EAT MORE SEAWEED – THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE UNDERWATER GREEN
We know what you’re thinking. You read the title of this blog and thought, “Eat MORE seaweed? Why would I eat it at all outside of a California roll?” In case you haven’t heard, seaweed has risen from the deeps of the ocean as the latest superfood craze. According to an article published by The New Yorker, “Seaweed, which requires neither fresh water nor fertilizer, is one of the world’s most sustainable and nutritious crops.” With both environmental and nutritional benefits, you’ll soon be ditching kale for kelp in no time.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SEAWEED
The latest superfood to pique American interest has been prevalent in Japanese and Chinese cuisine for thousands of years. Not only there, but in Europe and the British Isles this nutrient-rich green has been incorporated in their diets – and for good reason.
Good source of iodine. One of the greatest nutritional values of seaweed comes from the prevalence of iodine, which our bodies need to produce thyroid hormones. Our bodies don’t produce iodine, which means we have to ingest it. We can get iodine from most types of seaweed.
Vitamin and mineral rich. Vitamin A, also called retinol, in seaweed helps create cells for the skin’s tissue structure, which is good for your skin. B vitamins help process carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy and boost the immune system. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body. Vitamin E helps protect cells, blood flow and tissues. All of these vitamins, along with calcium, magnesium, iron, amino acids and good fats, have high concentrations in seaweed making it a healthy powerhouse superfood.
Support for women’s health. Some studies have suggested seaweed can help regulate estrogen. This means ingesting certain seaweeds could help mitigate PMS symptoms, ease menopausal symptoms and possibly reduce breast cancer risk. Pass the seaweed, please!
Antioxidants for protection. Seaweed and especially brown algae contain antioxidants that have been shown to protect against cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer. Vitamin C in seaweed helps protect cells against oxidation as a result of free radicals.
The Irish have many recipes for this sea green, a favorite of many includes cooking it with potatoes. Bright green kelp noodles can be eaten as an alternative to traditional carbohydrate-heavy wheat noodles. Nori, which we’re used to eating wrapped around our sushi, can also be used as a rice or salad topper.
With flexibility and extreme nutritional value, it’s time to start eating more seaweed. Look for seaweed that has been minimally processed, dried without additives or preservatives and harvested from clean waters to enjoy the most benefit. Find nutritionally beneficial seaweed products at Livonia Glatt Market on Pico Blvd in Los Angeles, CA.
Goodyear, Dana. A New Leaf: Seaweed could be a miracle food – if we can figure out how to make it taste good. The New Yorker. November 2, 2015.
Kreischer, Lisette. Why You Should Be Getting More of This Green.com. September 23, 2016.
Lipman, Dr. Frank. Seaweed is the New Kale: A Doctor Explains.com. June 15, 2016.