Remember the first time you set foot in the ocean? You probably felt something slimy beneath your feet. It may have even brushed your leg and made you run for the shore where you may have seen it adrift on the sand like a monster sunbathing. Well, if you were a kid, that's probably what you thought.
Seaweed is one of the most common sights along the shoreline and while you probably do your best to avoid it when you're in the water, there are plenty of reasons to get to know seaweed. This slimy sea stuff an actually help you look and fel better as part of your diet, supplement regimen or skincare routine.
Nutritional Profile of Seaweed
This sea life is rich in vitamins A, B12 and C and minerals like potassium and calcium that are important components of everyday diet. Also known as "sea vegetables", seaweed is also a soluble fiber that can help regulate blood sugar and promote proper digestion by binding with waste in the body to facilitate proper elimination. It can also keep you feeling full to prevent overeating and help you maintain a balanced diet. Some forms of seaweed also have diuretic properties to remove excess water that can cause bloating.
Another key chemical compound of seaweed in iodine, which the body needs for cell metabolism. Iodine helps the thyroid produce hormones that keep metabolism in check and help with weight control -- we'll get to that in a minute.
Seaweed can be taken orally as a supplement for nutrition but you can also go for the real thing. There's more to seaweed than the sushi bar -- seaweed makes a healthy snack on its own or a tasty ingredient in prepared foods like soups, salads and sandwiches. Common edible forms of seaweed are nori (Porphyra species), wakame (Undaria pinnatifida), kombu (Laminaria japonica) and arame (Eisenia bicyclis). If you're eating seaweed, it can be beneficial to your diet not only for its nutritional content but because it's very low in calories with little to no fat content.
Weight Loss Benefits
Brown seaweed is the most praised variety for weight loss benefits. Fucoxanthin is a compound extracted from brown seaweed that's been found to help increase fat metabolism naturally, burning off fat stored in the body and preventing further fat storage. When combined with pomegranate seed oil, you get Xanthigen the proprietary blend now found in popular weight loss products, that's been shown to increase metabolic rate by 18.2 percent. This extract may also help lower levels of (LDL) cholesterol and raise (HDL) cholesterol levels.
Skincare with Seaweed
Seaweed can be found in soaps, masks, creams and serums to help with some of skin's most annoying conditions. Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, seaweed helps to fight free radical damage, making it a powerful anti-aging secret. Seaweed, when used topically, is an excellent way to draw dirt and toxins out of the body, which is why women around the world use seaweed products to reduce the appearance of cellulite, moisturize skin and smooth lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance. Seaweed also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with skin conditions like acne and rosacea.
Seaweed is being studied for its benefits related to heart health and cancer. The news just keeps getting better, making seaweed the once-overlooked superfood that could be the key long-term health and wellness. Not a scary sea monster.