In the quest for wellness, too often we only scratch the surface of where we can find proper nutrients, going to great depths.
This is true in a literal sense when we explore the health benefits of seaweed.
Vitamins and minerals aren’t just found above ground, they’re found too in the deepest depths of the ocean.
So, what are the health benefits of seaweed?
The jelly-like sea vegetable, algae, doesn’t sound too tasty, but really it is.
The sea plant comes in all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes and packs a big nutritional punch with great health benefits. If you’ve only enjoyed seaweed as part of your sushi meal, you’re seriously missing out!
Agar seaweed is a popular thickener and stabilizer. It can be added to smoothies and soups, pretty much anything.
Not only is it full of vitamins and nutrients, it tastes great! This is just one of the health benefits of seaweed.
Seaweed is often found in anti-aging creams and anti-cellulite serums as dermatologists praise the plant for its positive effects on the skin. Using this plant in our day to day life, instead of just in sushi, promotes healthy, youthful skin.
Stock up on omega 3s
Seaweed is a great source of important amino acids, omega 3s.
Just one sheet of nori has the same amount of omega 3s as you can find in two avocados.
Omega 3s are known to lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of blood clots.
Smooth your skin
As mentioned before, seaweed is great for our skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties can smooth bumps from acne and rosacea. Ancient Romans used seaweed to heal wounds, burns and rashes.
Spa lovers and those who are trying to fight cellulite may try swaddling themselves in seaweed. Not only is it exceptional for the skin as a wrap, it’s also used internally to detox chemicals from our system.
The saying goes “You are what you eat.” And this can ring true in a positive sense by including more seaweed in our diets, for our skin and the rest of our bodies.
Seaweed can regulate hormones
Hormone imbalances can lead to numerous health issues if left untreated.
As one of the ways to regulate hormones naturally, seaweed is the perfect addition to our diets.
Seaweed is high in lignans, plant substances that become phytoestrogens in the body.
These tend to block the rise in estrogen, or at least balance it, lowering the risk of breast cancer.
There are studies being conducted now how sea vegetables like kelp or algae can prevent certain types of cancers.
Perfect pick-me up
Seaweed-based soups and drinks are often concocted to ward off illness or as a pick-me up after being ill. Seaweed infused drinks have even been claimed to cure hangovers.
Add a little seaweed into your shakes on a daily basis to keep yourself in optimal health.
The nutrition in seaweed
As far as leafy greens go, seaweed is the most dense in nutrients as it gets. In just one gram of seaweed, you can get your daily intake of iodine. Iodine is one of those macronutrients that’s sometimes hard to find and often added to table salt.
Seaweed has more calcium than broccoli and is almost as high in protein as legumes. It’s a great source of vitamin B12 and soluble fiber. This slows down the digestive process, inhibiting the absorption of sugars and cholesterol.
Other nutrients found in seaweed include niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium and taurine. Seaweed is also a good source of vitamin A, B6 and C.
Helps with depression
Most notably for pregnant women, seaweed has proven to have mood-boosting capabilities. High iodine levels in seaweed are thought to combat depression and fatigue and boost energy. The studies that prove this the most though, are those done on pregnant women.
Low in calories
Seaweed sheets are the perfect snack as they are crunchy and salty but have way less fats or bad things in them, compared to foods such as potato chips. A full package of seaweed sheets is only 15 calories.
There’s no need to feel any guilt when indulging a bit in seaweed for a snack, just remember, it tastes salty and quells our cravings because it’s high in iodine.
Not only is seaweed low in calories, it has been proven to curb appetites, something that can be very beneficial in weight loss.
Because of the soluble nature of the fiber in seaweed, it turns to gel in the digestive system, making us feel fuller for longer but also stops the absorption of fat.
How can we reap the health benefits of seaweed?
First, get to know what kinds of seaweed or sea vegetables are out there. Go to Asian markets and look at the different types. Next, take them home and taste them. All sea vegetables will taste a bit fishy and salty.
Don’t live near an Asian market? Have no fear! Most items can be purchased through your local health store.
You can add seaweed into your every day routine but adding it to mashed potatoes or soups, smoothies, homemade sushi experiments, hand rolls, pasta sauces, you can add it to pretty much anything.
There is a reason we are adapting to more plant-based diets, taking lessons from the Japanese and it’s not for their beautiful skin and lustrous hair. Their daily addition of seaweed could very well be the tonic of youth that helps them live past the age of 100.
Seaweed has a synergistic affect on the body when all its active ingredients come together and work as one. From detoxing our bodies by mopping up harmful chemicals to increasing our intake of antioxidants. Our iodine and sodium needs are taken care of in one compact and tasty food.
It’s not a fad. It’s a gift from Mother Nature that people have been using for centuries. Only now are we seeing and understanding the health benefits of seaweed, which will only grow as more research is conducted.
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