Seaweed Benefits

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Seaweed is a staple in the Japanese diet, but did you know it is good for more than just holding your sushi together?

This sea-vegetable is nutrient dense and low in calories. It also is thought to have health benefits that can help you lose weight, or cure a hangover.

Scientists at University of Newcastle have found that a substance called alginate found in seaweed can limit the body’s fat absorbtion by up to 75%.

Seaweed is a great source of antioxidents, calcium and a broad array of vitamins. It is also high in fiber, which helps you to feel full and more satisfied after eating, and aids in proper elmination.

Eating seaweed can also support healthy thyroid function, due to its high iodine content. About 2 sheets of dried nori can give you the recommended daily dose to balance the hormones that the thyroid produces that regulate weight, energy and metabolic levels, and mood. It can also help regulate estrogen and estradiol, hormones responsible for the development of healthy sexual organs, and can be attributed to a reduction in the risk of breast cancer, control PMS and improve fertility issues.

Seaweed also contains a high level of magnesium, which is depleted after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. Snacking on seaweed the next day can replace some of the lost nutrient and help minimize a hangover.

Seaweed is an algae, and comes in a variety of types. Most commonly consumed are the brown type such as kelp and wakame. Nori, the type used for sushi, is considered of the red variety.

In addition to eating sushi, try ordering seaweed salads made of hijiki or wakame, or snack on dried nori sheets, which are available at many specialty foods supermarkets, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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