Exploring the health benefits of seaweed
In case you don’t already know much about seaweed, there are four groups of seaweed algae:
- Green algae (Chlorophyceae)
- Red algae (Rhodophycae)
- Blue-green algae (Cyanophyceae)
- Brown algae (Phaeophyceae)
The red, brown and green seaweed types have been studied and suggested to have the health promoting factors for your health. Here are seven reasons you should consider including seaweed in your diet.
1. Seaweed has been reported to help you lose weight
How? Components called polysaccharides and polyphenols slows the activity of the enzymes or small parts of a reactions, needed to break down and use the food
and drink we take into our body from working properly. So when you include seaweed as part of your meal the amount of energy your body gets from what you eat is less. Over time this may help with weight loss.
2. It provides lots of ‘goodies’ that contribute to a healthy body
• Dietary fibre (which helps you stay regular and feeling fuller for longer).
- Omega-3 fatty acids (a really healthy form of fat for your body which promotes lots a healthy heart and may improve mood).
- Essential amino acids (so you can build strong muscles).
- Vitamins A,B,C and E. (helping your body function optimally)
- Phytochemicals (helping your immunity and cells to stay healthy)
3. Seaweed may decrease your risk of:
- type 2 Diabetes
- high blood pressure.
4. Seaweed may help your thyroid work well.
5. Seaweed may prevent viruses, fungi and bacteria in your body by influencing the
health of the gut.
6. Seaweed may help the tissues in your
body to heal.
7. Seaweed may delay the aging process. So now that you understand why it could be a useful addition to your diet, here are a few ideas to help you include it:
- Eat dried seaweed as a snack Either by itself of adding it as a wrap substitute to have with a small tin of tuna.
- Sushi. Sushi is becoming cheaper and cheaper to buy ‘on the go’ or why not try making it at home (the fresh seaweed has an amazing crunchy texture when fresh, and you’ll get to add all the ingredient you know you like).
- Kelp noodles. These can be bought from many health food shops and even come in different flavours such as berry.
- Use seaweed instead of the flavouring in two minute noodles Instead of adding the flavouring that comes with those traditional two minute noodles, use some fresh or dried seaweed instead.
- Miso. This delicious soup includes seaweed (be mindful of the salt content in miso,
especially if you have high blood pressure).
- Experiment with noodle or rice dishes at home and see how you can include seaweed as a green vegetable. Maybe it could replace the spinach in a dish? By introducing seaweed to your diet, not only can you boost your health, but you’ll also add variety to the food you eat!