Seaweed, or sea vegetables, have been a major food source for people around the world for centuries. Rich in energizing and immunity-boosting nutrients, seaweed helps satisfy hunger while truly nourishing the body.
Ever tried it?
If you're still a skeptic when it comes to see vegetables, check out these 10 reasons seaweed is worth adding to your diet:
1. Bone Health -- Seaweed is rich in minerals, like calcium, which support the structure of your bones, preventing density loss that can lead to osteoporosis, fracture and breakage. Calcium also keeps the teeth strong. Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) contains calcium as well as magnesium, for additional support.
2. Lean Muscle -- Certain types of seaweed, like nori (Porphyra species), contain a good dose of protein which supports the development of lean muscle mass. Nori is a type of red seaweed commonly used in making sushi.
3. Proper Thyroid Function -- Iodine is the substance within seaweed that can improve the function of the thyroid gland. This gland, located in the neck, is shaped like a butterfly and makes several hormones that control energy levels, metabolism, body temperature and more. Kelp, such as kombu (Laminaria japonica) are particularly rich in iodine.
4. Weight Control -- Seaweed makes a great source of daily fiber. The fiber within seaweed is mostly soluble, which means it absorbs liquid and expands. Once the fiber expands in your gut, you'll feel more full and more longer, which may help you cut back on consuming as many calories. It may also block certain enzymes, like lipase, to prevent weight gain, but more research is needed. Lastly, fucoxanthin, a compound within brown seaweed, can help boost metabolism when combined with pomegranate seed oil (a combination known as Xanthigen) and promote weight loss.
5. Chlorophyll -- Chlorophyll encourages photosynthesis within a plant by absorbing light. This substances is rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and amino acids. When taken as a supplement, chlorophyll provides these nutrients which support overall wellness.
6. Immunity -- Seaweed contains many important vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin C. These nutrients function within the body as antioxidants, fighting off free radicals which cause oxidative stress and damage to the cells. They also keep the immune system strong so it can fight off threats of infection from bacteria, fungi and viruses.
7. Blood Health -- You can also get iron from certain types of seaweed, like dulse. Iron helps the body produce enough red blood cells. Without enough iron, you can become anemic, which has symptoms such as hair loss and chronic fatigue.
8. Digestive Support -- That same soluble fiber previously mentioned binds with waste to help remove it from the body. A fiber-rich diet will promote digestive regularity to prevent constipation or diarrhea and can also benefit the heart and cholesterol levels.
9. Natural Detox -- The many valuable ingredients within seaweed, such as fiber and chlorophyll promote natural detoxification to remove toxins, waste and other unwanted substances from the body that can impact health.
10. Stop Inflammation -- Certain nutrients and compounds within seaweed, like magnesium, can help reduce inflammation within the body which can cause conditions like arthritis, psoriasis and even heart disease.
You can eat seaweed dried as a chip-like snack or sprinkles onto prepared foods. It can also be served in its natural state (rehydrated) as a salad or added to soups. The flavor can be mild or more robust and certainly salty like the sea. Brown and red seaweed are very popular for cooking and snacking.
Have a an open mind and try new foods, like seaweed and enjoy the nutrients they provide. Check out our entire selection of dried sea vegetables at eVitamins and enjoy!