particularly wakame (Alaria spp) to the diet is believed to increase hair growth and luster and improve skin tone.

In Japanese folk medicine, the seaweed Digenea simplex has been used traditionally to rid the body of intestinal worms. Today, kainic acid, derived from this seaweed, is sold commercially for this purpose.

Laminaria , another seaweed native to the Japanese coasts and valued as a folk medicine, has been shown to be capable of lowering blood pressure.

Several studies on the usefulness of seaweed derivatives, other than Curacin-A, for protecting against cancer and heart disease are currently underway.

Despite these scientific studies, most of our knowledge about the benefits of seaweed still derive from folklore and the herbalist tradition. Western doctors
may be catching on, however.

A Manhattan plastic surgeon, Michael Joseph Pober, M.D., uses seaweed topically with post-surgical patients to restore skin texture and reduce swelling in surgical incisions.

Michael Tierra, an herbalist, licensed acupuncturist and author of The Way of Herbs (Pocket Books, 1990), explains that in traditional Chinese medicine, seaweed is considered a yin tonic, that is, it has “warming” characteristics. It is good for conditions characterized as “cold” such as poor circulation, anemia and chronic diseases of the thyroid or pancreas.

Seaweed’s antioxidant properties make it specific for prevention and treatment of cancer, supporting the immune system in eliminating the proliferation of cancer cells, says Tierra.

Seaweed is considered a medicinal substance with wet, softening properties, which, according to traditional Chinese medicine, Tierra explains, enables it to dissolve hard nodules and tumors and to reduce swelling of the thyroid and lymph glands.

Efram Korngold, a doctor of Oriental medicine and a licensed acupuncturist, adds that because seaweed helps decongest swollen or inflamed lymph nodes, it can be consumed as a treatment for autoimmune illnesses, including chronic fatigue, HIV,
arthritis and chronic allergies.

In US scientific studies in the 1970s, an entire family of red marine algae was found to possess antiviral properties. One species, Cryptosiphonia woodii, a microalgae found in inner-tidal areas along the Pacific coast, was found by Scripps Institute researchers based in La Jolla, Calif., to suppress the herpes virus and clear out Candida (Candida albicans), a systematic yeastlike fungal infection. Both Korngold and Tierra offer a supplement made of dried whole plants to clients in their clinical practices with these problems and claim exciting results.

Detoxification Duty
Seaweed may be especially important for people in the modern age because of its ability to protect us from damage caused by toxic elements in the environment, including heavy metals and some types of radiation byproducts.

Rosalie Bertell, M.D., president of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health in Toronto, believes that seaweed can help pull dangerous heavy metals out of the body.

Research at McGill University in Montreal has shown that sodium alginate, a derivative of wakame, binds with radioactive strontium 90 in the body, allowing it to be excreted. Strontium 90 is considered the most dangerous component of atomic fallout.

Ernest J. Sternglass, Ph.D., professor emeritus in Radiation Physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, explains how strontium adversely
affects health: “When radioactivity, spread from nuclear waste dumps or fallout from other nuclear facilities, gets into the drinking water, gets into the milk and gets into the vegetables, it lodges in our bone. It goes through the food chain and concentrates.

As a result, materials like strontium [produce] an internal radiation throughout our body, [irradiating] the whole bone marrow where the cells of the immune system originate.” These internal doses of radiation can weaken the immune defenses of the body needed for fighting disease. In fact, many herbalists recommend adding some seaweed to the diet for a period of time if you plan on having X-rays taken, to encourage the excretion of any radiation products left by the treatment.

(my added note:  X-rays are a form of invisible, high-frequency electromagnetic radiation and DO NOT deposit radioactive particulate into your body. Internally taken/injected radioisotopes have very short “half-lives” and decay away into non radioactive elements)

Mindy Green, an herbalist at the Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colo., believes everyone can benefit from seaweed in the diet. “It’s highly nutritious and is a good source of minerals that are often short in the diets of women, especially vegetarian and vegan women, such as iron, calcium, iodine and magnesium,” said Green.

Her personal preference is for a kelp wildcrafted off the northern coast of Washington state. She either toasts the kelp or nibbles on chunky chips of it as a snack. Green also favors a thick seaweed called kombu in vegetable soups and stews along with astragalus in the winter\and uses hijiki and wakame in salads.

*One caution about seaweed from herbalist C.J. Puotenon, a columnist for the Northeast Herbalist Association Journal published in New York. She points to a commonly overlooked cause of acne flareups: iodine, which explains why herbal treatments that emphasize kelp can sometimes make the problem worse in individuals who are iodine-sensitive. So if you avoid iodine-containing salts and seafoods or iodine-based therapies because they trigger acne problems, add seaweed to the “to be avoided” list.

Ginger Webb is an herbalist and a staff writer for HerbalGram, the quarterly publication of the American Botanical Council. She resides in Austin, Texas.

BODY BALANCE is a liquid whole food and is a blend of 9 wild harvested sea vegetables in organic Aloe Vera juice.

Body Balance has been used and recommended by over 6000 medical doctors and other health care professionals for over 25 years.

* I have 2 grown boys and one teenage daughter. All of them were taking Body Balance during their teenage years and we observed no acne flare-ups. In fact we observed just the opposite, clearer  and healthier skin.

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Here’s a list of the ingredients in each bottle of Body Balance

Alaria esculenta

The brown alga name Maria esculenta is translated to mean “edible wings.” Alaria sea vegetables have a nice flavor, and they are popular as a food item in some cultures. Like other brown sea vegetation, Alaria esculenta contains fucans—carbohydrate-related nutrients that are often described as the “slimy stuff” found on the outside of the skin of the plant.

Alaria esculenta is made up of 42 percent alginate. In addition, it contains fucoidan, and a number of amino acids (or protein building blocks) . Lastly, Alaria escuienta is relatively high in potassium  which helps promotes a healthy nervous system.

Aloe Vera A Sumerian clay tablet, found in the city of Nippu written around 2200 BC, is the first document to include Aloe vera among plants of great healing power. Egyptian writings record Aloe as being used medicinally 1,500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. The Hebrews in the Bible’s Old Testament carried Aloe with them in the wilderness for 40 years to be sure they would have it in their new land. Greek physician Dioscorides wrote of using Aloe for constipation, burns, and kidney ailments.

Life Force’s aloe plant is grown in fertile fields at the base of a volcanic mountain in Mexico near the equator.  This is significant for several reasons. Fields are fed with water rich in volcanic trace minerals.  Sunlight and rain is ideal for aloe, and even the wind plays a part.  Certified “organic” under the protocols set by QAI (Quality Assurance International). Aloe is hand-farmed from preparing the soil, to planting, to cultivating, to artfully cutting the leaves.

Ascophyllum nodosum Ascophyllum nodosum is a slow growing sea vegetable found in the northern Atlantic ocean. It grows by attaching itself to rocks and boulders and can live to be several decades old.

It contains high amounts of fucoidan—a specialized polysaccharide. Fucoidan molecules tend to bond with sulphate groups. While this may not say much to the rest of us, scientists know that the higher the sulphate group count in a plant, the higher the plant’s medicinal potential.

It is believed its high fucoidan count may be why in studies an extract from the sea plant helped prevent blood coagulation.  This could be beneficial for those at risk for heart disease and stroke. Additionally, fuicoidan has been shown to have significant cancer-fighting properties.

Black Cherry Body Balance is a tastier drink because it has black cherry flavoring, all natural and of course being a botanical, it also contributes its share of phytonutrients.  Black cherry contributes to supporting healthy uric acids
levels, which supports health




Chondus cripus

Chondus cripus grows in thick patches and has leaf tips that are iridescent. Once the sea plant is removed from the water, however, it loses its color. This plant is rich in iodine, which is known to promote a healthy thyroid. Chondus cripus is a powerful antioxidant that has a unique genetic structure.

Scientific literature reports that one single gene isolated from Chondus cripus contained a polypeptide of 825 amino acids.  The role of antioxidants is important to health. Sickness, particularly chronic illness, has been attributed to the high presence of free radicals in our modern society.

Fucus vesiculosus The common name for Fucus vesiculosus is bladder wrack. It is grown on the coastline of colder regions including the northwestern United States and northern Europe. The plant has receptacles that are usually swollen at the ends, which has everything the plant needs to reproduce (both eggs and sperms).  When it’s about to die, the seaweed’s swollen ends will burst.  This way the plant manages to reproduce itself.

The plant has a thick skin that secretes a sticky substance that helps keep it moist. It contains fucoidan and myostatin, which have been reported to have varying health benefits such as being an anti-coagulant (blood thinning and anti-clotting), anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral. There will be more about fucoidan and it benefits in the section about the brown sea plant Ascophyllum nodosum.

Fucus vesicuiosus also contains alginate. Besides helping to excrete toxins from the body, alginate may also positively affect the immune system T-cells and support the endocrine system (or hormonesystem) in the body. Lastly, alginate from Fucus has been used to help control gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as GERD). GERD is a type of chronic heartburn. Statistics show that more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn once a month. The alginate from Eucus may help control the reflux problem and reduce the acidity content of the stomach.

Gigartina chamissoi Gigartina chamissoi is a leafy, red seaweed. There has been quite a bit of research done on the natural carrageenans found within Gigartina. arrageenans are a special kind of polysaccharide. Originally, carrageenans from red seaweed were extracted and used for gelling and thickening agents in the food industry. Then it was discovered that some of these carrageenans worked well in skin products and cosmetics.

Within the last few years, scientists have discovered that the carrageenans in Gigartina also possess some unique medicinal properties. Among other things, they have found them to be antibacterial as well as antiviral. In fact, one study showed that an extract of Gigartina could kill the bacteria Streptococcus. In addition, in 1997 scientists from Argentina found carrageenans in Gigartina to be anti-herpetic (able to kill the herpes viruses) and anti-coagulant (able to prevent blood from clotting).

Honey The types of flowers the bees pollinate determine flavor and color of honey.  The darker shades of honey are believed to have more antioxidants.  The study showed no weight gain in participants for the month they were consuming honey.  And, some claimed that eating honey for breakfast actually made them feel full and satisfied.

Eating honey along with supplemental calcium appeared to enhance calcium absorption in rats, according to a study from Purdue University.  In addition, the researches suggested that the absorption of calcium increased as the amount of honey taken was upped.  Sugar is a crystalline carbohydrate extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets. It is a non-nutritive empty calorie that robs the body of vitamins and minerals. Sugar is addicting. The biggest culprit?  Soft drinks, which account for one-third of our total sugar intake.  Honey contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and is a wonderful beauty aid that nourishes the skin and the hair.  Honey acts as an antibacterial and antifungal agent and helps disinfect and speed the healing process in wounds, scrapes and burns.

Laminaria Laminaria is a perennial type of sea plant, meaning that it grows back year after year. As with the some of the other brown sea vegetables, Laminaria digitata contains potassium, iodine, and calcium, which may promote health of the nervous system, thyroid gland, and bone structure. There has been quite a bit of research done on Laminaria digitata because of its apparent health benefits. We will discuss just a few studies.

A couple of recent studies (in 2003 and 2004), demonstrated that in a laboratory setting Laminaria digitata displayed strong anti-cancer properties. For example, in the first study a solution extracted from Laminaria digitata had a strong inhibitory activity against the spreading of human leukemia cells. The second study looked specifically at tumor cells. In this experiment the extract from Laminaria digitata killed tumor cells in both in vitro and invivo tests.  In vivo means the extract was able to kill the tumor cells within a living biological organism (such as rats), whereas in vitro means the experiment was done in a test tube or some similar medium.

Another study, completed as recently as 2005, showed that a preparation made from Laminaria digitata acted as an effective vaccine against several disease-causing fungi in the human body such as Candida albicans, which is involved in various gastrointestinal as well as vaginal infections.

Palmaria palmate High in potassium and calcium, the red sea plant Palmaria palmata is named for its resemblance to the palm of the human hand. Like other red sea vegetables, it is also known for its high levels of healthy antioxidants.  One scientific journal reports that Palmaria palmate has anti-cancer properties.  Extracts from the sea plant were tested on human cervical cancer cells.  It was found that chemicals in the sea plant stopped the cells from reproducing and spreading.

Another health benefit of Palmaria palmate may be to those with irregular blood sugar and even those with diabetes. Scientists found that the polysaccharides in Palmaria palmate affect the intestinal absorption of glucose and insulin response.

Porphyra yezoensis Nori, a sea plant known to scientists as Porphyrayezoensis, is one of the most widely used sea vegetables in Japan. It has been grown in Japan as a food source for hundreds of years. As a plant, it is highly nutritious. It contains minerals such as zinc and copper, as well as various vitamins and provitamins.

As of late, Porphyra yezoensis has also become the subject of a number of health-related studies. It has been shown to help healthy liver activity, prevent the occurrence of gallstone disease, and control blood cholesterol levels. It also contains sulfated polysaccharides, which may inhibit the growth of certain tumors and help prevent ulcer activity in shay ulcers.

Porphyra yezoensis is a potent source of vitamin B. Diseases aggravated by low levels of vitamin B in the body are dermatitis (skin inflammation), depression, and anemia (low iron). One recent study, published in 2001, showed that Porphyra yezoensis has high amounts of bioavailable vitamin B

Stevia Stevia is a genus of about 150 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America.  As a sweetener, stevia’s sweet taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or liquorice-like after taste at high concentrations.

With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives.  Stevia also has shown promise in medical research for treating such conditions as obesity and high blood pressure. Stevia has negligible effect on blood glucose, therefore it is attractive as a natural sweetener to diabetics and others on carbohydrate controlled diets.

Ulva Iactuca Ulva Iactuca is often called sea lettuce. It grows in many areas around the world but especially in the northern hemisphere. Ulva Iactuca has a long history of being used in different cultures medicinally. In Cuba, sea lettuce was boiled and then drunk as a juice to kill intestinal worms. In Bretagne, the plant was applied directly on wounds to help stop infection.

The main elements within Ulva lactuca are bioactive substances as well as fiber, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It contains polysaccharide fibers that cannot be dissolved or degraded by digestive enzymes.

This aids in digestion.  One particular polysaccharide within Ulva iactuca is called ulvan. Ulvan is asulfated polysaccharide that has been shown to kill cancerous colon cells. Researchers from France reported ulvan proved to be useful in killing various human cancer cells.  The iron content in sea lettuce is high, 15 times higher than the iron found in an egg yolk or spinach.  Iron is known to stimulate the immune system and improve overall strength and physical performance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.   These products are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.

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