Seaweed generally lives in the ocean. It is one of the several groups of multicellular algae. They appear to be non-woody and quite similar to terrestrial plants. They thrive in seawater and require light to sufficiently support photosynthesis. But did you know seaweeds are not actually plants?
Kelp and seaweeds are not plants. They are members of the kingdom Protista. Seaweeds lack a plant’s vascular system and roots but can absorb water and nutrients directly from the ocean.
What is the Importance of Seaweed in the Environment?
Seaweeds are the oldest plants on the planet and are essentially eco-engineers, working around the clock to keep our world healthy.
Did you know that the ocean produces between 50% and 85% of the world’s oxygen? Consider the size of our oceans and the amount of algal matter that photosynthesizes daily to produce oxygen and sequester carbon dioxide.
Algae are critical ecologically because they are at the bottom of the ocean’s food chain and, thus the most densely nutrient-dense. There would be no food chain for small sea creatures or habitat for them to thrive if seaweeds did not exist.
Seaweeds are incredibly effective at absorbing nutrients and minerals found in the ocean. They can also absorb toxins and free radicals, which serves an essential cleaning and cooling function in the sea.
You might want to thank seaweed silently the next time you take a deep breath for the excellent oxygen it provides for all of us. Seaweed, kelp, phytoplankton, and algal plankton produce 70% of the air we breathe, making them vital.
The rainforest, believe it or not, only produces 28% of our oxygen, with the remaining 2% coming from other sources. Isn’t it surprising? This is one of the reasons why we must protect our oceans and keep them clean. (Source: Secret Africa)
Different Seaweeds Species
Seaweed does not refer to a single plant but is a generic term for various marine plants and algae. Although there is no formal term for this, seaweed is divided into three categories: brown, red, and green algae.
It is also regarded as a superfood, with numerous health benefits ranging from lowering the risk of breast cancer to fighting off deadly diseases. Seaweed is known as the kale of the sea. It can be used in various ways to help us become more aware of our health. (Source: Secret Africa)
Seaweeds as Food
Have you ever thought about becoming a vegetarian? But you love bacon and will miss it terribly? You’re lucky because seaweed can taste like bacon when served fried. This unproven strain of seaweed tastes great and has more nutritional value than kale.
Seaweed is also gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, organic, and sustainable. All thanks to seaweed, you can now enjoy a guilt-free alternative to bacon.
Kombu, Nori, and Wakame are all well-known seaweed ingredients used as an ingredient or as a garnish in most Asian countries. Every year, Asia consumes approximately 2 million tons of seaweed in its complex fusion of culinary dishes. We love seaweed so much: it is both nutritious and delicious. (Source: Secret Africa)
Image from OceanService