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Agar is a unique red algae derived from seaweed and continues to be a popular substitute for gelatin. Commonly known as Agar agar, it has been used as a food ingredient in the Far East for generations. NOW Agar Powder is derived from only 100% natural seaweed, and contains no sugar, salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, milk, egg, or preservatives.
Date: 10 August 2005
Recently, I read an article from Japanese magazine that by consuming agar-agar (dried-kanten) with our favorite teas, we can lose weight, and yet still maintain a feeling of fullness, according to Professor Takako Yasuoka of Yokohama Soei Junior College in Kanagawa. Because it was deemed safe, the Japanese valued agar-agar as part of their diet from ancient times. In its dehydrated state of weight, agar-agar supposedly contains 81% of dietary fiber, which makes it a highest content of fiber among all foods! Due to its unique chemical property, when you dissolve agar-agar in boiled water and refrigerate it, it sets.
So, when you consume agar-agar with your tea 10 minutes before your meal, you can attain a felling of fullness without overeating. Agar-agar is attained from various kinds of sea weeds. Agar-agar dissolves in boiling water at 80C and gets set below 40C. 1 tsp of agar-agar sufficiently sets itself in 500 cc liquid. This is probably why one would feel fullness after drinking it.
Interesting to note that agar-agar contains almost zero calories. Another merit of agar-agar is that its high content of dietary fiber works to repress respiratory systems of sugar and fat in our body system, which in turn prevents high cholesterol and sugar level. This ob course prevents constipation and diabetes. In addition, agar-agar contains various minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Professor Yasuoka advises to dissolve agar-agar in 1/2 tsp amount to our favorite teas and try to drink it before it sets. This way, we do not have to taste the powdery flavor of agar-agar. You can also mix dissolved agar-agar to your juice or chilled tea. If you like, you may also use agar-agar as a miso soup ingredient.
Mimi-chan is an author for www.Teanobi.com.
Teanobi - Green Tea
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