10 Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Seaweed
You probably thought you were eating all of your veggies, but there’s one you may have missed: SEAWEED
Seaweed is a sea vegetable. Technically, it’s in the algae category, but not many people know the benefits of this amazing superfood. There are many types of edible seaweed, but the most common are green, brown, and red. Most people are familiar with the red variety, which is used to make nori for sushi rolls. Here are ten reasons why you should start eating seaweed.
1.Rich in vitamins.
Seaweed is an abundant source of vitamins including vitamins A, B, and C; calcium; magnesium; and iodine (more on that in the next point). One serving offers more vitamin C than oranges, and more calcium than broccoli. Daily vitamins are necessary to promote a healthy immune system.
2. Contains natural iodine.
This nutrient in particular is gaining more attention world-wide. Because iodine is not present in most foods, it has been chemically added to certain foods such as salt. However, with the popularity of weight loss programs that cut the sodium, iodine deficiency has returned with a vengeance. This can lead to thyroid malfunction, which in turn brings on fatigue, depression, and difficulty losing weight. Seaweed is one of the richest natural forms of iodine, which enhances healthy thyroid function. Natural iodine is much healthier than the artificial form found in salt.
3. Abundant in dietary fiber.
Let’s face it. We all need some fiber in our lives. Fiber normalizes bowel movements and keeps the digestive system healthy and functioning. Let’s just say it helps move things along, which prevents hemorrhoids and constipation. Not only is seaweed high in fiber, it strengthens and protects the gut wall. It slows down digestion, helping the body absorb nutrients. It also increases good gut bacteria, which wards off illnesses.
4. Good for the heart.
Seaweed contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol. Seaweed can prevent high blood pressure and may reduce the risk of stroke. Studies show that people around the world who eat the most sea vegetables have the healthiest hearts.
Back to the iodine. This amazing nutrient in seaweed helps balance hormones that affect more than just the thyroid. Researchers have found that seaweed may also help sexual organs develop and function properly. This could potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer and the symptoms of PMS! It may even help women with fertility issues.
6. You might live longer.
People in Okinawa, Japan, live longer than most people in the world. Of course, they also eat seaweed every day. Seaweed’s nutrient-dense properties are good for overall health and longevity. It wouldn’t hurt to add a bit to your weekly meal plan.
7. High in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are important for the immune system. The immune system is our body’s weapon against outside intruders such as viruses. Antioxidants also help prevent inflammation, which can manifest itself in the form of arthritis, asthma, or celiac disease, just to name a few. Eating seaweed could prevent you from developing these uncomfortable and often debilitating conditions.
8. Prevents disease.
Seaweed has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Seaweed also contains polysaccharides which prevent degenerative diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also helps regulate blood sugar. Cultures around the world that eat a lot of seaweed, such as Japanese culture, have much lower levels of disease in comparison to the rest of the world.
9. Helps with weight loss.
For such a nutrient-dense superfood, seaweed is incredibly low in calories. Eating seaweed will help your body function properly, making weight loss much easier. It contains protein and fiber, which both help you feel fuller longer. Studies show that some types of seaweed may even reduce fat absorption.
10. It’s delicious!
If the other nine benefits of eating seaweed didn’t convince you, at least give it a try for the incredible taste! Seaweed has a very distinct smoky flavor with hints of sweetness and saltiness. Go to a sushi restaurant and try out their specialties, or make simple sushi rolls at home. Homemade sushi rolls are actually very easy to put together, but you could also make a sushi rice bowl with all the same ingredients, minus the rolling technique. Try using it in miso soup or in a stir fry. Or to simplify things, just add some to a sandwich or a salad.
Needless to say, seaweed is a true superfood and it’s not getting nearly as much credit or recognition as it deserves.
Just remember, a little goes a long way. The overconsumption of iodine can be just as dangerous as iodine deficiency, so don’t overdo it. It’s also important to remember that the waters in which seaweed is harvested could potentially be contaminated with toxins or dangerous metals. A small amount of seaweed will be enough to ensure the benefits listed above, so keep track of how much you ingest. When it comes to overall health, the extra nutrition in seaweed is totally worth adding to your diet.