Do you turn your nose up at the thought of eating seaweed? Is nori in your sushi as far as you will go? Admittedly it might not seem appealing. The name itself is “weed” which is hardly positive and it is mostly seen as slimy stuff that hangs around rocks at the beach. But it is massively abundant so there’s no issue of sustainability, and more importantly, it is packed with nutrients that deliver serious health benefits. When you see what great things it brings to your body, you’ll want to add seaweed to your diet.
1. Seaweed Contains Essential Nutrients
Seaweed can definitely count towards your 5 a day portions of veggies and fruit as it contains most of the essential mineral and vitamins. In just 1 gram of seaweed, you get enough iodine to keep your thyroid functioning happily. Brown seaweed contains the pigment fucoxanthin which has been shown helps the body burn fat faster and most seaweed varieties are a great source of vitamins A and (vegetarians and vegans please note!) B12.
2. Seaweed is Rich in Iron
I know I already said seaweed contains all essential nutrients but iron deserves a special mention. Your body needs iron to help make the energy that fuels you. It is also important for the circulatory system and the improvement of blood flow. Iron is especially needed if you have or want to stave off anemia.
3. Seaweed is an Excellent Source of Calcium
I’ve picked this out as one of the essential nutrients provided by seaweed because I know a lot of readers are interested in non-dairy sources of calcium. Have you ever thought of seaweed to increase your calcium intake? Add seaweed to your diet and you will be getting calcium to promote healthy bone growth and strong teeth. Calcium also enhances functionality of your nervous system and aids in cell communication.
4. Seaweed is Good for Your Heart
Japan is one of the countries with the lowest incidence of heart disease – and the wide range of seaweed they consume aids that. Wakame is one of the most prevalent types of seaweed in Japanese cuisine and this is known to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke and other heart related diseases.
5. Seaweed Promotes Good Digestion
The alginate in seaweed is a natural fiber which has been shown to promote digestion of food with the dietary fiber helping you feel fuller faster, preventing overeating. Additionally, studies suggest that by eating seaweed on a regular basis you can reduce the amount of fat absorbed by 75%. Seaweed is a marine vegetable that can also help to reduce bad cholesterol.
6. Seaweed is Detoxifying
One of nature’s most powerful detoxifiers is chlorophyll – the pigment that makes veggies green – and green types of seaweed especially, are full of it (think spirulina, for example). Chlorophyll helps in the removal of waste products from the body.
7. Seaweed Can Boost Weight Loss
One of the ways we promote weight loss is by improving our metabolism to burn calories faster. Seaweed helps on this front in two ways. Firstly, the rich iodine content helps the efficient functioning of the thyroid which is an important factor in maintaining a healthy metabolism. Secondly, seaweed’s electrolytes act to destroy the bonds of fat cells which helps the body eliminate toxins. And extra good news for us girls, seaweed can help reduce the build up of cellulite.
Are you now convinced to give seaweed a try? Look out for my post on seaweed recipes coming soon.