Seaweed and seaweed-based products are extremely popular right now, and with good reason! Seaweed is one of the healthiest plants that you can consume. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of seaweed.
Fight against cancer
Research indicates that seaweed can help to regulate estrogen and estradiol levels, which are two hormones responsible for development and sexual organs. This may help reduce the risk for certain diseases such as breast cancer. It may also help to control PMS and improve fertility as well.
Fatty acids and protein are in abundance in seaweed, and known nutrients in keeping your heart healthy. Fatty acids decrease inflammation while proteins in seaweed help lower blood pressure. It’s a great resource for heart health!
Research suggests that fucoxanthin, an antioxidant found in wakame, may help support weight loss. In rodent studies, rats given fucoxanthin had higher levels of a protein involved in fat metabolism. Researchers also suggested that the iodine content in seaweed could help improve thyroid function, which would naturally help to increase an individual’s metabolism.
Great source of vitamins
Seaweed contains vitamins A and C, and is also a source of calcium, which is one of the reasons some seaweed supplements are included as part of some treatment plans for osteoarthritis. Seaweed is also one of the only natural, non-animal sources of vitamin B-12, which is essential for many cognitive and bodily functions. In addition, sea vegetables tout particularly high amounts of iodine, potassium, selenium, iron, and magnesium.
Extraordinary source of iodine
One of the most well-known health benefits of seaweed is that it is an extraordinary source of iodine. Consuming healthy levels of iodine is important to maintaining a healthy thyroid, a gland in your neck which helps produce and regulate hormones. A malfunctioning thyroid can result in a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness and high cholesterol. In severe or untreated cases, it can lead to serious medical conditions like goiters, heart palpitations and impaired memory.
A study from McGill University in Canada showed that seaweed was great for detoxing the body from the radioactive chemical. Seaweed also absorbs toxins cadmium and lead, not only present in cigarette smoke but is also in the environment from industry and transport. Another seaweed benefit!
Fucoxanthin, the pigment found in brown seaweed, has been linked to enhanced fat burning in animal studies, according to an October 2011 article in “Marine Drugs.” In addition, a study reviewed in the March 2014 issue of “Food Chemistry” linked alginate with lower activity of pancreatic lipase — an enzyme that helps digest fat, suggesting this fiber may reduce the calories absorbed from fat.
There are many resources that tout the health benefits of seaweed. For those who prefer not to consume seaweed whole, there are high quality seaweed supplements that can achieve similar health benefits to consuming seaweed. Incorporating seaweed into your healthy routine is a smart move to achieve better health.