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Seaweed, Kelp, Algae are in the same family and are commonly known as seaweed. The algae/seaweed family consists of red, brown and green algae. In order for seaweed to grow it needs seawater and enough light to form photosynthesis.

"Photosynthesis" is the process by which green plants and other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and from water. Photosynthesis in plants mostly involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

Seaweed exists in a wide range of areas. The highest elevation is on top of sea spray while the lowest areas are several feet deep. Seaweeds that survive deep within the ocean are known as red algae.

Seaweed that grows on rocks must be able to withstand rapid temperature changes, salinity and some extent drying.

Dietary:

Seaweed is consumed by many coastal people, East Asia, Brunei, China, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Scandinavia, England, Ireland, California and Scotland just to name just a few.

Although there are many vegetarian restaurants popping up along coastal areas, it is not that popular in the U.S. Also referred to as sea vegetables, seaweed/kelp/algae are consumed elsewhere worldwide.

Asian cultures consume the largest level of seaweed but also found on menus in Scotland, Peru and Scandinavia. Nova Scotia consumes sea parsley while Siberians eat harvested kelp from the Bering Sea.

Seaweed is loaded with minerals ranging from calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, iodine and zinc. Sea vegetables contain some fats and omega-6 to omega3 fatty acids. Seaweed is also one of the very few sources of vitamine B12. On top of that, seaweed produces antioxidants as protective carotenoid pigments and vitamins C and E. Carotenoid is a group of red and yellow pigments contained in animal fat and plants. It is chemically similar to carotene.

Is Kelp Seaweed or Something Else?

Kelp is in the brown algae family and is large seaweed. It is believed that kelp first appeared approximately 5 million years ago. It grows in the form of a forest in shallow oceans requiring nutrient rich waters with temperature around 6 to 14°C (43 and 57 °F). In the 19th century, seaweed/kelp was burned in order to produce soda ash or sodium carbonate.

Kelp has an extremely fast growing rate; its decay creates methane and sugars that can be converted into ethanol. There have been many speculations regarding ocean kelp farms that could be a renewable source of energy.

The Healing Components of Kelp and Seaweed:

Kelp is often used for dressing wounds and for the production of dental molds. Seaweed is believed to have properties for curing tuberculosis, arthritis, influenza, common colds, infestations and tumors. Nori, a specific type of seaweed eaten in Japan is believed to cure radiation poisoning.

Seaweed extract is found in many diet pills, is an ingredient in toothpastes, ice cream and gelatins.

The photosynthesis of algae is enormous for nutrients. It is used to remove undesirable water elements such as ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, iron and copper. These elements are quickly consumed by seaweed and in turn, fish consume the seaweed.

Hydroponics:

Growing fresh, robust vegetables and herbs are also a great alternative for a healthier lifestyle. If you have not looked into or experienced indoor hydroponic gardening, you don't know what you are missing out on! Talk to fellow gardeners or gardening experts and discover the world of hydroponic gardening.