Why Eat Seaweed? Here Are Your Answers
Image Credit: Japanese Chuka Salad, Image Credit: Freepik

Algae that grow in the sea include seaweed and sea veggies. They come in various colours, from red to green to brown to black, and are a food source for marine life. Seaweed is a plant that grows on rocky shorelines all around the world, although it is most frequently consumed in Asian nations like China, Japan, and Korea. It can be used in various recipes, including salads, soups, stews, sushi rolls, supplements, and smoothies. One of the most common uses of seaweed as nori for sushi rolls. Additionally, a little bit goes a long way because seaweed is so nutrient-dense. It has plethora of health benefits when eaten on moderation! 

Regulates thyroid function

Iodine is necessary for your thyroid to produce hormones. You may eventually notice symptoms without sufficient iodine, including weight changes, weariness, or neck swelling. For adults, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for iodine is 140 mcg. Iodine from the ocean can be concentrated and absorbed by seaweed in a certain way. It has a wide range of iodine contents depending on the kind, where it was cultivated, and how it was processed. Actually, 11–1,989% of the RDI can be found in a single dried seaweed sheet. Nori contains 37 mcg per gramme (25 per cent of the RDI), Wakame has 139 mcg (93 per cent of the RDI), and Kombu has 2523 mcg (1,682 per cent of the RDI). One of the best sources of iodine is kelp.

Seaweed salad, Image Source: Freepik

A rich source of vitamins and minerals

Seaweed has trace folate, zinc, sodium, calcium, and magnesium levels. It also has trace amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and K. One or two times a week, using it as a spice can be a simple approach to increase the number of nutrients in your diet. Some seaweeds, like spirulina and chlorella, have proteins complete in all nine essential amino acids. As a result, eating seaweed can help you obtain all nine essential amino acids. Additionally, there might be a substantial supply of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 seaweed. Dried green and purple seaweed appears to contain significant levels of vitamin B12. Dried seaweed can enhance your food's taste, texture, and flavour while increasing the amount of vitamins and minerals you consume.

Nori made with seaweed, Image Source: Freepik

Promotes gut health

Our health is greatly influenced by the bacteria in our gut. These good and bad gut bacteria can become out of balance, resulting in illness and disease. Seaweed is a great source of fibre known to improve intestinal health. It can account for 25–75% of the dry weight of seaweed. This has a greater fibre level than the majority of fruits and vegetables. Fibre has the potential to withstand digestion and serve as a food supply for the bacteria in your large intestine. Sulfated polysaccharides, a specific type of sugar present in seaweed, have also been demonstrated to promote the development of "good" gut flora. In addition, these polysaccharides can boost the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which support and hydrate the gut lining cells.

Helps in regulating weight

Seaweed contains a lot of fibre, which does not have any calories. The fibre in seaweed may slow stomach emptying, too. This helps you feel fuller for longer and can delay hunger pangs. Seaweed is also considered to have anti-obesity effects. In particular, several animal studies suggest that a substance in seaweed called fucoxanthin may help reduce body fat. One animal study found that rats who consumed fucoxanthin lost weight, whereas rats who consumed the control diet did not. The results showed that fucoxanthin increased the expression of a protein that metabolises the fat in rats.