Seaweed has proven to be one of the health trends of 2016; from being a staple ingredient in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine, to now enticing the mainstream market. It has been incorporated in Western dishes as a specialty in both savoury and sweet dishes. In keeping with health and wellness, seaweed is packed with health benefits you never knew it had!
The Chinese writer Sze Teu in 600BCE wrote, “Some algae are a delicacy fit for the most honoured guests, even for the King himself”, and seaweed fits this bill for many reasons.
It is packed with antioxidants, fibre, iodine, good fats, protein, minerals, calcium, copper and iron; the new superfood! It is also high in vitamin K and folic acid, while low in calories and fat. Due to its high nutritional health benefits, seaweed is thought to help our bodies fight illness and disease. It’s also amazing how this sea vegetable improves our immunity and cardiovascular functions! Did you know that the Japanese have one of the highest life expectancies in the world? And one item that features widely in their diets is the humble seaweed.
Furthermore, a review of 100 studies published in the American Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that seaweed decreases blood pressure and promotes a healthier heart.
Not only is seaweed packed with health benefits, it is sustainable to our environment. Ocean farmers and scientists rely on aquaculture operations; where ocean farmers grow high-quality and healthy sea foods while increasing sustainability of our environment. Seaweed growth does not require fresh water, no deforestation and no fertilizers, unlike land-based farming which makes it more environmentally-friendly than the most environmentally-sensitive traditional farm.
Seaweed is available in many forms – fresh, dried, and it can also be found in the snacks section in most supermarkets. There are a variety of ways to incorporate seaweed into your diet such as adding it to your soups, using the dried powdered version in your smoothies and seasonings, using it in your salads, and of course, just snacking on the roasted version. As a snack, seaweed is probably the healthier alternative to almost everything else you’d find in that same aisle, but as usual, do check the label to ensure that you’re not buying something with a whole lot of additives and preservatives.
Let’s start incorporating seaweed into our diets!
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