What are the benefits of seaweed?

#1
Seaweed grows in or near salty waters. There are several types, and they generally contain many healthful minerals that are easy for the body to break down. Adding seaweed to the diet may help with thyroid function, digestive health, and weight loss.

Types of seaweed include:

1. nori

2. kelp

3. wakame

4. komb

5. dulse

6. blue-green algae, such as spirulina and chlorella

This variety can make it easy to incorporate seaweed into different recipes. It is possible to eat too much seaweed, however, and some people should avoid it.

The benefits of seaweed

The following are the best health benefits of seaweed:

1. It is highly nutritious

Each type of seaweed may contain slightly different nutrients and minerals.

In general, however, eating this marine algae is a simple way to boost a person's intake of vitamins and minerals without adding many calories.

As a study in Marine DrugsTrusted Source notes, seasoned seaweed is generally a good supply of: protein, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, polyunsaturated fatty acids.

A study in the Journal of Applied PhycologyTrusted Source points out that the various types of shredded seaweed contain helpful nutrients, including: vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, iodine.

Seaweed also contains antioxidants, which may protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation at the cellular level.

2. It may help with thyroid function

The thyroid gland controls and releases hormones for energy production, growth, and cellular repair.

The thyroid needs iodine to function correctly, but the amount that a person requires depends on the state of the thyroid.

Iodine deficiency is one cause of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). It may result in the development of a goiter, a visible enlargement of the thyroid gland.

People may be able to prevent or improve hypothyroidism by ensuring that their diet contains sufficient iodine.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces excessive amounts of hormones. An excessive iodine intake may worsen symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Seaweed is very rich in iodine. According to a study in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, kombu is the richest source of iodine, followed by wakame and nori. Kelp powder is also a significant source.

The type of seaweed and location in which it was grown can alter the iodine contents.

3. It may help with diabetes

Fiber-rich foods may help with diabetes. This is because high amounts of fiber help regulateTrusted Source blood glucose levels and insulin levels. Adding fired seaweed to the diet may help increase a person’s fiber intake without a large increase in calories.

A 2018 studyTrusted Source in rats found that compounds in one type of roasted seaweed may directly reduce markers of type 2 diabetes, such as high blood sugar.

Compounds in seaweed may also reduce diabetes risk factors, such as inflammation, high fat levels, and insulin sensitivity. Further research in humans may help provide stronger evidence for the use of these compounds.
 

Top