As research pushes on, science is finding more and more that seaweed has impressive health benefits. A host of new plant varietals also called Sea Vegetables is finally starting to be consumed with higher intensity in Western diets.
Even though it seems like a relatively new thing here, some cultures have been eating seaweed for almost 3,000 years. Among the variety of sea vegetables are Hijiki, Kelp, Rame, Kombu, Wakame, Laver, Dulse, and popular Nori.
In the same way that regular plants provide essential vitamins and minerals, seaweed contains its own trio of nutrients. Some of these added nutrients are difficult to find in produce grown on land.
Before going into the specific health benefits of seaweed and those sea vegetables – let’s look at seaweed from a different perspective. A growing number of reports are suggesting that traditionally farmed vegetables are providing lower amounts of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
Each year, corporate farms replenish and fertilize the soil to the minimum requirement to regrow next year’s vegetables. Many of the vitamins and minerals that were once naturally present in the ground are not replaced by chemical additives. Seaweed and algae derive their nutritional content from vitamins and minerals found on the ocean floor and in water. These water growing conditions give them an advantage over traditionally farmed items.
Health and Beauty Benefits of Seaweed
There are many health and beauty benefits associated with eating seaweed. Here are just a few…
Longevity and youthfulness. While not fully understood by science; researchers have seen relationships between eating seaweed and an extended appearance of youthfulness and vitality. Partly because of seaweed‘s positive effects on the hair and the skin, giving you a bright, youthful finish.
Detoxifying Processes in the Body. Seaweed has demonstrated that it has potent detoxifying effects. This happens in 2 ways:
- Seaweed can bind itself to heavy metals it encounters either on the skin or internally.
- The metals are then expelled through natural processes. For this reason, it’s essential to find a seaweed supplement grown in pure waters.
Seaweed is Packed with Nutrition
The additional benefits are due to the type of elements found in algae’s and seaweeds. These are potent plants are loaded with Protein, Calcium, Copper, Fiber, Folate, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, and Vitamin K.
Seaweed Contains Trace Minerals
They also contain trace amounts of Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Vitamins, A, C, and E, phosphorus, B Vitamins, and choline. Spirulina and Chlorella (blue-green algae’s) are also complete sources of plant proteins with full amino acid profiles.
The Additional Benefits of Seaweed
Increased metabolism and weight loss. This occurs as a two-part process:
- Part 1: The link to the production levels of the weight-regulating hormone leptin.
- Part 2: Seaweeds naturally high-fiber content, helping to fill you up and decreasing hunger.
- Bonus Part 3: Additionally, it contains fucoidan, an sPS (sulfated polysaccharide) that may even enhance the breakdown of fat in the body and prevent the formation of further fat cells.
These are in addition to its naturally low-calories and high-glutamate levels, a tasty amino acid giving seaweed its savory taste. A welcome addition to your next meal!
Increased Digestion and Immune Function. Seaweed is naturally rich in fiber, which can help to prevent constipation. It’s also full of naturally occurring agar, carrageenan, and fucoidan. These are thought to have a prebiotic effect in the digestive tract. Prebiotic’s are non-digestible fibers that feed and assist the good bacteria in your stomach. The more good bacteria you have, the less room there is for harmful bacteria. (And the unwanted side effects of harmful stomach bacteria).
Researchers are making new discoveries daily about the links between gut health and the overall health of our immune systems. Prebiotics found in seaweed are linked to both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.
Seaweed for Beautiful Skin & Hair
All those concentrated vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants have a lot to offer your complexion. So you can Algae up and have many happy returns!
Humble sea vegetables can really kickstart a beauty routine. Look for vitamin-rich chlorella in moisture creams. These blue-green ingredient beauties have the most chlorophyll out of all of the plants. Super-rich in phytonutrients, this was originally a food supplement that you’ll find in many skin care products for it’s out of this world high antioxidant levels.
Seaweed for Bath & Body
A naturally exfoliating ingredient, you’ll find sea vegetables added to soaps, scrubs, and shower gels. These same naturally occurring plant-based antioxidants also make this a great candidate for skin lifting anti-cellulite creams.
You’ll find this ingredient in powders to add to your shakes and smoothies, to daily capsules so you can take it and forget it with a glass of water. There’s a full world of natural benefits to be found from humble seaweed.
What’s your favorite use for Seaweed? Eating, Beauty, or Supplement? All Three?