Agar agar — nutritional value and health benefits
Agar contains a gel-like substance that expands in the intestine. This stimulates the intestines, resulting in a bowel movement. Because of this bulking effect, it is thought to be useful as a laxative and for weight loss. Because agar makes people feel full, they may stop eating earlier than they would otherwise.
Agar, seaweed, and raw
USDA is one source.
Amount Calories 26 percent Daily Value* per 100 g Total Fat 0 g 0%
0 g 0 percent Saturated fat
0 mg 0 percent cholesterol
Sodium 9 mg 0 percent Potassium 226 mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate: 7 g 2%
0.5 g 2 percent dietary fiber
0.3 g sugar, 0.5 g protein, 1%
0 percent vitamin C
5 percent calcium
10 percent iron
0 percent vitamin D
Vitamin B6 (zero percent)
0 percent cobalamin
Magnesium is 16% *percentage The 2,000 calorie diet is used to calculate the Daily Values. Depending on your calorie requirements, your daily values may be higher or lower.
Health of the Brain
Agar Agar is a polymer composed of subunits of the simple sugar molecule galactose, also known as “brain sugar.” It is essential for brain development in babies and children and can be produced endogenously by the body as well as supplemented from foods such as Agar.
Galactose, when synthesized by the body, becomes a component of glycolipids and glycoproteins in a variety of tissues. It is an essential component of the myelin sheath, which protects the brain, spinal cord, and central nervous system. In terms of brain degenerative conditions, a recent study concluded that “galactose plays a potentially useful role in removing neurotoxic compounds from the brain in Alzheimer’s disease patients.”
Agar Agar is high in calcium and magnesium, and while calcium is well known for its contribution to strong and healthy bones, it is a lesser known fact that calcium must be balanced with magnesium in order to increase bone density. Too much calcium and not enough magnesium is a common problem in Western diets, which can lead to painful joint calcification and the formation of kidney and gallstones. Fortunately, Agar Agar contains a healthy balance of these two important minerals, as well as manganese – a nutrient that is essential for metabolism and bone formation.
Vegan Gelatin Substitute
Agar is available in powder, strands, and flakes, all of which are simple to work with. It can be set at room temperature and retains its shape effectively in warmer weather. Gelatin, on the other hand, must be refrigerated to set and will melt in hot weather. Gelatin is more difficult to dissolve than powered agar. Its versatility often makes it more popular among chefs than gelatin.