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).

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

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

Iron-Rich Foods

A List of Foods Rich in Iron: From Chlorella to Goji Berries

The important trace mineral, iron, performs a large number of roles in our bodies. It helps form hemoglobin in our red blood cells, boosts our immunity, maintains brain and endocrine function, and more. In fact, iron plays a small role in most biological functions, and no living organism can survive without it. Despite widespread understanding of its importance, however, iron remains the … Read more

Herbal Teas

Five Herbal Teas and the Conditions They Can Help Treat

Herbal teas have been treasured for their tastes and healing properties by virtually all civilizations on Earth since prehistoric times. Rich in antioxidants, full in flavor, and free from undesirable ingredients, you're seldom likely to find a natural health expert who doesn't recommended them. However, the herbal tea market is undeniably saturated, and new buyers often don't know which … Read more

Collard Greens

A List of Foods Rich in Antioxidants: From Kale to Sweet Potatoes

Antioxidants are substances that guard your cells against the effects of free radicals – an oxygen molecule that has lost an electron and will, in an attempt to stabilize itself, try and steal an electron from a neighboring molecule. Free radicals are produced when our bodies break down food, but also by exposure to radiation, cigarette smoke, and other external issues. Either way, they … Read more