Everyone knows that one of the keys to a healthier life is eating better. A healthier diet includes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, historically known for their superfood powers. Unfortunately, over the years, many argue that fruits and vegetables have become “dirt poor“; because of soil depletion, crops grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. Fortunately, health-conscious people have another choice: sea vegetables and seaweeds. Are you eating this superfood yet?
A great source of vitamins and minerals
Seaweed contains vitamins A and C, and is also a source of calcium. Most types of seaweed are high in essential amino acids and packed with other various vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and antioxidants. It is also rich in potassium, iron, iodine and magnesium which are all good for your health.
While the amount of protein differs among varieties of seaweed, it ranges from about 2 to 9 grams per cup. If you happen to be a vegetarian, you know how important it is to get protein in your diet, which can be difficult of your diet is meatless. Seaweed is a superfood that can provide that source of protein for you!
One of seaweed’s best-known benefit is that it is an extraordinary source of a nutrient missing in almost every other food, which is iodine. Consuming healthy levels of iodine is important to maintaining a healthy thyroid, a gland in your neck which helps produce and regulate hormones. Since your body does not make iodine, it needs to be a part of your healthy diet. If you don’t have enough in your body, you can’t make enough thyroid hormone. Unfortunately, for many reasons, including iodine-blocking chemicals in our environment, the poor quality of iodine-free salt used in processed foods, and an salt-ophobia among health conscious folks, mild iodine deficiency is once again becoming common.
A health-booster against disease
Here’s another reason that seaweed is a superfood: it can help protect against a host of diseases. Since inflammation and stress are considered risk factors for many chronic diseases, including seaweed in your diet could have numerous health benefits, as it’s high in antioxidants, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which help to fight against disease-causing free radicals. Researchers found that kelp in particular can slow the spread of colon and breast cancers. A compound found in kelp called fucoidan may also prevent the spread of lung cancer and prostate cancer. Other studies have linked the Japanese diet – high in fish, seaweed, soya, fruits and vegetables – to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancers in general.
Everything in moderation
There’s an old adage that goes, “Too much of a good thing can be bad”. This is true with just about anything, and seaweed is no exception. Luckily, most people aren’t inclined to go out and eat platefuls of seaweed, as many find the taste, texture, and difficulty in cooking seaweed a turnoff. That’s where a whole food seaweed supplement can be the ideal solution to getting this superfood into your diet! The benefit of consuming a seaweed supplement instead of seaweed or sea vegetables is that you know exactly how much iodine, vitamins, minerals, etc. that you’re getting with each supplement, so there is no risk of consuming too much or too little. The shelf life of a supplement does, of course, far exceed that of seaweed or sea vegetables, so there is no waste. And for many people, consuming a capsule or tablet is easier than consuming seaweed. Many people will actually break open the capsules and add it to their favorite smoothie!
However you choose to consume seaweed, consider getting this superfood into your diet for better health.