10 Health Benefits of Seaweed
It seems strange that seaweed could help your body in any way. After all, it is some weird slimy thing. What even is seaweed? Seaweed is actually a kind of macroalgae. This means that it’s just a large type of algae. Red and green seaweed are classified as plants. There is also brown seaweed, but this isn’t classified as a plant. Let’s look at some of the ways that seaweed can help you!
Low in Calories While seaweed is not usually eaten on its own, it can be a great addition to many meals. Seaweed is a common addition to many eastern Asian foods. It goes well with rice and sushi. A serving a seaweed (about 1/8 of a cup) is only about five calories.
High in Fiber Even if you don’t eat much seaweed, you can be sure that you will get a lot of fibers when you do eat it. Getting in a lot of fibers can help with many different bodily functions, namely with a person’s digestive system. Fiber can help your digestive system to be more regular, you will have fewer cramps, and you will suffer from diarrhea and constipation less often.
Other Digestive Benefits Eating seaweed can also help with your digestive system besides the way that it helps with fiber. Eating seaweed can also help to increase the levels of good bacteria in a person’s digestive tract. This can help your body to digest your food better, as well as make you gassy less often.
Reduce Blood Pressure Levels Studies have been done in animals that have shown that eating seaweed (specially wakame) has been shown to lower blood pressure levels. If a person has lower blood pressure levels, then they are also less likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke. Seaweed has also been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels.
Vegetarian Protein There is a certain kind of protein called B12 which everyone needs. However, it is harder for some people to get in this vitamin than others. It is hard to find B12 in vegetarian and vegan foods. If you don’t want to take vitamin supplements, then eating seaweed is a great way to get your daily dose of B12.
Other Vitamins There are different kind of vitamins in different kinds of seaweed. This is because seaweed gets a chance to soak up all of the vitamins in the water that it grows in. Noria contains vitamins A, B12, and C. Dulse has vitamin B, B6, and B12. Arame has vitamins A and K. All of these vitamins can help your body in one way or another, so this is just another great reason to add more seaweed to your diet.
Many Minerals As well as soaking up vitamins from its surroundings, seaweed also gets a lot of healthy minerals from the water as well. Depending on the type, seaweed can contain over five minerals in one serving. Some common minerals found in seaweed are calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Detox Just like how seaweed can give your body healthy minerals, it can also help to get rid of bad ones. As you eat other foods, walk in polluted areas, or go near radioactive areas or things, you can pick up bad minerals. Seaweed works well to absorb and get rid of these toxins in your body as you digest it. Eating seaweed often is a great way to cleanse your body.
Hormone Regulation Seaweed contains another healthy substance called “lignans” which can transform into “phytoestrogens” once it is in your body. This can help to regulate hormones which, if gone out of control, could cause types of cancer. This regulation can help as a preventative measure to cancer, as well as a supplemental cancer treatment.
Ends Colds Faster. Lastly, seaweed is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which have been discussed above. However, we didn’t get into the detail of what these things can do for you. You can reduce your cold time by helping to produce less mucus, reducing inflammation, and helps with urination and bowel movement problems.
As you can see, there are many amazing health benefits that can all be contained in a little bit of seaweed. There are many different types of seaweed to choose from as well! Pick up some seaweed the next time you go grocery shopping and see how it tastes on your meals and affects your health!