As consumers, we’re bombarded with messaging on a daily basis about what we need to do to stay healthy. Eat less sugar. Exercise more. Take a supplement. Drink more water. Then there are those messages about what foods are healthy for you: blueberries, kale, carrots….the list goes on and on. It’s no secret that seaweed is healthy for you, with many touting it as a “superfood”. Seaweed contains antioxidants and is a great source of iodine. Seaweed offers many health benefits that we all should be taking advantage of. But what about seaweed supplements? Is it better to eat seaweed or better to take a supplement? Let’s take a look to see what’s right for you.
The benefits of eating more seaweed
There are many articles and studies that show the many benefits of seaweed, including:
- Weight loss
- Heart health
- Healthier skin, hair and nails
- Thyroid health
- Cancer prevention
- Hormone regulation
Getting more seaweed into your diet is a good way to fight against many health problems that many Americans suffer from. So eating seaweed is the way to go, right? Not necessarily….
Why taking a seaweed supplement may be better than eating seaweed
Typically, getting the health benefits of any fruit or vegetable straight from the source is a good idea, but when it comes to seaweed, that may not always be the case. Seaweed contains a significant amount of iodine; too much iodine may be a problem for those individuals with certain thyroid disorders, and too much potassium in a person with kidney disease may cause heartbeat irregularities. In addition, high levels of iodine are known to possibly suppress thyroid function and eventually cause goiter. A high quality seaweed supplement will always have a controlled amount of iodine so you never run that risk.
Another issue to think about is that not all seaweed is created equal. In other words, not all seaweed is healthy. Some seaweed can actually be toxic. Yes all seaweed is edible, but some can cause an upset stomach in individuals, as well as other gastrointestinal issues. Some brown seaweeds cannot be easily digested so very little is gained from a nutritional standpoint. On the other hand, with seaweed supplements, many of the health benefits of these seaweeds can be enjoyed without the adverse effects on digestion.
Of course, just like seaweed itself, not all seaweed supplements are equal. Only consume seaweed supplements that incorporate several types of seaweeds into their supplement and are whole food supplements such as Sea Veg®, which contains 12 seaweed varieties.
Are seaweed supplements safe for everyone?
Seaweed supplement tablets are common in seaweed supplements for children and are created to be tasty, chewable tablets that children will happily consume.They even create supplements for pets! Seaweed supplements are safe for everyone. If you have health issues related to your thyroid, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor before taking a seaweed supplement. However for most, following the suggested dosage will likely yield wonderful health results.
If you’re concerned about healthy living, you should focus on how to get more healthy seaweed into your diet to enhance your overall health and well-being. Seaweed or seaweed supplements? What’s right for you? You decide, but consuming seaweed through supplements may be the ideal way to accomplish the goal of overall better health.