Seaweed has become an essential food for elite athletes and the effects of “wakame” on physical exercise have been demonstrated in several investigations.
Superfoods are those extraordinary natural foods from roots, seeds, fruits and algae that contain a high concentration of essential nutrients , easily assimilated, and from which we benefit from just taking a few grams a day. They are key both in the preparation phase (ideal state of muscles or bones), and in training, racing and subsequent recovery.
For about five years now, the science of nutrition has fully entered the locker room. Gone are the days when footballers washed down victories with liters of alcohol, after stuffing themselves with pizzas. Now, instead, they improve their performance and avoid injuries thanks to nutritional orthodoxy. One of the foods that has revolutionized the diet of athletes is algae due to its high protein content and negligible caloric intake. But if we talk about exercising, there is a fitness seaweed par excellence and this has been proven by science: Wakame.
Seaweed such as Wakame have been a highly valued food, especially in the countries of the Asian continent, where they have always been consumed.
This edible seaweed has a multitude of properties from a nutritional point of view that make it very suitable for us to introduce it into our diet. As it does not provide fat, it is very suitable for slimming diets. It also has a high iodine content, which stimulates metabolism. In addition, iodine is essential to guarantee the correct functioning of the thyroid gland, as well as to ensure the production of certain hormones necessary for the development of tissues, the maintenance of our body temperature, and the correct functioning of our nervous system. As it is high in calcium, its intake is highly recommended for those who suffer from osteoporosis.It is also high in iron and potassium, so it has a remineralizing effect that makes it highly recommended for those who do physical exercise. Due to its contribution in minerals and vitamins such as C, A, B1, B2, and B3, it has a cell regeneration effect and helps our body fight possible infections.
But in addition to losing weight and giving us energy, science has shown that it helps boost muscle mass.
Researchers from the Korea Food Research Institute studied the effect of the algae on mice and made an interesting discovery for those who practice sports, according to the masmusculo.com portal.
What are the assets of the Wakame?
Wakame, the superfood for athletes.
The seaweed contains fucoxanthin, a carotenoid that stimulates fat oxidation, at least in animal studies.
It has fucoidan, an immunomodulatory saccharide, which is interesting for strengthening the immune system.
It contains phenolic substances such as caffeic acid and hesperetin, a flavonoid that can stimulate the formation of muscle tissue.
Why does science consider it a fitness superfood?
Researchers gave a group of mice alcohol-based food containing Wakame extract for 8 weeks. A dose of 2-3 grams of extract per day was added to the food for this control group and 0 grams for the placebo group .
At the end of the supplementation period, the researchers had the test animals run on a treadmill until they could run no more. They found that the animals ran faster and faster when given the Wakame extract . Also, his muscles were bigger.
The scientists analyzed the muscles of the fast muscle fibers: the gastrocnemius (Gastroc) and the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) whose weight was determined by the researchers.
The researchers concluded that the Wakame extract stimulated the growth of muscle cell mitochondria and provided extra energy.
In addition, the Wakame seaweed increased the activity of the hormone VEGF in the muscles of the mice, which stimulates the construction of blood vessels, thus also improving blood flow to the muscles.
The findings also highlight wakame ‘s potential as a supplement that enhances the health benefits of exercise and overall health. When the effect of Wakame on various metabolic markers was positively evaluated , this seaweed was established as a powerful supplement for any athlete.
In which dishes can Wakame be used?
The wakame seaweed, if you buy it dry , only needs a few minutes of soaking to see it turn into large thin sheets with some thicker midribs. It is a seaweed quite similar to kombu seaweed, the wakame being finer and once hydrated, it has a greener color than kombu.
The wakame seaweed can be used in:
- combined with vegetable dishes
- accompanying legume dishes
- in soups and purees,
- in croquettes and empanadas.
It can also be roasted in the oven , and later crushed, becoming a powder that is used as a seasoning in rice dishes.