Algae of the hiziki variety, also known as hijiki, MeHijiki or Hizikia fusiform, are native to the rocky coasts of Japan, China and Korea. They are brown in color and widely used in oriental food and in different diets, such as the Okinawa diet. They contain a high remineralizing power and other properties indicated above all in recoveries, pregnancies or even to strengthen the hair.
Hiziki algae are a great source of calcium, even more than that from animal milk. They are widely used in anti-aging and hypothyroidism treatments. All these benefits for our body have made these plants a trend in recent months.However, as the Organization of Consumers and Users, OCU, warns, a series of indications must be followed for its consumption.
Risks of consuming hiziki algae
According to the Spanish Food Safety Agency, AESAN , algae of this variety contain a high concentration of inorganic arsenic. Its consumption is very common in restaurants of Asian origin as an appetizer, its use is not given in the preparation of the well-known sushi.
Arsenic is naturally found in products and in nature in two chemical forms: inorganic and organic. It is the inorganic chemical forms of arsenic that are very dangerous for human consumption. In fact, theInorganic arsenic is in category 1 of the classification of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC , and in group A of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA . These classifications indicate that it is a carcinogenic component for human consumption, increasing the risk of bladder, lung and skin cancer. Arsenic is present in food, water and even tobacco.
The inorganic form of arsenic can also produce failures in the nervous, respiratory or cardiovascular systems, with the skin being the most affected in the event of longer exposure.
Salty flavor and soft texture,This seaweed is usually consumed in soups or salads. For home consumption, the list of ingredients should be checked to see if the product in question contains this variety. If so, another type of seaweed should be chosen given its high arsenic content. If you still choose to consume them, it is best to reduce their arsenic content by placing them in a container until boiling to reduce the risks.
When it is consumed in restaurants, the AESAN likewise recommends substituting hiziki seaweed for another type of seaweed variety, in order to avoid risks to the body. The OCU, for its part, is clear that the best consumption of this type of food is to avoid it.