5 Reasons how seaweed can benefit your health
Soon as you mention seaweed as a food, you don’t get the best reaction from many people, but surprisingly it’s eaten widely in japan. Not many people know of the benefits of consuming seaweed, just because there is more widely spread information on other popular super foods like kale leaves and blueberries.
It is still widely consumed in East Asia, particularly Japan, China and Korea, but not to any great extent in Europe. Seaweed is usually sold commercially in the dried form. Seaweeds offer a wide range of therapeutic possibilities both internally and externally.
Seaweed fibre extracts may have some potential as slimming aids, seaweed itself is likely to have an effect on satiety (and weight control) similar to what ordinary fruits and vegetables can do. An 8 g portion of dried seaweed provides about an eighth of an adult’s daily fibre needs, similar to the amount in a banana.
Rich in minerals and vitamins
Seaweed’s vitamin B and high iron content increases energy levels.
Seaweed is rich in many minerals and trace elements like calcium and iron which tend to accumulate at much higher levels in seaweed than in terrestrial plants as seaweed absorbs minerals from the sea. For example, an 8 g portion of dried kombu from the sea provides much more calcium than a cup of milk, and a portion of dulse contains more iron than a 100 g sirloin steak.
Rich in nutrients
Some seaweed varieties are rich in protein. Many contain levels of essential amino acids similar to pulses and eggs. Vitamins A, C and E are found in seaweed. It is also a source of B12, making it a useful to person with a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Seaweed as a medicine
Preliminary research suggests that certain polysaccharides called fucoidans, typically found in brown seaweeds such as kombu and wakame, may exert anti-cancer activity. According to research presented by the American Association of Cancer Research, brown seaweed contains a compound named fucoidan. Fucoidan is believed to kill cancer tumors and leave the healthy cells whole. Seaweed is also extensively used in many traditional Chinese medicine cures.
Seaweed as a great antioxidant
The antioxidant content of sea vegetables also deserves mention with respect to its health benefits as they possess antioxidant properties and coupled with measurable amounts of antioxidant vitamins (like vitamins C and E) and antioxidant minerals (like manganese and zinc), sea vegetables can be expected to help us reduce our risk of unwanted oxidative stress and many types of cardiovascular problems that are associated with poor antioxidant intake.
Seaweed is an excellent source of fibre, minerals and phytonutrients and is generally fine to eat , but be wary that some varieties over concerns of potential levels of sodium, iodine or heavy metals.
Different types of seaweed
A member of the algae family, seaweed is typically found in three varieties: red, green and brown. There are many different types of seaweed Seaweed with Nori being a commonly consumed red seaweed that is used to wrap sushi. Nori is also known as sloke in Scotland and laver in Wales where it was traditionally made into flat breads Seaweed is a type of algae that grows in salt water and (like terrestrial plants) needs sunlight to thrive.
The large Brown seaweeds (Laminaria species ( known collectively as Kombu), various kelps(Icelandic kelp, Norwegian kelp, Bullwhip kelp,Sugar kelp,Giant Pacific kelp, and Hijiki), Bladderwrack, Rockweed, Sargassum, Wakame, and Sea Palm, tend to contain more minerals per unit weight than the Red seaweeds (Nori, Irish Moss, Dulse, Grapestone, and Euchemia)
It is also said to be sued in the Far-East to enhance the flavour of stews and soups. Green seaweeds like sea lettuce and sea grass, which are abundant on the shores of Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia, can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in soups.
How to have seaweed in your diet
Dried seaweed can be found in most grocery stores that have a selection of Asian products
You can have seaweed as part of your sushi or then just crumbled over your rice, baked potatoes salads, or you can add it to soups, stock, beans and stews.