For thousands of years, our forefathers ate seaweed for optimum nutrition. Seaweed is an ancient super food and was our ancestor's secret to health and longevity.There were times in history that sea vegetable gardens where kept specifically for the rich. And seaweed has been considered a perfect food in china for over 2000 years.
It is sometimes referred to as the perfectly balanced natural food. Packed with minerals and trace minerals, these sea veggies have access to all 92 minerals that sea water naturally contains. In fact seaweed contain 10 -20 times the minerals of land foods, an abundance of vitamins and other elements for metabolism.
Seaweed draws an extraordinary wealth of mineral elements from the sea that can account for up to 36% of its dry mass. This food is high in iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C and A, protein, Vitamins B, fiber and, alpha linoleic acid, EPA, and so much more.
Nori includes almost all the mineral elements, which are used effectively in our body. This common seaweed contains more vitamins than fruits and vegetables. It is abundant in dietary fiber.
With soils being depleted of nutrients, our food is less nutritious today. The best seaweed health benefit is that it is one of the best sources of nutrient rich, non-toxic foods with which we can nourish our bodies - a food that hasn't been tampered with or altered with genetic modification.
Seaweed Health Benefits
- It contains a wide variety of concentrated protein and healthy carbohydrates
- It is an excellent source of iodine
- It can assist in keeping the body's pH balance with the alkaline forming effect
- It is low in fat and very low in calories
- It is high in glyconutrients
- High protein content: from 20% in green algae to 70% in spirulina.
- High mineral content, especially: iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium.
- More vitamin C than oranges.
- Natural iodine maintaining a healthy thyroid function.
- Polysaccharides: important in the prevention of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular and diabetes 2, increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain, improves liver function, stabilizes blood sugar.
- Healthy hearing, improved memory, clear skin, good eyesight, dental health, healthy thyroid function, improved immune system, prevents allergies and infections, lowers blood pressure, nurtures healthy heart vessels, normalizes cholesterol levels, support bone health, aids in waste movement and digestion.
- Protection against cancer. - sea vegetables contain large amounts of lignans which are plant compounds that protect against cancers of all kind.
- Support healthy thyroid function - low thyroid function is often related to the lack of iodine. Kelp is the richest source of iodine which is the component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triidithyronine. Kelp can help to regulate proper thyroid function.
- Source of calcium - 1 teaspoon of cult mixed in a glass of water contains 10 times more calcium than a glass of milk.
- Protects against birth defects and cardiovascular disease - Ocean vegetables contain folic acid which is important for the prevention of birth defects and spina bifida. Folic acid is also known to break down homocysteine which helps to reduce high blood pressure.
- Anti-inflammatory - high magnesium levels present in seaweed act as a natural relaxant and anti-inflammatory.
- Relief of menopause symptoms - Lignans are found in seaweed act as a weak oestrogen and along with magnesium may help to restore normal sleep patterns and reduce hot flushes.
- Detox from heavy metals - it is believed that some seaweeds can help cleanse the body of toxic pollutants. The science behind it states that because these plants have high levels of alginic acid, they bind with any heavy metals in the intestines. This makes the heavy metals indigestible and so can safely be expelled from the body.
- Powerful aid to continuous detoxification because as well as being a natural nutritional supplement it contributes a) a unique food source of all the micronutrients that improve metabolism and b) support for a healthy gut flora and condition of the gut wall, and deters bad bacteria
Common Types of Seaweed Available
- Wakame - long hard strips that can be softened with water.
- Dulse - a soft chewy, dried whole leaf of a reddish colour or flakes for seasoning.
- Nori - This seaweed is well-known in sushi and is dark purple or green coloured sheets.
- Kelp - popular as a health supplement. Kelp is light brown in colour and usually available as flakes or in powder form.
- Arame - comes in a lazy, wiry form and is sweet and mild in taste.