Seaweed: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Seaweed: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

For long, seaweed – one of the ancient superfoods is our ancestor’s secret to a healthy life.

In general, seaweed is term to indicate countless species of marine plants as well as algae.

Seaweed appears widely in ocean, rivers, lakes or water bodies (1).

Seaweed is essential for marine life as it is one of primary homes of foods for certain types of marine organisms.

Additionally, seaweed is a trusted natural medicine which provides several beneficial health effects.

This article will take a closer look at nutrition facts and Benefits of Seaweed.

Nutrition Facts

Seaweed: Nutrition Facts

Seaweed’s list of ingredients is full of essential nutrients which people need to consume for a good health (2).

It is said that this sea vegatable is an excellent source of fiber, especially alginate.

In fact, alginate is a kind of natural fiber which may help with digestion.

Also, alginate may reduce fat absorption in the body system (3).

Not unlike other vegetables, seaweed has a wide range of beneficial minerals and vitamins.

They are calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, copper, etc.

Vitamins in seaweed are vitamin A, B, C, E and K.

A gram of seaweed may help you absorb recommended daily amount of iodine.

Additionally, seaweed is a richer house of vitamin C and calcium in comparision with orange and broccoli.

Seaweed also includes a trace amount of omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids

Bottom line: Loading with a long list of optimum many nutrients, seaweed can aid the treatment of many ailments.

Health Benefits of Seaweed

Following are top 10 benefits of seaweed.

1. Cancer

One of the most typical benefits of seaweed is to prevent cancer.

Nowadays, cancer whose cure is unknown seems to be one of the biggest killers all around the world.

In general, cancer emerges when cells inside the body system grows uncontrolled.

Free radical is one of the deciding factors which trigger the existence of cancer.

A substance called fucoidans in seaweed may deactivate oxidative damage from doing harm to human’s cells.

Therefore, it is logical to understand that anti-cancer effect is one of benefits of seaweeds.

Particularly, glycoprotein and sulphated polysaccarides are significant examples of fucoidans in seaweed.

These compounds contain immuno-stimulant and anti-cancer qualities.

Hence, they may prevent the overgrowth of cancerous cells (4, 5).

According to a study, seaweed consumption could control breast-cancer production in women (6).

Bottom line: Seaweed consists of anti-cancer effect thanks to it’s abundant source of fucoidans.

2. Obesity

Another significant benefits of seaweed which many people pay attention to is losing weight naturally.

Thanks to great amount of fucoxanthin which may lower fat accumulation, seaweed can aid weight loss.

A  ratstudy explored that seaweed consumption might produce antiobesity effect (7).

3. Digestive Health

When it comes to benefits of seaweed, many people refer to good effects on digestive health.

Owing a relatively mild laxative effect, seaweed may maintain a proper function of digestive system.

Particularly, seaweed consumption can enable digestive enzyme stimulation.

Also, it can foster nutrient absorption and facilitate the metabolism of fats.

Several studies have proved that polysaccharides in seaweed may protect stomach wall from harmful bacteria (8, 9).

Bottom line: By providing digestive system with defense against harmful element, seaweed can improve digestion.

4. Diabetes

It is necessary to mention the capability of fighting diabetes when refering to benefits of seaweed.

In general, diabetes is a condition which mainly happens due to insulin resistance.

Interestingly, seaweed, especially Laminaria japonica may regulate insulin resistance.

The anti-diabetic effect of this type of sea vegetable has been supported by some research (10).

Also, the appearance of fucoxanthin in seaweed can have positive effect on the treatment of diabetes (11).

Bottom line: Diabetic patients should increase seaweed intake with the hope to reduce the seriousness of their disease.

5. Detoxification

Seaweed: Detoxification

Nowadays, the number of contaminated foods witnesses a significant increase.

Therefore, people are in need of detoxifying body system.

Some common toxic materials in the body are indigestible pollutants, lead, mercury, etc.

Luckily, one of the outstanding benefits of seaweed is helping toxic waste excretion.

Alginate – a natural absorbent in this sea vegetable – may eliminate toxin from the body through bowel movements (12).

6. Cardiovascular Health

Another important benefits of seaweed is to prevent heart diseases.

It is highly certain that the older people are, the more likely they are to go down with cardiovasvular diseases.

Generally, high triglycerides and cholesterol levels are the main roots of heart diseases.

In reality, seaweed has some substances which may lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels (13).

Therefore, it is easy to understand that seaweed consumption may reduce chances of heart diseases.

In detail, seaweed may smooth blood circulation, strengthen heart health and inhibit some fatal conditions.

Bottom line: Heart disaeses – one of the biggest killers all around the world is expected to reduced well thanks to seaweed intake.

7. Skin Health

One of typical benefits of seaweed is to improve skin health.

For sure, skin is of importance factor which decide other’s first impression on you.

Therefore, it is necessary to take care of skin regularly and properly.

It is said that seaweed is one of superfoods which may foster skin health.

In fact, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants in seaweed is a valable weath of beauty which people may benefit.

They will provide skin with enough moisturizer, put off aging process and protect skin from harmful elements.

In a research, seaweed might release anti-aging qualities (14).

Furthermore, phytonutrients in seaweed may nurture skin health (15).

It stimulates blood circulation to face, detoxifies and cleans skin layer by removing dirts from skin pore (16, 17).

This fact explains why British and Irsih use seaweed bath to have an admirable skin layer.

8. Good Vision

Including anti-ocular inflammatory effect, seaweed is a potential nartural medicine for cataract (18, 19).

Fucoxanthin is a telling example for substance with anti-ocular inflammatory impact in seaweed.

People use it in cataract surgery to avoid the danger of after-cataract phenomenon (20).

9. Influenza

Benefits of seaweed also include its good impacts on influenza.

In general, influenza or commonly called flu is a respiratory disease.

It is high contagious and is usually spread by the coughs and sneezes of infected patients.

Possessing of anti-viral qualities, seaweed can help fight against influenza B (21).

Seaweed can reduce infection by obstructing the development of harmful viral particles in the cells.

10. Dental Health

For long, people, especially ones with dental cavities have used seaweed to improve dental health.

In reality, anti-inflammatory qualities in seaweed may improve salivary gland function.

Also, these properties are effective in saving oral tissures from damage.

Take Home Message

In addition to above benefits of seaweed, it may also help with many other issues.

Although seaweed is quite safe to consume, there are certain cases which people should pay attention.

Specifically, excessive intake of seaweed may cause iodine levels to be over recommended quantity.

As a result, it is easy for  people to suffer from thyroid and goiter.

Commonly, thyroid and goiter may serve as early symptoms of thyroid cancer.

Plus, seaweed is the concentration of poisonous heavy metals.

Pregnant women should also watch out for the use of laminaria.

It is a type of seaweed which may replace the hormones and trigger severe health conditions.

People should be careful when consuming seaweed with some drugs such as anti-coagulants.

In fact, this combination may cause drug interaction.

Regarding the selection of seaweed, one with tight package should be chosen.

Besides, room temperature is an ideal environment to store seaweed for at least several months.

There is a variety of ways to include seaweed in our daily diet.

  • Roll sushi by flattened nori seaweed sheets.
  • Wrap seaweed inside sanwich.
  • Seaweed strips may be tossed into salad or soup, pizza, bread, etc.
  • Seaweed chips are also delicious to enjoy.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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