Is the slimy green thing that wraps around your leg at the beach good for your health? Answer is yes, it is! It contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals that your body will love-and make you love it back. Warning: this does not mean eat sushi on a daily basis! As always, moderation is key.
Among the vitamins and minerals are important nutrients such as Vitamin C, iron, iodine, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Other important minerals include zinc, copper, selenium and nickel.
In one tablespoon of dried seaweed there can be up to 35 milligrams of iron. And because Vitamin C is needed for the absorption for iron, seaweed is unique because it contains both. Soluble fiber if found in seaweed as well. Soluble fiber helps to keep us full and has cholesterol and hypoglycemic effects. In addition, seaweed is a great option for vegetarians, as it contains B12, a vitamin usually limited to animal products.
Studies show that seaweed can help lower the risk of estrogen-related cancers, such as breast cancer. This makes seaweed an essential for women who are at risk for such cancers.
Protein is another macronutrient present in seaweed. Protein is necessary to build and rejuvenate muscles after workouts. However, like most plant foods, seaweed is an incomplete protein. This means it lacks some of the 9 essential amino acids. Supplement it with other sources of protein such as lean meat, tofu or whole grain bread.
Finally, just as important as what it has is what it lacks: fat. Seaweed is a low-fat, low-calorie, guilt-free food. Enjoy it in a salad, soup, or dried as a snack.
Dharmanada, Subhuti. “The Nutritional and Medicinal Value of Seaweed”. Institute for Traditional Medicine. 2002.