Four Sea Vegetables with Amazing Health-Boosting Properties

Fresh SeaweedAs the nutritional value of land vegetables continues to decline due to ongoing soil erosion and pollution, sea vegetables – whose nutritional compositions have remained intact for centuries – are coming to the fore as a much-needed source of minerals. Indeed, the average seaweed still contains over 70 essential minerals and phytonutrients, as well as numerous compounds that can pull unpleasant toxins from our bodies.

Though all sea vegetables are nutritious and mineral-rich, some stand out more than others in one or more categories. The four seaweeds listed below fall into this group.

Kelp – An All-Natural Nutrient Supplement

Kelp is arguably the greatest “all round” seaweed, since it is rich in virtually every nutrient our body requires for superior health. For example, kelp contains impressive quantities of all the major vitamins (vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K), which play numerous roles in ensuring our biological processes run smoothly. Kelp is also filled with dietary fiber, protein, countless trace minerals, and sodium alginate – an element that helps the body to rid itself of radioactive particles. (This is especially important post-Fukushima, since, while both sea and land vegetables are affected by this disaster [85 percent of rainwater comes from the oceans], few land vegetables can eliminate these particles). Nature’s Way provides an excellent kelp supplement.

Bladderwrack – An Amazing Iodine Source

Bladderwrack was Europe’s original source of iodine, and it remains the ocean’s greatest source of this essential trace nutrient (50 grams of bladderwrack contains more than 100 percent of our recommended daily allowance of iodine). Iodine is needed to regulate the thyroid gland, which in turn regulates the metabolism. People who have difficulty losing weight despite dieting and exercising heavily, for example, are often suffering from thyroid dysfunction.

Bladderwrack is also rich in zeaxanthin and fucoidan. Zeaxanthin is a natural carotenoid that helps guard our eyes from oxidative harm, thus guarding us from eye-related disorders such as macular degeneration. Fucoidan, a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of brown algae, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and regulate the production of AP-I (which regulates cell proliferation), making bladderwrack an excellent cancer-fighting food.

Nori – The Ocean’s Best Protein Source

Nori, which is famous for its role in wrapping sushi and garnishing noodle dishes, is the greatest seaweed source of protein. Indeed, depending on its quality, nori is comprised of between 30 and 50 percent protein (a comparable amount to soybeans, spirulina, and chlorella), making it an excellent source of bioavailable, plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans. Protein, of course, plays a crucial role in the growth and repair of cells; a deficiency can lead to muscle and joint pain and a constant craving for unhealthy foods such as refined carbs and sweets.

Hijiki – The Calcium King

If bladderwrack is the king of iodine and nori is the king of protein, then hijiki is surely the king of calcium. In fact, studies show that there is more calcium in hijiki than that contained in an equal weight of cow’s milk. Moreover, hijiki boasts an optimum calcium-magnesium ratio of 2-1 (we need magnesium to help us absorb the calcium).

Perhaps hijiki’s impressive calcium content explains why this brown seaweed is so closely associated with healthy, lustrous hair in Japanese folklore. Indeed, hijiki – with its smooth appearance and delicate curls – even resembles human hair as it grows on the ocean floor.

 

Recommended Articles

Spices

Three Popular Spices That Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Spices have always been admired for their ability to improve the flavors of rudimentary dishes, and perhaps this will always remain their best-loved feature. Despite their largely pragmatic uses in the kitchen, however, emerging studies continue to prove that many popular spices are nutritional powerhouses that possess undeniable medicinal value.Spices that are proven to lower blood … Read more

Coconut Oil on Wooden Spoon

Five Amazing Non-Dietary Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, which is derived from the meat of matured coconuts, is possibly the healthiest oil in the world. Rich in good saturated fats and important minerals, the regular consumption of coconut oil has been linked to reduced cholesterol, boosting of the immune system, weight loss, superior digestion and metabolism, and much more. It is, in short, a superfood.However, if there's … Read more

Cacao

Three Superfoods That Can Help Treat Depression

Statistics show that approximately 10 percent of the American population suffers from depression, and that number is on the increase. While most of these people suffer from sporadic bouts of depression, others often endure it their whole lives. Consequently, many of them resort to antidepressants to alleviate their low moods - drugs which have notorious side effects and can, in many … Read more

Aronia Berry

Six Little-Known Superfoods That Deserve Wider Recognition

Upon hearing the word "superfood," a number of fruits and vegetables will probably enter your mind. The title has consistently been attached to the blueberry, for instance. There’s also the almond, the sweet potato, the avocado, kale, spirulina, chlorella, and of course, the "original" superfood, broccoli. While these foods are certainly nutritious, several lesser-known foods also match … Read more

Leave a Comment

*