In recent years, sea vegetables have become a popular culinary addition to the health and diet enthusiasts kitchen.
Sea vegetables rightly deserve their crown status as a “superfood”, due to their extremely rich nutritive content and culinary versatility.
Seaweeds may even be healthier than dark leafy green vegetables overall and they certainly offer something different, not only nutritionally but for the palette.
Some examples of sea vegetables include Kelp, Dulse, Wakame, Bladderwrack, Hiziki and Nori(which most people will know as the wrap used in sushi).
Let me take you through five health benefits of consuming seaweeds regularly in your diet.
1. Good source of the mineral Iodine
Sea vegetables are nature’s richest plant food source of the mineral Iodine, which is essential for healthy thyroid gland function.
Studies are still finding that regardless of diet, many individuals still suffer from sub-optimal iodine levels and in particular those following strict vegan diets, who don’t include sea vegetables. The majority of dietary iodine sources tend to be animal food based such as eggs, dairy, and seafood. So seaweeds make an excellent and ethical alternative for those who wish to be vegetarian.
Iodine is not only required for healthy thyroid gland function, but for detoxification of “iodine antagonistic elements” such as bromine, chlorine, and fluorides.
It is much healthier to obtain dietary iodine from natural plant food sources such as seaweeds than it is to use often high dosage synthetic iodine supplements such as lugols or iodoral which many alternative health experts recommend.
A small quantity of seaweeds a few times weekly is more than enough to boost dietary iodine intake.
2. Rich source of trace elements & minerals
Seaweeds are some of the best dietary sources of very hard to obtain trace elements and other minerals that are often not supplied in great quantities from other land-based plant foods.
Due to depleted soils and poor diets many individuals are low or deficient in various trace elements. Sea vegetables are a great meta-food source for restoring these vital trace elements and strengthening the body through nutrition.
Many experts believe that any health problem can be traced at some level to a mineral deficiency. Mineral deficiencies such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and iron are still relatively common in many individuals according to scientific research.
Sea vegetables aren’t just a great source of iodine, they are rich in other minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, a small amount of zinc, selenium, and copper.
3. Aid detoxification of toxic heavy metals(mercury etc)
Certain types of brown seaweed such as Kelp contain a type of fiber known as alginate or algins, which bind to toxic heavy metals such as mercury aiding safe elimination from the body.
It is for this very reason that Kelp is the safest and best choice of seaweed to consume on a regular basis because any potential toxins from the sea will already be bound to the algin fiber.
Studies have confirmed that alginates and other natural supplements such as Modified Citrus Pectin(Pectasol-C) can lower toxic heavy metal burden including mercury toxicity.
Modifilan is a brown seaweed extract supplement primarily used for “chelating” toxic metals and other radioactive elements. The manufacturers of Modifilan claim – “Alginate is a natural absorbent of radioactive elements, heavy metals, and free radicals. It has the unique ability of binding heavy metals and radioactive elements to its own molecules. As the Alginate cannot be broken down by the bile or saliva and cannot be absorbed by the body, it is secreted from the body together with the heavy metals and radioactive substances.”
4. Seaweeds are jam-packed with nutrition
Sea vegetables are not only a great source of minerals and trace elements but they are rich in many vitamins including A, B, C, D, E and K. Seaweeds are also an excellent source of folic acid comparable to that of green vegetables.
Sea vegetables are also an excellent plant food source of easily digestible protein, which makes seaweeds a good food choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to boost protein intake.
Seaweeds are rich in fiber, which helps to support intestinal health and provide a “prebiotic” effect helping to support healthy gut flora balance.
5. Seaweeds are low-cost superfoods
Most seaweeds are relatively inexpensive to include in the diet, which is good news for those who are trying to eat healthy on a limited budget. Sea vegetables offer an excellent level of micronutrient nutrition in return for their cost.
Try to purchase the highest quality seaweeds that you can afford from good manufacturers such as Natures Way Kelp.
Preferably certified organic or wildcrafted, sourced from the Atlantic Ocean, which is less prone to radiation than other areas.
The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.