Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables

Posted by Fruit Of Spirit on

Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables

Sea vegetables or seaweeds are herbs that grow in the sea. The seaweeds usually develop in the form of algae. They maintain the ecological balance of the ocean. The sea vegetables typically grow near the rock seashores worldwide but are commonly used in Asian countries like China, Korea, and Japan. You know the seaweeds purify the ocean; they do the same with your body. The seaweeds are usually of brown, red, and green color.   

They are indeed the gifts of the ocean when it comes to health benefits. They are a great source of vitamins and trace minerals. They contain iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, fiber, vitamin A, phosphorous, and vitamin B6.  

In this article, you will learn about the types, health benefits, ways of eating, tips for buying, storing, and potential risk.  

 

Types of Sea Vegetables  

Numerous kinds of seaweeds are used.  

  1.  Nori  

It is loaded with iodine, magnesium, iron, and vitamin A and C. Mostly used in Sushi rolls, Nori has the highest protein and is easily digested. The components in it help with cholesterol, hypertension, and digestion.  

  1. Wakame  

This seaweed is used in the delicious miso soup. It is rich in B vitamins and fatty acids, so it is best for your skin.   

  1. Kombu  

Kombu is excellent for treating your thyroid disorders. It is of brownish-green color and rich in minerals.  

  1. Dulse  

Dulse is exceptionally rich in iron, protein, beta carotene, and magnesium. It has a lush purple color and is added to soups. Dulse is also used as a thickening agent and makes a crispy snack.  

  1. Hijiki  

Like other sea vegetables, hijiki is loaded with minerals. It is a natural diuretic and helps to detoxify your body.  

Nutritional Facts (per 100g dried) 

Calories 

306 

Carbohydrates 

81g 

Protein 

6g 

Cholesterol 

0g 

Fiber 

8g 

Sugar 

3g 

Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables 

Now you have an overview of the types of sea vegetables, so let's get into the detail of health benefits.  

  1. Good for Thyroid Glands  

Your thyroid glands release hormones to control many functions in your body. It is responsible for the weight, energy, reproduction, and the growth and repairing of cells. Iodine is an essential constituent for the thyroid to release hormones. When you become deficient in iron, you face symptoms like tiredness, swelling in the neck, and weight changes. The seaweeds absorb the maximum amount of the ocean's iodine. So, sea vegetables can serve as a great source of iodine. Brown algae like kombu/kelp, wakame, and Arame mainly are the concentrated sources of iodine and hypothyroidism. The cells of the thyroid make too little thyroid hormone - increased iodine intake can be beneficial.  

  1. Loaded with Minerals  

The sea vegetables can be regarded as mineral galore because of the variety of trace nutrients found in them. These veggies contain abundant amounts of calcium, iodine, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium. There is an outstanding amount of iron in the sea vegetables, and vitamin C enhances its efficiency. This kind of variety is rare in other veggies group. So, the sea vegetables in your diet can help to meet your daily nutrients requirements naturally.  

  1. Helps with Diabetes  

Diabetes has become a common problem nowadays. It is the inability the regulate the blood sugar level and resistance to insulin-a substance that controls the glucose absorption in the blood. Sea vegetables may help you increase insulin sensitivity, discourage the over-production of glucose in cells, and convert the sugar into storable energy packets. All these properties will increase our blood-sugar control and lower the risk of diabetes.  

  1. Contain Antioxidants  

The antioxidant content of sea vegetables is also considerable. The high amounts of polyphenols like carotenoids and flavonoids and other alkaloids have been shown to possess antioxidant properties. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress and prevent cell damage. Free radicals are responsible for heart disease and diabetes. The antioxidant vitamins A, C, E have shown to protect free radical cell damage.  

  1. Gut Health   

Your stomach health is vital for your overall wellbeing. The gut contains many good and bad bacteria. The disproportion between the good and bad bacteria causes stomach disorders. The sea vegetables have awesome fiber content, which plays an essential role in digestion. Also, it promotes the production of good bacteria and good gut health. In addition to that, specific polysaccharides found in sea vegetables are used to produce good bacteria. Gut health is directly related to your immunity—the better the gut health, the better protection from disease.  

  1. Weight Loss  

As mentioned earlier, sea vegetables have higher fiber than many other kinds of vegetables. This fiber helps to slow down your digestion and, in turn, making you feel full for longer. When you feel satiated, you tend to consume a smaller number of extra calories. In this way, sea vegetables help you to avoid weight gain. Seaweeds also have anti-obesity effects; a chemical called fucoxanthin in them promotes weight loss. Also, protein enhances your metabolism.  

  1. More Benefits  

The sea veggies are also known to have detoxification effects. These help to remove toxins and heavy metals from your body. The seaweeds may also be good for your heart health. Heart diseases are the primary cause of death worldwide. It is mainly due to high cholesterol levels. The sea vegetables lower your cholesterol and prevent excessive blood clotting, leading to a heart attack.   

  1. Sea Vegetables for Beauty  

The sea vegetables are the world's best alkalizing agents. With inner body benefits, they also improve your appearance. The improvement in your gut health helps to get rid of breakouts. The antioxidants help to keep your skin youthful. It is not just it; the high protein content strengthens your hair and nails.   

Ways of Eating Sea Vegetables  

Sea vegetables are usually consumed as dry. You can crush and drizzle them on your salads, rice, stews, stir-fry's, noodles, and other meals.  

Sushi  

Sushi is everyone's favorite. It is a Japanese dish but now is eaten and enjoyed around the world. Toasted Nori is usually used to wrap sushi rolls. You can fill your sushi with rice, fish, avocado, and other vegetables. Do not forget to dip them in soy sauce!  

Miso Soup  

It is also a traditional Japanese dish. Wakame is an ingredient in soups. Miso soup can be easily made at home. It is typically eaten in the mornings to give a kick start to your day. You can also use Arame instead of Wakame in your soups.  

Green Powder  

Green powder supplement has become quite common nowadays. It provides a whole package of the goodness of green vegetables that are regarded as superfoods. You can add this powder to your smoothies, salads, and curry. So, without having the trouble of buying sea vegetables separately.  

The Best Way of Eating Sea Vegetables  

The best way of eating sea vegetables is usually eating them fresh. Do not cook them for more than 10 minutes as overheating may decrease its nutritional benefits.  

Tips for Buying  

Before buying sea vegetables, make sure that the packaging is fully sealed. The sea veggies have the ability to absorb the impurities from the surroundings, so make sure these are packed. If you observe any moisture or irregularity, do not buy it. These are available as dried in the forms of strips or powder. You can buy according to your requirement.  

How to Store Sea Vegetables?  

The dry vegetables usually stay fresh without a refrigerator. If you buy fresh vegetables, keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can keep your dried veggies after cooking for 2 to 3 days in your fridge.  

Risks of Sea Vegetables  

  1. Heavy Metals   

Sea vegetables have an outstanding ability to take up the minerals from the sea. However, a problem can arise if the sea is polluted. The polluted water may contain heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and arsenic. All these metals, especially arsenic, can be toxic to humans. Almost all kinds of sea vegetables have a small amount of arsenic in them. Even the traces can be harmful. However, it is still debated whether you should use them on a daily basis or not.  

  1. A High Amount of Iodine  

Although iodine is good for your thyroid, the large amount may be the opposite. If you exceed the recommended dose of iodine, you may face severe consequences. It can lead to swelling and cancer of the thyroid, and extreme stomach and mouth conditions. So, if you are already taking any iodine medication, seek professional advice before the daily use of sea vegetables.  

Final Word  

To conclude, sea vegetables are a treasure in real sense. These contain tons of minerals and vitamins that are hard to find naturally. They can be easily added to your diet. The seaweeds are great for your gut health. They can help you to avoid many fatal diseases. The sea vegetables are equally suitable for skin health. They can easily be added to your diet. But precautions must be taken if you are taking any medication. Also, overdose should be avoided. The best way is to consume natural vegetables instead of using supplements. 

References 

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