Agar-agar is a gelling agent made from red and brown algae. The production technology of agar-agar is multi-stage, algae that grow in the Black, White Sea and the Pacific Ocean are washed and cleaned, then treated with alkalis and water, subjected to extraction, then the solution is filtered, solidified, compressed and dried, then crushed. The resulting powder is a natural thickener of plant origin and is often used instead of gelatin. Products with agar-agar added are labeled with E 406, which indicates the content of this ingredient.
Is agar-agar useful?
Agar-agar contains a large amount of mineral salts, vitamins, polysaccharides, agaropectin, agarose, pentose galactose and acids (pyruvic and glucoronic). The organism agar-agar is not absorbed and its calorie content is zero.
Agar-agar is primarily a prebiotic that serves as food for beneficial microorganisms in the intestine. The microflora processes it into the amino acids necessary for the body, vitamins (including group B), and other substances necessary for the body. At the same time, beneficial microorganisms become more active and suppress a pathogenic infection, preventing it from developing.
Agar-agar has the following effects on the body:
- Lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
- Normalizes blood glucose levels.
- Envelops the stomach and eliminates the increased acidity of gastric juice.
- Once in the intestine, it swells, stimulates peristalsis, has a mild laxative effect, it is not addictive and does not flush mineral substances from the body.
- Displays slags and toxic substances, including salts of heavy metals.
- It nourishes the body with macro and microelements, as well as folates.
High fiber content (coarse fiber) causes a feeling of saturation and filling of the stomach. This reduces the amount of food consumed and does not suffer from hunger. In addition, the gel, which is formed in the stomach during the dissolution of agar-agar, draws in some of the carbohydrates and fats from the food, reduces the number of calories and the level of cholesterol, levels the glucose level. Often, agar-agar is used in diets, for those who seek to lose weight.
The Japanese know about the cleansing properties and the general beneficial effects on the body of agar-agar, and therefore use it daily. They add it to morning tea, used in recipes of traditional medicine and homeopathy. Agar-agar is used to treat hair, skin, varicose veins, relieve pain from bruises and heal wounds.
Agar-agar, as in all algae, contains a large amount of iodine, so agar-agar in the form of powder is recommended to be added to salads to compensate for iodine deficiency, which is responsible for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland, in turn, produces hormones that speed up metabolism and prevent the accumulation of fat reserves.
Most often, agar-agar is used in cooking and confectionery, this ingredient is part of jelly, marmalade, soufflé, cakes and poultry-type chocolates, marshmallows, jams, jams, ice cream. Also, the agar is added to the aspic, jellied, and aspic.
Increased doses of agar-agar (more than 4 g per day) can provoke plentiful and prolonged diarrhea and disrupt the bacterial ratio in the intestine and thereby provoke the occurrence of various infections.