The anti-oxidant colours of seaweeds

The anti-oxidant colours of seaweeds

The festive season may be drawing to a close this week, but it is important to keep those festive colours on your table, as these are the colours that lower your levels of oxidative stress. Red for lycopene, green for beta-carotene sources, gold for lutein, purple and blue for anthocyanins. These are just some of the anti-oxidants that are essential for lifelong health; everyday; throughout the day; and they can be found in coloured plants and seaweeds.

Regenerate for 2022 with rest, excrcise and anti-oxidants….

There is not just one anti-oxidant that will do the trick, just as there is not one oxidative stress pathway. The oxidative damage to cells and molecules in our bodies are caused by many different things.

There is the natural metabolic oxidation caused by the oxygen we breathe. Oxygen is an oxidizer of molecules such as Omega-3 causing rancidity in food as well as the fats in our bodies. But the body can also produce and use anti-oxidants in foods to counterbalance this, as long as we keep the levels up all day, everyday. However, there are many other stressors that we add, sometimes unnecessarily, to our lives that can create oxidation havoc, or oxidative-stress, that is well beyond the levels that are tolerable.

Enjoy this season in moderation

Some of the things we indulge in at this time of year, definitely add to our oxidative stress, despite the period being about rest and resetting our systems. Sometimes these indulgences help us to get to that point of rest, but we should definitely limit them; turn down the dial, and turn up the anti-oxidants.

Maybe one less drink???

One important message that might help is, that although alcohol is associated with festive events at this time of year, maybe we can rethink the level of intake. The reality is that most cultures in the world do not reach the same level of alcohol consumption as the west. Indeed, all of Europe, North America and Australia intake up to twice as much alcohol per person and year as the global average of 6L. It is one of the vices that, once again, we may not have to remove completely, but try and focus this season on moderate alcohol intake, with foods, in sips and in well-paced moderation.

There are some anti-oxidants that have been found to reduce alcohol induced oxidative stress in the liver, including zinc, and in the brain, including green tea. Oysters and seaweed at Christmas can be a great source of zinc. 10g of our seaweed contains between 40-60% of your daily requirements of zinc and you can get this in healthy doses of Phukka, Phettuccine or PhycoMuesli. While the flavonoids in green tea, coffee and seaweeds can be important for anti-oxidation in your brain, these can also be found in seaweeds.

Complete nutrition helps prevent over-nutrition

Keeping all minerals and anti-oxidants up to speed in nutrient dense foods, like seaweed, means that you don’t need to eat as much to get the nutrition that you need. Over nutrition and increased white fat are an issue for chronic, oxidative-stress. Some of the components of seaweed that can help here include selenium in known to be an important trace element that helps anti-oxidation processes, including the super-oxidation that can arise from over-nutrition. Just 10g of our seaweed will deliver all of the selenium that you need in day.

Even our eyes have specific oxidative stressors

Summer sun, or even late winter snow reflections, can also be overdosed at this time of here, and here pigments such as lutein are known to be important in foods to help reduce the oxidative stress of blue light on the retina of the eye. Our green seaweed is high in these pigments naturally, and together with natural Australian corn in our Sea C’s, could be a snack that helps upgrade the lutein intake in your diet.

Keep it diverse and cover all bases

As for all of our health and diet related stories, how it all works is never simple. For example, our specific type of seaweed is thought to have components that stimulates the production of our own natural anti-oxidant molecules (SOD). But our own research has shown that the levels of anti-oxidants in seaweeds can vary. Not only across different types of seaweed, but how we cultivate our seaweed also matters, which is why your source is important.

 (excerpt from McCauley, Winberg, Meyer and Skropeta 2018. Journal of Food Chemistry)


Keep it simple, keep it whole and keep it up!

As for all of our health and diet related stories, how it all works is never simple. As for all of our nutrition stories, it is always individual. Just try and keep your levels up through diverse and coloured foods each day. A bit of seaweed is an easy way to help you to do that.