Amazing Health Benefits Of Eating Seaweed – Why You Should Eat It
Seaweed is also known by sea vegetables that grow inside the sea and are in the form of Algae.
Earlier seaweeds are considered as the food for the ocean creatures, not for human purposes. Seaweeds generally come in different colors ranging from red, brown, green, and black.
This seaweed grows around the shorelines all over the world. However, eating seaweed is commonly used in Asian nations like Korea, China, and Japan.
Nowadays, seaweed is also highly popular in dishes like salads, sushi rolls, smoothies, stews, soups, and supplements.
But what is most important about seaweed is that they are highly nutritious and contain lots of minerals that are helpful in leading a healthy lifestyle.
In this article, we will talk about the scientifically proven health benefits of eating seaweed in your diet.
Proven Health Benefits Of Eating Seaweed
Contains Good Amounts Of Nutrients
Different types of seaweed contain different amounts of nutrients in it. Basically, seaweed nutrients help in increasing the essentials amounts of minerals and vitamins in your body without adding calorie intake.
Thus, seaweed is the best weight loss food diet option while keeping your body away from getting a deficiency of essential nutrients.
According to the study on marine drugs, seaweed is a great source of protein, fiber, minerals, carbohydrates, manganese, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. (Source 1)
Another researched study shows that different types of seaweeds are rich in different nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, iodine, copper, and iron.
Seaweed is also rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals and protect your cells from oxidative stress as well as lower inflammation level in the body.
Seaweed Contains Iodine That Help Fight Thyroid Issues
The thyroid gland produces hormones that help control energy production, body growth, reproduction system, and repair damage caused to cells.
The thyroid also releases iodine so that hormones can be stimulated. If your body does not get an essential amount of iodine, then it is hard for your body to produce those hormones.
Deficiency of iodine leads to symptoms like change in weight, swelling neck, fatigue, and distress over time.
The daily recommended value for iodine is about 150 mcg. Seaweed is known for absorbing iodine from the concentrated seawater. Thus, they contain a good amount of iodine and can be eaten daily to get the proper amounts of iodine in your diet.
Improve Gut Health
Bacteria play a crucial role in the breakdown of food and improving the digestive system. Algae is super healthy food for the gut and improves the digestive system as these are rich in fibers and gut-healthy compounds.
Seaweed fibers feed the bacteria in your gut, and these intestinal bacteria are breaking complex compounds into simpler forms.
Not only gut health also improves the immune system and helps in absorbing essential nutrients easily in the body.
Eating seaweed or algae in your diet provides plenty of gut-healthy fibers and probiotics that help in improving issues like diarrhea and constipation.
Help In Controlling Diabetes
As seaweeds are high in fiber-rich content, it helps in improving diabetes. It is helpful in controlling diabetes because fiber helps in regulating the blood sugar level as well as insulin in production.
Consuming seaweed as a part of your diet controls your blood sugar level by increasing gut-healthy fiber without increasing the intake of calories.
A study conducted in 2018 on rats (Source 2) shows that compounds in the seaweed help in reducing type 2 diabetes markers unremarkably like high sugar level in blood.
These compounds in the seaweed also help in reducing diabetes, causing risk factors like inflammation, insulin sensitivity, and fat levels in the body.
More research has been conducted on humans that show that seaweed compounds help lower diabetes and its symptoms.
Improves Heart Health
Seaweeds contain compounds that help in lowering cholesterol levels in your blood. The soluble fibers in seaweed bind bile acids and salt levels in your body.
The body then uses this cholesterol itself in order to remove such elements from your body that result in decreasing overall cholesterol levels from your blood.
Different types of seaweed and algae contain high amounts of antioxidants that help in supporting heart health.
Support Weight Loss
Fibers in the seaweed benefit support people in their weight loss goals. Fiber-rich food helps people to feel full without serving extra calories.
As per the study by the Marine Drugs (Source 3), eating dietary fiber in high amounts of hunger and keep your stomach feel full for a longer time.
This resulted in fewer cravings, leading to less food intake and control in the weight gain process. Eating dietary fiber also keeps you away from overeating and provides essential gut-healthy nutrients.
Side Effects Of Eating Seaweed
As there are several potential benefits of eating seaweed, there are also dangers of eating seaweed as a part of your daily diet.
High Metal Concentration
Seaweed easily absorbs lots of minerals from seawater in highly concentrated form. This leads to potential health problems as there are also toxic metals elements in seaweed like mercury, lead, and cadmium.
Seaweed in many countries contains less heavy metal content than the danger level. According to the recent study, it is found that only types of seaweed in Europe and Asia contain 20 types of metal content.
It is also found that most of the seaweed contains less than 4 grams of aluminum, lead, and cadmium, which do not contain any health risk.
Increased Iodine Intake
Seaweed contains large amounts of iodine that has lots of danger to our health. Some facts say that Japanese people are the healthiest people in the world due to high iodine consumption.
However, in Japan, daily value to consume iodine is about 1000 to 3000 mcg. This may lead to chronic health risks for those who consume seaweed as part of their daily diet as seaweed contains 1100 mcg.
In Asian countries, mostly seaweed is consumed with the foods that inhibit iodine, which leads to improving the functioning of the thyroid gland.
These foods include cabbage, bok choy, and broccoli; these are called goitrogens.
Moreover, high amounts of iodine affect thyroid functioning and lead to symptoms similar to a deficiency of iodine in your body.
In case you notice that your body is experiencing fluctuation in weight or swelling around the neck area, then you should limit or stop the consumption of iodine and seaweed food.
The potential danger of consuming seaweed on a regular basis is that it contains iodine that affects the thyroid function. There are also high amounts of concentrated metals, but they do not have a health risk.
Seaweed is a popular ingredient in many cuisines and used as an essential part of several dishes over the globe.
It is one of the best dietary food products that give you good amounts of iodine and support the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Seaweed is also rich in other types of minerals and vitamins like vitamin B, K, iron, and zinc, with so many antioxidants that protect body cells from getting damaged.
Iodine consumption in too many amounts can harm thyroid functioning. If you want to get the benefits of this seaweed, you can consume it on a daily basis in a small amount.