Top Five Benefits of Eating Seaweed
When you look at Seaweed , the words yummy and delicious are not the first descriptions that come to mind. It’s green, slippery, and slimy. Then again, despite its almost unpalatable appearance, it was recently tagged as the new super-food because of its various uses and nutritional value.
In China, Korea, and Japan, seaweed has long been part of the people’s diet. Despite this already prominent status in these countries, it’s only recently that this food has been widely accepted and recognized as nutritious and versatile. To date, there are more than 10,000 seaweed species that differ largely in nutritional value and taste. Among these species, the most famous is nori, a seaweed type used to make sushi. Aside from nori, other popular varieties include spirulina, kelp, wakame, arame, and dulse.
Here are the top five benefits of eating seaweed :
Seaweed has many nutritional benefits
All kinds of vegetables from the sea are known to be full of nutrients. The most prominent nutrients found in them are iron, iodine, copper, and calcium. They also are known to be loaded with folic acid, vitamin K, Fiber, and protein, as well as low in fat and calories. This remarkable nutritional profile makes seaweed beneficial to one’s health and a potent ally in fighting different kinds of illnesses and diseases. Some credit the Japanese people’s long life expectancy to their daily diet and love of seaweed. In a study published by the American Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, it was revealed that seaweed is very useful in improving heart health and in lowering one’s blood pressure. The sea vegetables contain fucoidan, a molecule that may be responsible for the Japanese people’s superior cardiovascular health, immune systems, and other health benefits.
Seaweed promotes overall thyroid health
To generate hormones, our thyroids rely on iodine. If our bodies lack iodine, we will experience certain symptoms like neck swelling, fatigue, and weight problems. Ideally, we should consume 150 micrograms of iodine per day. Since seaweed contains high levels of iodine from the sea, eating it could help us meet our daily iodine intake requirement.
Aside from iodine, seaweeds also contain tyrosine, an amino acid that works with iodine in making sure that our thyroid glands are functioning properly.
Seaweed fights free radicals
Antioxidants—molecules that can stop some of the damage free radicals can do to our cells and bodies, through diabetes, pulmonary diseases, and others—are found in seaweed. So are vitamins E, C, and A, and plant compounds, such as carotenoids and flavonoids. All these protect our bodies from being damaged by free radicals.
Seaweed is good for your guts
Gut bacteria are vital to our overall health, but there is good bacteria and bad bacteria. If we have more bad than good, we end up sick. Seaweed can prevent this because it is a great source of fiber. Since we don’t digest fiber, it passes through us and feeds the good bacteria. More fiber in our system means our gut health is tremendously improved. Almost 30 to 70% of the seaweed’s dry weight is made up of fiber, according to studies, making it a
better fiber source than vegetables and fruits. Sulfated polysaccharides, a sugar type found in seaweed, are known to improve the population of good gut bacteria.
Seaweed can help you lose weight
As seaweed is high in fiber, it can help delay hunger, making one feel full for a longer time so one eats less without addiction . Because fiber does not contain sugar, even if you have too much of it in your system, you don’t gain weight. Aside from fiber, seaweed also is known to have certain anti-obesity effects, making it a good ingredient
for people who struggle with their weight.
Look beyond seaweed’s slimy and slippery appearance to the benefits of eating it. With one bite, you have started to improve your overall physical well-being.
Author bio: Charles Watson is the head content writer for Sunshine Behavioral Health. A lifelong health advocate, Charles writes about health and addiction. He can be reached directly on Twitter at @charleswatson00.
DISCLAIMER: All the views and opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. Slimnhappy takes no responsibility for the same.
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