Most of us don’t eat seaweed except in sushi. But even health enthusiasts have seen the benefits, making them an everyday snack.
Now, they are growing in popularity and it may make you wonder if you should jump the bandwagon as well.
Before you start buying seaweed for your consumption, know first that there are several varieties available. Over 100 species are edible and there are three color assortments:
- Brown seaweed, such as kelp and wakame, are the favorites to be eaten.
- Red seaweed are those most common in sushi, particularly nori.
- Green seaweed include sea lettuce and spongeweed, which are also a favorite.
Seaweed is known for being a superfood, even during the ancient times. Our ancestors ate them to achieve better health and long life.
What Makes Seaweed a Superfood?
Seaweed is actually a part of the algae family, but it is edible and is actually a common ingredient in many Asian cusines. But seaweed is mostly served for only two tablespoons. This may not provide you with enough vitamins and minerals, but eating seaweed regularly can provide you with the following benefits:
- Calcium: Seaweed is rich in calcium, which is why you can mostly find supplements that contain red seaweed for treating osteoarthritis.
- Iodine: This nutrient is often overlooked, but it is very important in maintaining a healthy thyroid gland, which is found in the neck. Thyroid can regulate the production of hormones and when this gland malfunctions, several symptoms can appear such as fatuge, high cholesterol, and muscle weakness.
- Regulating Hormones: Geen seaweed can help regulate estradiol and estrogen levels. These two hormones are crucial for proper function and development of sexual organs. If these hormones are out of whack, risk for breast cancer increases.
- Preventing Inflammation: Seaweed has been proven to contain healthy amounts of antioxidants, which are effective anti-inflammatory. Eating seaweed regularly can help reduce risk for various diseases and conditions, such as celiac disease, arthritis, asthma, and even obesity. Green seaweed is considered the best source for antioxidants because it has phenolic compounds in very high amounts.
Seaweed can give you more vitamin C than oranges and can also provide you with high amounts of protein and minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Seaweed also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, so you can have stronger immunity. Seaweed is also rich in polysaccharides, which are an important chemical when it comes to preventing diseases that develop as we grow older, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.