Seaweed has many health benefits we’ve written about in the past: it helps fight diseases, assists with thyroid regulation, strengthen bones…the list goes on and on. Another benefit is iron. Seaweed is an excellent dietary source. Seaweed is a natural, non-animal source of vitamin B-12 and is high in iron. You can get more iron in your diet with seaweed!
Kelp is a rich source
“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,” says Kylene Bogden, MS, of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. Kelp is a popular form of seaweed that contains almost 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in just 1/3 cup.
Nori tastes good and is good for you
In the U.S. and around the world, the most popular type of seaweed eaten is Nori, which comes in thin sheets, usually dark green in color. It is what one commonly sees with sushi. It is very mild-tasting with low-sodium. It also has a good amount of iron.
Dulse, spirulina and wakame are great iron sources
Two other types of seaweeds that contain a good amount of iron are dulse and spirulina. Dulse may contribute to healthy bones due to its wealth of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and iron, all of which contribute to bone mineral density overall. With its potassium content, it may help lower blood pressure. It’s a wonderful source of Omega 3 and Omega 6, which are thought to regulate body functions such as blood clotting, brain function and the nervous system. Spirulina is extremely versatile, used in smoothies, soups and sauces, and has exponentially more iron than spinach. Wakame is a seaweed commonly used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine and can often be referred to as “Sea Mustard” in the U.S. It has a chewy texture with a sweet taste.
Seaweed can help with anemia
People diagnosed with anemia have an iron deficiency, including being deficient in vitamin B-12, also known as pernicious anemia. Those who are strict vegetarians vegans are more prone to be deficient in B-12 since animal flesh is the common source of this vitamin, so seaweed is a great dietary option to get more into your diet.
Seaweed the superfood
Some types of seaweed have more calcium than cheese, more iron than beef, and more protein than eggs, plus seaweed is a very rich source of micronutrients. It’s really an amazing food but you don’t have to eat it to get the benefits. Taking a seaweed supplement will also give you the above mentioned health benefits. Be sure to find one that is 100% vegetable, made from whole foods, and contains no fillers to get the best possible health benefits. Need more iron in your diet? Seaweed just may be the answer!