Fucus is a type of seaweed with a high iodine content. It is found in the Atlantic, and the coasts of the Pacific Ocean and North Sea. Fucus is also common in Japan and it is a common ingredient in the japanese diet.
Said algae have approximately 8g of proteins, 46 g of carbs and 8 g of fiber. It also provides a great percentage of sodium, potassium and iodine. It also supplies lower quantities of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.
Fucus has several beneficial properties for our health and wellbeing, including fucoidan and alginic acid. Iodine is specially important for the thyroid function which controls the growth and development of babies and children.
Properties of fucus
- Acids: alginic, ascorbic, arachidonic, lauric, myristic, oleic and stearic
- Vitamins: niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamin C
- Minerals: sodium, aluminium, bromine, calcium, chrome, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iodine, selenium
Benefits of fucus
Fucus contains a compound called fucoidan which has anti-aging properties. Fucoidan enhances the retention of collagen while it lowers the thickness of the skin and improves its elasticity. Fucus has to be applied topically in order to obtain these benefits. Some lotions or creams contain fucus or fucoidan.
Moreover, fucus has many minerals that help to nourish and clean the skin from toxins that cause dryness, wrinkles and excessive water retention. Fucus powder can be used in a bath, in seaweed wraps and facial scrubs or salts to detoxify the skin.
It stimulates the thyroid gland
Fucus contains iodine, a mineral that is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Apart from iodine, fucus also has vitamin B and C which are quite useful to regulate the functioning of the thyroid gland, as well as tyrosine which is a non-essential amino acid that is involved in the formation of many hormones.
It enhances the basal metabolism
This alga enhances the basal metabolism by stimulating the thyroid hormone so that the body “will work faster”. this property has been used to treat some metabolic anomalies like obesity, cellulite, liquid retention or constipation.
It relieves joint pain
Fucus can also be used both orally and topically to reduce the joint pain and inflammation that is caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The components of this seaweed like carotene, fucoidan, and mannitol and other vital nutrients like bromine have important benefits for our bone and joint health.
It facilitates the digestion
The fucus alga has a fiber that is known as alginic acid which supports the digestion. Some people use fucus to relieve the constipation or diarrhea, some even take herb supplements to treat stomach acidity.
It lowers the risk of cancer
Fucus contains fucoidan, a type of fiber that can help to lower the cholesterol and the blood glucose level. Fucoidan is found in seaweed and it is known for its anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic properties. Fucoidan regulates the production of AP-I, which is necessary for cell growth and replication. Inhibiting this function reduces the growth of cancer and the development of tumors.
It lowers bad cholesterol
It is believed that fucoidan can help to lower the cholesterol levels, which improves the heart health. Fucus can help to regulate good levels of high density lipoproteins, or HDL and the health and wellbeing of the heart.
It regulates the menstrual cycle
Fucus has anti-estrogenic effects and it can increase the progesterone levels. This is quite useful to regulate the menstrual cycle of women who have irregular periods. The anti-estrogenic properties can also lower the risk of breast and ovary cancer among women.
How to take fucus
If you want to make a fucus infusion you will need:
- A good quantity of fucus algae
- One liter and a half of water
- Boil the water and add the algae. Boil for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let them cool for a while
- Strain the infusion and drink three time a day, it is advisable to do so on an empty stomach
Fucus and spirulina
We have already seen how the fucus alga can contribute to getting rid of cellulite. One of the best homemade remedies to achieves this consists in combining it with spirulina and green clay. Here you have the explanation as to how to use it:
You have to mix two spoonfuls of the three ingredients in powder format, as well as some warm water until you get a paste.
Apply the paste on the thighs and cover them with some transparent paper so that the skin will absorb it properly. You can repeat this process twice a week to improve the aspect of your skin.
Contraindications of fucus
Fucus must not be used by anyone who suffers from hyperthyroidism or heart problems.
It is important to take the recommended dose to avoid exceeding the safe levels of iodine intake.
Fucus can have some side effects, specially if you take excessive doses. It is generally well-tolerated in adequate doses.
Fucus can worsen the acne and also affect the absorption of iron. Depending on the place where it has been cultivated, it can contain heavy metals like mercury and other substances that are toxic for human beings. Purchase fucus from a reliable source.
Fucus and anxiety
An excessive use of fucus can lead to anxiety and nervousness.
An abusive consumption of fucus can trigger:
- Ventura S, Rodrigues M, Falcão A, Alves G. Safety evidence on the administration of Fucus vesiculosus L. (bladderwrack) extract and lamotrigine: data from pharmacokinetic studies in the rat. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2018 Oct 18:1-7. doi: 10.1080/01480545.2018.1518454.
- Neto RT, Marçal C, Queirós AS, Abreu H, Silva AMS, Cardoso SM. Screening of Ulva rigida, Gracilaria sp., Fucus vesiculosus and Saccharina latissima as Functional Ingredients. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 30;19(10). pii: E2987. doi: 10.3390/ijms19102987.
- Agregán R, Franco D, Carballo J, Tomasevic I, Barba FJ, Gómez B, Muchenje V, Lorenzo JM. Shelf life study of healthy pork liver pâté with added seaweed extracts from Ascophyllum nodosum, Fucus vesiculosus and Bifurcaria bifurcata. Food Res Int. 2018 Oct;112:400-411. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2018.06.063. Epub 2018 Jun 28.
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