10 Health benefits of seaweed
For some people, seaweed is just that horrible, smelly, green stuff that washes up on the beach, but for others, it is a staple part of their diet that they believe is the key to long life, health and beauty. Seaweed has far more uses than you might have realised and it has some pretty magical properties too. Seaweed can be used in more than just sushi; it can be eaten as a vegetable, used in salads and added to smoothies too. It’s not recommended that you simply pop down to your nearest beach and pick up some seaweed, though. Buy your edible seaweed form a health store, to be on the safe side. Did you know, for example, that seaweed is very similar in composition to human blood plasma, or that seaweed contains more calcium than milk? Those are just two of the amazing properties of seaweed, and here are ten more health benefits of seaweed you need to know about.
1. It can prevent cancer
Because seaweed contains such a high level of iodine, it is believed to be able to prevent the formation of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and colon cancer. Seaweed also contains a compound called fucoidan, which studies have shown can kill cancer cells and inhibit the growth of new ones.
2. It can help clear up acne
Another one of wonderful health benefits of seaweed is that it can be used as a natural exfoliant and it’s great for clearing up acne. It removes dead skin cells and lifts dirt out of the pores. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that will help to reduce the redness and swelling that is caused by acne.
3. It prevents osteoporosis
One of great health benefits of seaweed is that edible seaweed is a great source of the minerals that help to build strong bones, including calcium and magnesium. It helps to maintain bone density when you get older and prevent osteoporosis, which is the medical condition that causes the bones to become brittle.
4. It could help you burn fat
Health benefits of seaweed also include weight loss. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that eating seaweed can help you burn fat. Studies that have been carried out on animals have found that fucoxanthin, which is found in some seaweed, helps the body to metabolise fat. In one study, mice that were fed a high fat diet and seaweed experienced less weight gain, than those that were not given the seaweed.
5. It can help prevent heart disease
Eating seaweed regularly could also reduce the risk of developing heart disease. In some island populations, where seaweed is a staple part of the diet, people have been found to have far lower cholesterol levels and the incidence of heart disease is much lower than in other populations. Seaweed is also a good way to add saltiness to food, without the negative health effects that using refined salt has. This is because it also contains potassium, which balances out the negative effects of salt.
6. It improves the digestion
Medical research has proven that adding seaweed to your diet can also improve the functioning of your digestive system. Seaweed is high in soluble and insoluble fibre, and is a very good source of protein. This will make you feel full for longer and, with regular consumption, it will keep your digestive system in good working order.
7. It regulates the hormones in your body
Next one of fabulous health benefits of seaweed is that it regulates the hormones in your body. Some seaweed is very high in Vitamin K, which aids the correct functioning of the adrenal glands. Eating Vitamin K rich seaweed, such as wakame, kombu and nori, will help to regulate the hormonal balance.
8. Seaweed is great for the skin
Seaweed also very good for the skin, you can use it in your bath to soften and nourish the skin. A seaweed bath is also said to help detox the body and it is believed that seaweed helps the body to rid itself of heavy metals. To make a seaweed bath soak, soak seaweed in some almost boiling water (85°) to soften it up and then add the seaweed and the water to your bath.
9. It enhances the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Because of its very high iodine content, seaweed can also be useful to people who suffer with hypothyroidism disorder. Eating seaweed can help to enhance and balance the functioning of the thyroid gland. You should be careful if you take seaweed supplements, though, because taking too much can have a detrimental effect on the functioning of the thyroid gland, so be careful and consult your doctor before using.
10. It can enhance libido and fertility
Seaweed is also said to be able to enhance both libido and fertility. The many vitamins and minerals that seaweed contains can boost fertility in both men and women and some people say that eating seaweed can also heighten sexual sensations and improve performance too.
Do you know other health benefits of seaweed?