You likely know of seaweed as the green and brown algae that washes up along the seashore when you're at the beach. But seaweed, the common name for numerous species of algae and marine plants, is also found in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water worldwide.
It may not seem like something you would want to snack on when seeing it in a setting like this, but many people do because they've caught on to seaweed's incredible benefits. That, and today there are several tastier ways to cook and consume it.
Regardless, seaweed is a superfood that has been eaten for thousands of years. And no matter how you spice it (no pun intended), it's considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Seaweed contains tons of vitamins and minerals important to your health, such as iodine which helps with thyroid function.
If you're someone who prefers not to snack on raw seaweed or even dried seaweed, for that matter, rest assured you can still get the same benefits from dried seaweed supplements too. So, what is it about dried seaweed that makes it super healthy and nutritious? Here are a few of the main nutrients found in dried seaweed and their benefits:
Seaweed is a great way to control your weight! It’s abundant in fiber and has been shown to affect levels of the hormone leptin, which helps regulate appetite. People who eat seaweeds regularly may experience fewer hunger pangs as well as feeling fuller for longer after consuming them - all things that could help you manage weight or lose those unwanted pounds.
Blood sugar control
Seaweed may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers believe that certain compounds found in brown algae give it its characteristic color. These same components are beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance and preventing carbohydrates from converting into glucose too quickly during digestion.
Seaweed contains marine plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-allergenic properties. The research shows these compounds can fight viruses by blocking their entry into cells which makes it an interesting natural remedy for preventing infection in humans
Seaweed is rich in fiber and possesses prebiotic chemicals that act as food sources to promote healthy digestion. For example, some forms of seaweed contain fucoidans (thought to act as a prebiotic) which have been shown to improve symptoms when consumed by patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The thyroid is an important organ in the body responsible for regulating metabolism. It needs iodine to function properly, so if you don't get enough from your diet, hypothyroidism may develop, which causes symptoms like low energy, dry skin, and forgetfulness!
Seaweed can help address this issue by providing that crucial nutrient - just make sure not all types are created equal; choose ones with more than 60mcg per serving (such as nori).
Seaweed is a rich source of fiber and long-chain omega 3 fatty acids that may help keep your heart healthy.
It also contains soluble dietary minerals like potassium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin B1 (thiamine) for energy production in cells; it can lower bad cholesterol levels while raising good ones!
Seaweed is nutrient-dense, rich in vitamins and minerals that are important for optimum health. While its most significant benefit is serving as an excellent source of iodine to support thyroid function, be mindful that too much iodine could cause the opposite of its intended effect. For this reason, it is best to enjoy dried seaweed in amounts suggested for safe consumption.