There seems to be an abundance of seaweed just aimlessly floating around our oceans, but it looks as though this sea vegetable, which comes in many forms is being overlooked. It has been used in Asia for centuries, but in the UK, it seems as though it is one kind of food that passes us by. With this in mind, seaweed health benefits have to be acknowledged because regardless of the type or form, they all come with different benefits. They are packed with compounds, minerals and nutrients that help to treat a wide range of problems including cancer, diabetes, blood pressure and fatigue while also aiding people to feel more energetic and healthier.
So, whether people choose roasted seaweed, seaweed snacks or any the other seaweed types, there is no doubt that the benefits should result in us eating more of it. So, take a look at the seaweed varieties available in the UK and find out what they really do offer.
Sea lettuce has been found to extend life and perhaps that is proven by the lifespan of the people who live in those countries that consume it as part of their daily lifestyle. The residents of Okinawa in Japan and in Crete eat it, and they are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than those who do not eat it.
This is rich in minerals, and it consists of 15% protein and 50% sugar and starch, but it is an excellent way of increasing dietary fibre. It also contains high levels of Iron, Iodine, Magnesium, Aluminum and Nickel. Also, there are many nutrients included such as vitamins, sodium, calcium, magnesium, as well as nitrogen.
The high levels of calcium in particular as well as magnesium will help to keep bones and teeth healthy, but calcium is not as effective in the body if it is not paired up with magnesium and that is why sea lettuce works so well.
Dulse is a seaweed that has high levels of both Vitamin B6 and B12 along with Vitamins E, C and A. There is also a significant amount of Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Protein and dietary fibre. It is known to help people who have digestive problems, and due to its high level of B vitamins, it helps to keep the brain and nervous system healthy. Vitamin C can also help to treat scurvy which is becoming a problem in the UK, while the Vitamin A helps to improve vision while helping to keep white blood cells and bone marrow healthy.
In the same way as other seaweeds, Dulse contains a lot of Iodine, and helps in treating iron deficiency for thyroid gland to function correctly. For those who suffer from low energy levels, it contains chlorophyll, and that can help to raise energy levels.
Potassium is also present in Dulse, and that is known to be a vasodilator which means that it works to help reduce the strain on the blood vessels and arteries as well as limit the damage that is caused by high blood pressure. This helps to lower blood pressure which protects against atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attacks. It can help improve the flow of blood to the brain, helping to power it.
Nori has been the main feature of many studies where it was found to contain exceptional levels of Vitamin B12. In comparison to other types of seaweed, it is the best source for Vitamin B12 which makes it perfect for vegetarians. It also contains a significant amount of Iodine content, and that can help to prevent hyperthyroidism and the enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Nori also contains unsaturated fatty acids and so, it is considered to be a rich source as 10% of the fatty acid content is made up of linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids. It is also packed with minerals and trace minerals such as a significant amount of vital trace elements such as Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Selenium and Copper, all of which possess antioxidant properties that are highly beneficial.
Vitamin B12 can help to support the function of the brain as well as the nervous system, but it also helps in the creation of red blood cells. It can also help to reduce blood pressure because of the high levels of potassium, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Even though the levels of protein and fibre are not the highest when compared to other types of seaweed, when roasted it does contain protein and fibre. The fibre helps to improve the digestive system while the protein can help to build and repair muscles.
Agar seaweed is especially useful as it contains no calories or carbs and there is no fat present in it while it is also very high in fibre. Agar also can absorb glucose when present in the stomach, and it moves through the digestive system efficiently preventing the body from retaining excess fat and from storing it. The health benefits do not stop there as it also absorbs water which helps to remove waste while its bile-absorbing properties help the body to eliminate cholesterol.
This seaweed is sourced by very few seafood suppliers in UK and offers an increased level of calcium, and in some countries, it is used as a weight loss food. It also offers anti-inflammatory properties that can bring relief to the lungs and the liver.
One of the primary health benefits that are associated with Kombu seaweed is the high level of calcium. Just an ounce of Kombu and you will receive 12% of your recommended daily amount of calcium, so, when it is added to the diet, it can help to improve the strength of bones and teeth. For those who lead a vegan lifestyle or are lactose intolerant, it is a great way to increase calcium levels.
Iron deficiency is on the increase as more people now suffer from anaemia and that is why Kombu is an excellent addition to the diet as it contains high levels of Iron. When levels of Iron are increased, it can help reduce fatigue, shortness of breath and even dry nails.
The soluble fibre found in Kombu helps to absorb water when in the digestive tract and so, that helps to deal with constipation while keeping bowel movements under control. For those who are trying to lose weight safely, it can also leave you feeling fuller for longer due to the satiating feeling it provides. The Iodine found in Kombu can support metabolism as it boosts the function of the thyroid gland but also helps to build up resistance in the body to cancer and other illnesses.
Every diet should contain Iodine, and Wakame Seaweed is full of it, and that is why Wakame dried Seaweed is an excellent addition to any diet. Iodine can help to decrease the level of breast cancer as found in research that involved people consuming this type of seaweed.
Tests and studies have also found that Wakame can also reduce the risk or even prevent diabetes. This was down to the disappearance of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and hyperlipidemia. A compound known as Fucoxanthin is also present in Wakame and that has an anti-diabetic effect on the body.
Wakame also has minimal calories, carbohydrates and fats yet it still leaves you feeling full, and that is what makes it great for weight loss. It has fat-burning properties with the compound Fucoxanthin also prevents fat from accumulating in cells leading to fat oxidation.
There is a high level of potassium present in Arame seaweed, and that is known to prevent muscle cramps. Arame is also known to have antiviral properties as well as an anti-obesity effect. There are many different essential nutrients present in Arame such as Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Folate and Vitamins A and K to name a few. The seaweed is best harvested during the summer months as this is when these nutrients are found in their highest levels. It has also been known to improve the immune system as well as hair, skin and nails.
Arame contains high levels of Lignan, and they have been proven to fight cancer while some people have found that when they have consumed Arame, they felt that their libido increased
Sea spaghetti contains an abundance of minerals such as Iodine, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron and high levels of Vitamin C. It also includes a lot of soluble fibre which plays an important role in lowering the calorie intake and lose weight. As it also cleans the digestive tract, it means that it can help to metabolise fats faster.
There are compounds found in it that help to boost the immune system while helping to keep bones healthy.