Seaweed is very nutritious. It offers a host of health benefits to individuals, and it is a rich source of minerals. There are numerous types of seaweed. Most people know about kelp, nori, and kombu. However, wakame, bladderwrack, hijiki, wakame, sea lettuce, and dulse are also favorites for raw foodists and non-raw foodists alike.
The Many Health Benefits of Seaweed
Seaweed has been around for thousands and thousands of years. This food was nicknamed an ancient superfood by our ancestors since it was their secret to living long and healthy lives. For many years, our ancestors ate seaweed for nutrition. The Chinese have considered it the go-to food for more than 2,000 years.
Eating seaweed is a great way to boost your intake of minerals and vitamins. This nutritious food gets all its minerals from the sea. In fact, the mineral elements make up approximately 36% of seaweed’s dry mass.
Seaweed is rich in iodine, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It is a good source of proteins and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B, and C. It is also high in EPA, alpha-linoleic acid, and fiber. Finally, it’s a great source of antioxidants that help lessen inflammation and prevent oxidative stress in the body.
Nori contains almost all minerals that are beneficial to the body. This seaweed is rich in dietary fiber, and it has more vitamins than most vegetables and fruits. Raw and sun-dried seaweed contains:
- High Protein Levels
The protein content in seaweed can range from 20% in green algae to as high as 70% in spirulina. The protein in seaweeds like chlorella and spirulina is rich in all essential amino acids. By eating these two types, you will get all the amino acids your body needs.
- High Mineral Levels
Raw or sun-dried seaweed is a good source of minerals, especially calcium, iron, iodine, and magnesium. This food also contains folate, zinc, and sodium, and it is a good supply of vitamins A, E, and K. Interestingly enough, it has a higher vitamin C level than oranges!
- High Fiber Content
Seaweed is also a rich source of fiber, which helps prevent obesity. Eating fiber makes you feel full, and it does not add any calories. It reduces the urge to eat. Fiber is ideal for someone trying to lose weight.
- Natural Iodine
Seaweed helps support thyroid function because it contains a good supply of natural and organic iodine. Your thyroid glands require iodine to release hormones necessary for energy production, growth, and damaged tissue repair. Without iodine, your thyroid cannot release hormones. The iodine in seaweed is natural and non-toxic.
- Anti-inflammatory and Anti-bacterial Properties
Seaweed contains antioxidants such as carotenoids that help protect the body cells from damage caused by free radicals. Wakame, for instance, is a rich source of carotenoids. The antioxidants in seaweed help make free radicals in your body less reactive, which reduces the damage they might cause. Antioxidants help prevent health problems like cancer and inflammation.
Polysaccharides play a vital role in preventing degenerative diseases, cardiovascular problems, and Type 2 diabetes. They help improve liver function and stabilize blood sugar levels. Polysaccharides also help increase feel-good chemicals and hormones in the brain.
Is Seaweed Good for You?
Eating seaweed results in the following overall health benefits:
- Improved hearing and eyesight
- Healthy thyroid gland function
- Clear skin
- Dental health
- Improved body immunity
- Better digestion
- Prevention of infections and allergies due to a strong-antioxidant function
- Low blood pressure and stable blood sugar
- Normalized cholesterol levels
- Improved bone health
- Healthy heart vessels
Seaweed, particularly nori, is often used in sushi. You can use nori to make sushi rolls or eat the nori sheets without using them to make anything. You can also use seaweed to prepare a tasty seaweed salad. Here’s a great recipe you can try out.
Seaweed Salad Recipe
This seaweed salad recipe is not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly healthy and nutritious. You can prepare it easily, and it will only take you a couple of minutes. For this recipe, we went with stevia instead of sugar and lemon juice in place of rice vinegar. We’ve also used non-pasteurized soy sauce (tamari). Let’s get started!
- Your preferred seaweed (raw and unroasted)
- Raw sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Lemon juice
- Tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
- Mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and stevia in a medium-sized bowl
- Add the raw, unroasted seaweed of your choice
- Mix and sprinkle it with some sesame seeds
- Serve and enjoy!