Ulva is an edible seaweed that has blade-like appendages and belongs to the Chlorophyta group of seaweeds. The common name for Ulva is sea lettuce. Ulva can be consumed raw and its dry weight contains about 25 % protein, making it an excellent source of amino acids. Ulva is also high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, iodine and zinc. Ascophyllum nodosum commonly known as egg wrack has been shown to benefit insulin levels in animals. This may relate to the high fibre content of the seaweed. Ascophyllum nodosum contains a similar level of minerals to Ulva. Another seaweed that may regulate the action of insulin is Undaria pinnatifida, which has been shown to possess beneficial effects on blood glucose levels in animals. Some seaweeds such as Hematococcus pluvialis are excellent sources of antioxidants, and in the case of Haematococcus pluvialis, there are high levels of the carotenoid astaxanthin in the tissues of the seaweed. This may explain its significant anti-inflammatory effects in animals.
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