Seaweed Health Benefits
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine Focused on Energetics of Food
Traditional Chinese Medicine has long recognized seaweed health benefits. They categorize seaweed as salty and cold – characteristics that can loosen phlegm and dissipate nodules and cysts.
More recently, Western researchers have found that sea vegetables are loaded with phytochemicals that may help protect against cancer, heart disease, the common cold, and osteoporosis, as well as cleanse the digestive system.
Sea vegetables are high in iodine (essential for thyroid health). Other seaweed health benefits include vitamins (especially A, B, and K), calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Many varieties also contain up to 50 percent soluble fiber, which helps regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The harvesting of sea vegetables is a thriving industry, fueled by increasing demand for this versatile and nutritious “super food.”
In 1964, a groundbreaking study at McGill University in Montreal revealed that alginic acid, found in abundance in seaweed, can bind with dangerous heavy metals (such as mercury, barium, cadmium, lead, and radioactive strontium), rendering them indigestible and causing their elimination.
Sea vegetables have been part of the culinary tradition of many cultures. Ancient Koreans sent sea produce, prized for its medicinal qualities, to the imperial court of China.
Sea vegetables are usually purchased dry and can be prepared in minutes. Lightly wipe the produce with a damp cloth, place it in a bowl, and cover with cool water until fully rehydrated, about two to ten minutes. Dried, powdered seaweeds and seaweed supplements are also available.
Seaweed Health Benefits –
Treasures From The Sea
HIZIKI: One cup of cooked hiziki has ten times the calcium of a glass of milk. You can mute its deep-sea flavor by cooking it in apple juice with sweet vegetables, such as carrots or corn.
DULSE: High in Vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6, dulse has four times more iron than spinach.
KELP OR BROWN SEAWEED: One type of kelp, bladderwrack, is a source of fucoidin, which research suggests contains cancer fighting properties. Kelp is also loaded with calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, chromium, and iodine.
KOMBU: The seaweed health benefits of this highly flavorful Japanese sea vegetable are from it’s abundance of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and iron.
AGAR: This jellylike seaweed, rich in iodine, is used to make aspics and gelatin-type desserts, and it’s often featured in seaweed salads.
ARAME: Rich in calcium, iodine, potassium, and vitamins A and B, arame has a mildly salt flavor that makes it a good choice for vegetable dishes.
WAKAME: Wakame seaweed health benefits are: high in calcium, iron, iodine, phosphorous, potassium, and vitamins A and B.
You can find quality sea vegetables at most specialty food stores. To ensure food safety, look for small companies that bear the USDA Organic label or use the word “wild” on the package.
Much more than seaweed health benefits discussed back at the Home Page
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