If you’re new to the blog you may have missed the story that we, my hubby and 2 cats, are moving to Asia to live closer to nature and volunteer in wildlife projects and teaching of kids. These days a lot of our tasks and thoughts are on this adventure and to get used to the idea of living in a different climate and culture, and to adjust our bodies to a whole different pallet of flavors, we try to cook with Asian foods and spices more often.
Seaweeds are our family’s new discovery. Although I did have seaweeds wrapped around sushi before, we never used it in our daily dishes. Seaweed has been a staple in Asian diets for centuries and are amongst the healthiest and nutrient-dense foods on Earth. And as a bonus they taste great and contain almost no calories.
To give you an idea of its super powers… seaweed contains essential fatty acids, multiple vitamins (particularly high in vitamins B12, C, D, E and K) and many minerals (potassium, selenium, calcium, iodine, nickel, bromine, chromium, copper, zinc, nitrogen, boron, sulfur, soluble fiber and more).
10 Health Benefits Of Seaweed
1. Alkalizes Your Body
Our modern diet is full of acid-forming foods and our body has a hard time in neutralizing those acids. When your body doesn’t get the alkalizing nutrients to counter the acidity, our body takes calcium out of our bones and teeth to meet its need. This may weaken and damage your bone and teeth structure overtime.
Your body is always striving to keep the pH of your blood within tight, slightly alkaline range. Did you know that studies suggest that cancer, and other diseases, love to grow and develop in a more acidic environment? For an optimal functioning of our body, the foods that we eat a day should consist out of 20-40% acid-forming and 60-80% alkaline-forming foods.
2. Great For Your Thyroid Function
Probably its best-known benefit… seaweed is one of the only healthy sources of iodine. Consuming healthy levels of iodine is important for a healthy and good working thyroid gland, which regulates various hormones.
3. Detox Your Body
Seaweed helps your body to regulate and purify your blood, as it consists almost out of the same chemicals as your blood plasma. Seaweed is also rich in chlorophyll, which helps your body to get rid of toxins. Seaweed has a powerful chelating effect, meaning it is able to convert and eliminate toxins like pollutants, heavy metals, and radiation by-products.
4. Weight Loss Aid And Cellulite
Seaweed is low in fat and high in fiber content. Meaning they’ll give you as stuffed feeling over a longer period, prevent overeating, they control blood sugar levels, keep your bowels moving, and reduce fat adsorption. Seaweed works wonders in treating cellulite as well. Next to adding it to your dishes try a seaweed bath as well. Click here to learn more about cellulite treatments.
5. High Levels Of Antioxidants To Fend Of Diseases
Seaweed is jam packed with all sorts of antioxidants. Those protect your body against damage done by free radicals. Those free radicals may cause cancer, autoimmune disorders, aging, cataract, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
6. Good Source Of Calcium
Seaweed contains more calcium than milk and beef. Calcium is an import nutrient. It helps to lose weight, prevents osteoporosis, maintains strong bones, and takes part in many important functions of your body (for instance: nerves and muscles need calcium to work properly).
7. Lowers Cholesterol And Improves Overall Heart Health
The fibers present in certain seaweeds may reduce a high blood pressure and the risk of strokes. Seaweed contains omega-3 fatty acids, and some kinds even contain more omega-3 than a whole avocado. Omega-3 fatty acids are important to help your body raise its good cholesterol or HDL and lower the bad cholesterol or LDL.
8. Sexual Health
Seaweed has been linked to an improved libido and increased energy levels, in both men and women (due to the manganese found in all sorts of seaweed).
9. Female Hormone Regulator
Research suggests that seaweeds can help you to regulate the levels of estrogen and estradiol and may potentially lower the risk of breast cancer, control PMS, and improve female fertility.
10. Good Source Of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for your brain and nerves. Many vegans or vegetarians lack vitamin B12, as it is mainly found in animal products. Seaweed is one of the best plant-based option to fill your body’s need of vitamin B12, when eaten regularly.
… and as a bonus, the magnesium in seaweed works as a natural diuretic and reduces bloating. So it makes it easy on your digestive tract as well.
Warning: before adding seaweed to your daily diet
- People who suffer from a kidney disease or suffer from heart palpitations should go easy on the seaweed. Although it has many health benefits, its high levels of potassium may cause some issues.
- Although iodine is needed for a healthy thyroid function, moderation is key here or you may see an adverse effect. Like with many things in life too much, is too much. So 1 to 2 servings a week should be fine to take the benefits.
- And the most important warning… BUY FRESH, ORGANIC SEAWEED OR ORGANIC SEAWEED POWDER. If the water was contaminated with toxins your seaweed will be contaminated as well. The FDA regulates commercial, fresh seaweed and maintains high safety standards, but they don’t regulate seaweed supplements… opt for fresh seaweed or make sure to buy your supplements from a reputable brand.
Have you ever used seaweed in your dishes or smoothies? Please share your experiences with us in the comment box below. I’ll share some of our recipes in a future blog posts.