8 benefits of eating seaweed: feel good about snacking

Woman eating kelp with chopsticks

Woman eating kelp with chopsticks

when you think of healthy snacksSeaweed might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, seaweed, which refers to a variety of algae grown in bodies of water, is highly nutritious, delicious, and versatile. Whether you eat some nori or enjoy a seaweed salad for lunch, this food can be a great addition to your diet and offer a host of health benefits.

To find out all about this surprisingly nutrient-packed food, we spoke to a nutritionist Lisa Richardscreator of the Candida diet, dietitian Trieste Best Registered Nurse Krista Elkins from the health channel. With their expert insight, we have compiled a list of 8 incredible benefits of eating seaweed. Find everything below!

8 benefits of eating seaweed

Below, we will dive into a few of the best health benefits of eating seaweed on a regular basis.

1. Offers antioxidants to fight diseases

If you want to protect yourself from illness, one of the best things you can do is increase your intake AntioxidantsAs it turns out, seaweed is a great source. “Seaweed is rich in antioxidants, which makes it beneficial for protecting against and reversing oxidative damage to cells,” Richards explains. “This property of seaweed makes it a great addition to a health regimen focused on combating chronic disease.” Cute – good! Disease-specific antioxidants help fight heart disease, cancer, and more. Overall, they protect your body from free radicals, which can lead to aging and disease – so adding antioxidants to your diet along with nutrient-rich foods like seaweed is never a bad idea.

2. Reduces the risk of diabetes

Diabetes is a serious health risk for Americans. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent it by lowering Blood sugar. In fact, eating seaweed may be a great way to keep your blood sugar levels in check. “Fucoxanthin and alginate are compounds in seaweed that have been studied and shown beneficial results in lowering blood sugar, and thus lowering the risk of diabetes,” Elkins tells us. Best agrees, noting that “some promising studies show that certain nutrients in kelp can help reduce diabetes risk by lowering blood glucose.” Not only does this help reduce the risk of developing diabetes, she added, but “it can also improve the health of those with existing diabetes by balancing glucose levels.”

3. Helps the health of the gut

gut health It’s all the rage these days – and for good reason! Our gut plays a practical role in every area of ​​our wellness, from digestion to mental health. There are many changes you can make to improve your gut health, and Richards says eating nutrient-rich foods like seaweed is one such change. “Gut health is linked to overall health and seaweed contains many nutrients to support good gut health,” she says. One of these nutrients is none other than the ever-important fiber. “The fiber in seaweed acts as a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in the gut, allowing them to thrive,” she explains. And when balance is restored to your gut microbiome, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier body. result!

4. Helps lose weight

Eating high levels of fiber can benefit your body more than just improving digestion. As it turns out, eating high amounts of this essential nutrient can do wonders for your body, especially if you’re trying Weight lossThis is part of the reason why seaweed is added to any weight loss diet. As Richards explains, “The fiber content in seaweed may also aid weight loss by reducing food cravings and the possibility of overeating.” But it’s not just the fiber in seaweed that can help you reach your weight. She tells us it “also contains a compound called fucoxanthin which some studies suggest may reduce body fat.”

5. Improves heart health

The high fiber content in seaweed provides another health benefit, too: It may lower cholesterol and protect you from heart disease. according to Medical news todaySoluble fiber is able to bind with acids and bile salts in the body, thus lowering cholesterol by using it to replace these elements. Healthline He also notes that eating seaweed regularly may help prevent blood clotting (another major cause of heart disease) thanks to a carbohydrate called fucan. one study Even seaweed may be as effective at preventing clots as some medications. Plus, as mentioned earlier, seaweed provides a significant amount of heart-healthy antioxidants.

6. Improves thyroid function

Thanks to the high iodine content of many types of seaweed (especially kelp), eating this food regularly can also help improve your health. Thyroid function, according to Healthline. What does the thyroid gland do exactly? This important gland affects a range of factors such as energy and cell repair; If your thyroid gland is not working properly, you may experience unwanted weight gain, fatigue, and more. Making sure you’re consuming enough sources of iodine is a great way to keep things running smoothly and avoid these issues. Fortunately, seaweed absorbs iodine from the ocean, so including it in your diet can make meeting the recommended daily intake easy!

7. Strengthens immunity

according to HealthlineSeaweed may also help give you immune system It enhances and protects you from some types of infections. Although not much research has been done on this topic yet, some studies look promising. The potential benefits stem from certain plant compounds found in seaweed that may have antioxidant, anti-allergic, and disease-fighting properties that can help protect your cells from viruses. Additionally, the gut health benefits offered by seaweed can help improve immune function, as our guts play a major role in our immune system. Seaweed also contains vitamin C, zinc, iron and manganese, all of which are known to boost immunity.

8. Build stronger bones

Milk and dairy products are not the only source of calcium! Best tells us that certain types of seaweed, such as kelp, can be a great food when it comes to getting the necessary vitamins and minerals that boost your metabolism. stronger bones. “Kelp provides a rich source of bone-building minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous,” she says. In addition to these minerals, kelp is rich in vitamin K, which she notes is “a unique vitamin essential for bone health.” In addition to building stronger muscles, vitamin K “reduces the risk of fractures in those with pre-existing osteoporosis.” Another one of the beneficial compounds in seaweed is fucoidan, a sulfur polysaccharide, which we are best told is “promoting osteoblast growth,” aka bone-building cells. Therefore, you may be able to swap your daily glass of milk for some seaweed!

How to prepare / eat seaweed

Now, that you know all the amazing benefits of seaweed, how can you start reaping it? Fortunately, there are many ways to introduce seaweed into your diet, especially when it comes to Asian cuisine. You can choose to eat some roasted and salted seaweed as a crunchy snack. You can add it to miso soup; You can add seaweed snacks to a range of dishes such as cereal and pasta bowls. And of course, eating sushi is always a great way to pair some seaweed, along with other delicious veggies. When in doubt, do some research on recipes – but there’s really no wrong way to eat it!

bottom line

Overall, seaweed is a delicious, nutrient-rich food with a plethora of health benefits. Whether you are looking for a way to keep your heart healthy, boost your immunity, or just enjoy a salty snack without gaining weight, adding it to your diet is always a great idea.

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