Move over, kale. There's a brand new superfood in the neighborhood that goes by the name of seaweed. Fresh from the ocean, and packed with plenty of health and weight-loss benefits, seaweed is being increasingly incorporated into dishes from all around the world. Here are 8 reasons why you should start eating more seaweed:
According to Maria E. Rodriguez, RD, CDE of Mount Sinai Diabetes Alliance, there is approximately seven times more calcium in seaweed than in milk. This is one of the main reasons why seaweed is such good food for anyone to eat. It helps to strengthen the developing bones of children, while it also protects the bones of people who are aging.
2. It is an excellent source of iron.
If you are looking for new sources of iron to incorporate into your diet, then seaweed, and kelp, in particular, may be right for you. According to Kylene Bogden, MS, of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, "kelp can be especially helpful for people following a diet with low or no animal proteins, as animal protein is a rich source of iron." In fact, a third of a cup of kelp contains close to 30% of your recommended daily allowance for iron.
Research shows that eating seaweed may make it a lot easier for you to shrink your waistline. According to a 2010 study, seaweed was found to be able to reduce the rate of fat absorption by as much as 75%! This is because seaweed inhibits the effect of the digestive enzyme, lipase.
4. It fights bloating.
Seaweed produces a diuretic effect on the human body, meaning that it reduces the amount of water your body is holding. This means that you will be able to add gas-producing foods, such as beans, to your dishes more liberally as long as you add some seaweed too. Nori seaweed has been found to be the most effective kind of seaweed when it comes to reducing gas and bloating.
While most people who get diagnosed with clinical depression typically end up taking antidepressants for a substantial period of time, a 2015 study actually found chlorella seaweed to be a profoundly effective option, too. According to Cassandra Suarez, MS, of Boston, “in a six-week pilot study, 1.8 grams of chlorella extract was found to greatly improve physical and cognitive symptoms of depression as well as anxiety symptoms in patients who were receiving standard antidepressant therapy for major depressive disorder.”
6. It strengthens your immune system.
Chlorella seaweed is also very good at keeping your immune system on its toes. This is because it contains heaps of magnesium, which according to Suarez "protects against nearly every modern disease, and can be therapeutic for difficult-to-treat inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and arthritis."
Uncontrolled high blood pressure vastly increases your risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack, but thankfully you can help keep your blood pressure in check by adding chlorella seaweed to your diet. According to Suarez, "one study in hypertensive patients found that 1.5 grams of pure chlorella per day resulted in decreased blood pressure over a six-month period, as well as lowered hypertension-related symptoms."
8. It helps to regulate your thyroid.
Most kinds of seaweed, but wakame seaweed, in particular, provide our bodies with a great deal of iodine, which is essential for your thyroid to function properly. According to Bogden, "our bodies do not make iodine, so it’s important that we consume it through food." Start eating seaweed regularly and you will never have to worry about your iodine intake again.