Most of the produce that we consume comes from the land. But, apart from fish, our oceans have so much more to offer. Almost 70 percent of our blue planet is made up of oceans. So, understandably, oceans have a major impact on humans by providing food and oxygen. The ocean contains many sources of food and health products that hold secrets to our health, which is not available on land. Here are foods and healthy products from the sea that are great for our health.
Don’t be surprised! Pearls can be consumed in their powdered form. Pearl powder is made from freshwater pearls or saltwater pearls that are below jewelry grade. Pearls obtained from oysters have been used in traditional Oriental medicine for centuries. Pearl powder is known to help improve the appearance of the skin and is used as a cosmetic by royal families in Asia. In ayurveda, the pearl is considered as an antidote to poisons and as a cure for some eye problems.
Pearl powder mixed with water, yogurt, or honey, is said to contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also rich in calcium, magnesium, amino acids, and other minerals. Pearl is the oceanic adaptogen (a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress) and is used for its calming and mood-regulating properties.
Since pearl has a mild taste, it blends well with almost any food. You can add the powdered pearl to smoothies, shakes, elixirs, and even baked foods.
2. Edible Seaweed
Edible seaweed is edible algae that are used in the preparation of many dishes worldwide. They are rich in fiber and are known by different names in different parts of the world. While most edible seaweeds are marine algae, many freshwater algae are toxic to humans.
Seaweed is a good vegan source of biologically-active Vitamin B-12 and is also a rich source of vitamins B, C, and K, iodine, magnesium, and different amino acids.1 Their high iodine content is essential for healthy thyroid hormones. Seaweed also contains compounds called fucans, which have many anti-inflammatory properties and is known to have a beneficial effect in regulating sugars in type-2 diabetics.2
Seaweed can be soaked in soups, or sprinkled as flakes in salads, or used as wrap sheets, or blended with smoothies.
3. Wild-Caught Fish
Wild-caught fish such as salmon, sardines, rainbow trout, and Atlantic mackerel are among the healthiest of foods. Even shellfish like mussels and oysters are high in omega-3 fats and low in mercury levels. But, certain types of fish such as marlin, king mackerel, swordfish, shark, and tilefish may contain higher levels of toxins.
The omega-3s present in these wild-caught fish is extremely beneficial for a healthy brain, heart, hormones, and our immunity. Consuming the omega-3s through fish in its whole form is healthier than consuming it through supplements, as the different nutrients, minerals, and fats can’t be encapsulated in a pill. Fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been associated with fetal development, cardiovascular function, and Alzheimer’s disease.3
Fish can be cooked and eaten in many different methods. They are healthy and go well as a side-dish as well as the main course, as long as they are cooked properly. They can also be used to make fish tacos and are often consumed raw in foods such as sushi.
4. Marine Phytoplankton
Marine phytoplankton is a whole food supplement rich in vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, protein, and essential fats. Phytoplanktons are a type of microalgae that is an important source of oxygen. It is also a critical food source for ocean life and numerous species of fish and aquatic creatures survive solely on it.
Marine phytoplankton provides the raw materials necessary for our bodies to create and sustain the cells. It is an excellent source of all nine amino acids that the body cannot produce by itself. They are also loaded with essential omega fats, vitamins A, C, a variety of B vitamins and trace minerals.
You can use marine phytoplankton supplements for a variety of dishes and avail its goodness.
5. Sea Salt
Sea salt is very different from the conventional table salt. Besides sodium, which is the primary mineral of any salt, pure sea salt retains all essential natural elements from the sea that are removed from table salt during the refining process. But, commercially available sea salts on the market today may differ widely in their chemical composition.
The minerals present in sea salt are in their natural ratios, which helps keep the body’s electrolytes in balance. It can help prevent dehydration, and the high levels of iodine in sea salt help the thyroid gland to manufacture hormones required for proper functioning and normal growth and development.
Sea salt can be used just like the way you use the normal table salt. It can be added during cooking or simply sprinkled on any of the dishes. You can even give yourself a detox bath by adding two cups of sea salt to your bath and soak in its healing properties through your skin.
6. Spirulina And Blue-Green Algae
Spirulina and other blue-green algae are naturally found in both freshwater and saltwater lakes around the world. Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), also known as Klamath Blue-Green Algae, is a widely consumed edible species of blue-green algae that thrives in the Klamath Lake in the northwestern United States. Blue-green algae have been traditionally used by ancient civilizations in Mexico and Africa for its health benefits.
Spirulina is loaded with numerous health benefits. It contains thrice the amount of protein found in beef and has more calcium than milk. It is also a good source of all nine essential amino acids and its chlorophyll content has a detoxifying effect on the body. It is also known to protect against cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.4
Spirulina and blue-green algae supplements can be added to your health drinks, smoothies, and can be mixed with milk. Mix a teaspoon or two of the spirulina and blue-green algae supplement into healthy elixirs and teas.
7. Magnesium Salt
The magnesium chloride found in the Zechstein Sea was formed much before humans or even the dinosaurs walked our planet. The formation of magnesium chloride from the Ancient Zechstein Sea is over 250 million years old. Zechstein magnesium chloride deposits are excavated from almost two miles beneath the surface of the earth. This magnesium salt, which is unadulterated from modern contaminants, is directly extracted from the earth by a process known as solution mining.
Magnesium is responsible for various crucial pathways in your body. This mineral is essential for our hormones, brain, and heart. Low intakes of magnesium induce changes in biochemical pathways that can increase the risk of illness over time.5
Magnesium salts can be applied topically on the skin or can be diluted in hot water for an invigorating bath.
8. Marine Collagen
Marine collagen is a fibrous protein extracted from the scales or skin of wild-caught saltwater fish, such as cod and salmon. It has been widely used in Japan for many years as a natural supplement. Marine collagen is widely marketed in skin products and more people are using this natural substance for its anti-aging benefits.
Marine collagen is among the cleanest, most bioavailable source of protein. It is increasingly used in cosmetic products because of its anti-aging properties. It is rich in glycine, which is great for supporting optimal gut and immune health. Studies have also shown that it can promote bone development.
Marine collagen is most commonly found in a powdered form. You can add the powder to many dishes or blend it into most health drinks, shakes, and smoothies.
9. Krill Oil
Krill are tiny crustaceans that are found in all the oceans. They are probably the most abundantly found creatures on our planet. Krill is the staple food of the largest animal that ever inhabited the earth, the Blue Whale. Krill oil is an extract prepared from a species of Antarctic krill and contains particularly rich amounts of choline-containing phospholipids and a phosphatidylcholine concentration.
Krill oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, mainly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Low levels of omega-3s are linked to health problems such as depression, heart disease, arthritis, and inflammation. Krill oil has been found to be superior to conventional fish oil in many ways as it contains 50 times more of the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin. Its beneficial phospholipids are essential for optimal cellular, hormone, brain, and nerve health.
Krill oil is usually available in capsules, which can be consumed just like any other supplement. For those who are unwilling or unable to tolerate fish oil supplements, krill oil is a safe alternative with the potential for comparative benefits.6
|↑1||Rajapakse, Niranjan, and Se-Kwon Kim. “Nutritional and digestive health benefits of seaweed.” Advances in food and nutrition research 64 (2011): 17-28.|
|↑2||Kim, Min Sun, Jung Yun Kim, Woong Hwan Choi, and Sang Sun Lee. “Effects of seaweed supplementation on blood glucose concentration, lipid profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Nutrition research and practice 2, no. 2 (2008): 62-67.|
|↑3||Swanson, Danielle, Robert Block, and Shaker A. Mousa. “Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: health benefits throughout life.” Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 3, no. 1 (2012): 1-7.|
|↑4||Ku, Chai Siah, Yue Yang, Youngki Park, and Jiyoung Lee. “Health benefits of blue-green algae: prevention of cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” Journal of medicinal food 16, no. 2 (2013): 103-111.|
|↑5||Magnesium. National Institutes of Health. 2016.|
|↑6||Backes, James M., and Patricia A. Howard. “Krill oil for cardiovascular risk prevention: is it for real?.” Hospital pharmacy 49, no. 10 (2014): 907-912.|