What are the edible seaweeds?
The benefits of this superfood of the future
The oceans make up about 70 percent of our planet, so it is only natural that holistic hidden treasures live beyond the shore. Seaweed, for example, absorbs nutrients from the seabed, making nutrient- and vitamin-rich “sea vegetables” superior to fruits and vegetables grown on land.
Lately, we notice this amazing superfood popping up everywhere: in our drinks, meals, and even skin care. Lo seaweed snack is popular in vegetarian-based diets, as it is a unique source of vegan essential amino acids. Meanwhile, edible seaweed is an abundant, carbon-negative food source (which means it requires no water or fertilizer to harvest), so it is ideal for environmentally conscious consumers.
If you’re still not convinced about adding seaweed to more than just your sushi rolls, read on to see how many powerful benefits they can offer us, as well as simple habits to adopt into your daily routine.
The edible form of seaweed is rich in fiber, which is excellent for promoting satiety, reducing bloating and facilitating digestion.
“Seaweed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, making seaweed a great prebiotic source to support gut health,” explains dietitian Chelsea Gloeckner.
“These fibers include particular sugars called sulfated polysaccharides, which have been shown to increase the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria and also increase the production of dry chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which provide support and nourishment to the cellular lining of the gastrointestinal tract,” adds dietitian Rachel Fine.
to your favorite soups and salads helps metabolism and reduces bloating.
This underwater wonder contains many minerals and vitamins that boost the immune system. “Edible seaweeds are a source of powerful antioxidants, including alginate and fucoxanthin,” says Fine. “There is promising research showing potential anti-inflammatory benefits that may relate to reducing the risk of diabetes and obesity.”
Thanks to iodine and an amino acid called tyrosine, “sea grass” also benefits the thyroid and can help prevent thyroid disease. Seaweed also contains polyphenols, “which can support anti-cancer processes,” adds functional medicine expert Dr. Elroy Vojdani.
are more nutritious than crackers and have fewer carbohydrates, explains dietitian Monica Auslander Moreno. She suggests choosing those with olive oil.
Seaweed is good for your body
Studies have shown that seaweed reduces the risk of heart disease, while many experts agree that it stabilizes blood sugar levels due to its rich fiber content. “Seaweed is rich in fiber, which can reduce blood sugars and improve blood sugar control,” notes dietitian Suzanne Fisher. Nutritionist and celebrity chef Serena Poon adds, “Seaweed fuels our bodies with the ability to help regulate and detoxify our blood and lymphatic systems.”
Tip: Bonus points if
you season with seaweed
your favorite meal
Go ahead, let the benefits of seaweed go to your head: experts, including Vojdani and Montemayor, agree that the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA found in seaweed maintain good cognitive health for a long time, which can include improved memory and performance. Some populations also rely on food for the development of cognitive skills in children.
Tip: Swap your pasta for seaweed noodles, a healthy, gluten-free, fiber-rich alternative to carbohydrates!
Seaweed, whether applied topically or ingested, is great for fighting acne and signs of aging. According to Poon, its minerals, including calcium, zinc, iron, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, reduce inflammation and help protect the skin from dehydration and free radical and sun damage.
“Vitamin C in algae provides the added beauty benefit of supporting collagen production, and the natural niacin is great for hyperpigmentation and blemishes.” Another holistic nutritionist, Sally Pansing Kravich, said, adding, “Chlorella is a purifying algae that is helpful in removing toxins, heavy metals, and radiation. “
Tip: “We can use algae in cosmetics to nourish our skin and eliminate toxins-or ingest foods with algae to get the same benefits,” Kravich recommends.
The iron and calcium in seaweed help bones stay strong and elastic, while the omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for joints. Orientals know that seaweed delays the appearance of white hair.
Hint: “Agar is a form of seaweed that is a good substitute for making gelatin and a vegan replacement for bone broth,” Kravich notes.
Similar to carrots (and avocado), seaweed can help your eyesight.
Although seaweeds are low in fat, they generally contain small amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids, explains Ysabel Montemayor, dietitian in charge of Fresh n’ Lean. “This is a type of fat that many of us can’t get enough of and is good for eye health. “In addition, the seaweed contains astaxanthin, a powerful nutrient also capable of protecting vision.”