Without water, our bodies would not survive and many other organisms rely on water for their existence. Water spreads over more than 70 percent of the planet and serves as the home for a variety of marine life including thousands of algae and seaweed species. Lakes and oceans are breeding grounds for more than 20,000 species containing proteins, vitamins, and amino acids that benefit skin. Asian cultures utilized these marine substances to treat their skin for centuries. Wakame is just one of many types of brown algae with skin benefits.
Origin of Wakame
Wakame is commonly called sea kelp and is a type of brown algae, which is one of t he oldest living plants on Earth. Japanese sea farmers have been growing wakame since the Nara period dating from 710 to 794 AD. T he United States began widely importing wakame during the 1960s due to the macrobiotic diet movement. By the 1970s, an increasing number of Japanese sushi bars and restaurants had exposed additional Americans to sea kelp.
Fucoxanthin is a compound found in wakame that can help burn fatty tissue. Wakame is also a rich omega-3 fatty acid source, one of the highest vegetarian sources. Oriental medicine uses wakame for intestinal strength and blood purification and to treat reproductive organs, menstrual irregularity, hair, and skin. Many Korean women consume wakame soup during pregnancy and after birth due to its high iodine and calcium content.
Benefits of Wakame
Many types of brown algae have similar ingredients and wakame is no exception. It has proteins, amino acids, and vitamins, each of which yields different skin benefits. Brown algae fights inflammation, heals, prevents the formation of bacteria, and assists with collagen production. It can even inhibit proteins called matrix metalloproteins that degrade collagen levels. A sufficient amount of collagen is needed to prevent skin from sagging and developing lines.
Fucose is a substance unique to wakame and it is found in high levels within this sea kelp. Fucose inhibits the enzyme hyaluronidase that decomposes hyaluronic acid vital to healthy levels of skin collagen and elastin. Collagen strengthens the structure of skin and elastin adds flexibility, causing skin to appear younger due to the reduced appearance of lines and wrinkles. Collagen-enriched skin is also healthier than skin that lacks this essential protein. It is much safer to receive collagen through topical applications of skin care products than through injections.
Some of the Tilth Products with Wakame