Benefits and Dangers of Seaweed for Health – Most of us are familiar with the name of seaweed. But besides because it tastes delicious, have you ever wondered about the health benefits of seaweed?
Seaweed is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Seaweed, or algae, is a group of plant organisms that grow in the ocean.
Some algae are single-celled organisms such as microalgae, which means that they are more like bacteria that also generate energy through photosynthesis. Most of the seaweed we consume as food has many cells.
Seaweed is part of a healthy diet and is used in herbal medicines in many traditional cultures.
Scientists have classified the types of seaweed into different categories based on their pigments, cell structures, and other properties. Groups of seaweed commonly consumed include:
- Green algae such as sea lettuce or ulva, and sea grapes
- Brown algae such as kombu, arame, seaweed, and wakame (seaweed miso soup)
- Red algae such as dulse, vessel, and nori (seaweed sushi)
- Blue-green algae such as spirulina and chlorella
Dry seaweed should be soaked in hot water, and rinsed well before being processed into food. Some seaweed with thick texture is better sliced thin or boiled.
Because it contains high nutrients, seaweed is very versatile. Here are some ways to enjoy this meal:
Nori and dulse can be eaten just like that. Now many are available various types of chips that are made from other grass. So, if you are looking for a healthy snack, seaweed can be the solution.
Most types of seaweed can be made into a salad with vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.
Seaweed tastes delicious in bone broth, so it can be made into seaweed soup.
4. Sown in other foods
Seaweed minced seaweed can be sprinkled on salad, rice, soup, or other dishes.
Most seaweed is not bitter. Some types are rather sweet and may even have umami taste.
Here are some of the benefits of seaweed :
1. Vitamins and Minerals
Seaweed is much more nutrient dense than vegetables. This is an excellent source of micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium. More importantly, seaweed is a source of iodine.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA and EPA
Unlike land plants, seaweed contains omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, so seaweed or algae can be a reliable source of omega-3s.
Peanuts can cause gas and stomach upset for many people. This can be easily overcome by adding kombu, a certain type of seaweed, while cooking.
4. Rich in Antioxidants
Seaweed contains many antioxidants. As part of a healthy diet, seaweed can help protect against oxidative stress and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and digestive problems.
5. Rich Fiber and Prebiotics
All plants contain fiber, but seaweed also has other types of carbohydrates, these include carrageenan, fucan, galactan, and more.
There are some side effects that occur in the body when eating too much seaweed, including:
1. Cause Thyroid Problems
Iodine is a very important mineral for thyroid function, and seaweed is a source of iodine. If the thyroid can not adjust to the high intake of iodine, and it is quite possible to develop thyroid disorder from too much iodine.
Seaweed contains many different types of carbohydrates that are not digested in our digestive system. These carbohydrates are lowered for our intestinal bacteria.
For people prone to digestive problems or with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, these carbohydrates cause significant problems.
3. Heavy Metal Poisons
In addition to richly beneficial minerals, seaweed can also contain toxic metals. This may depend on the type of seaweed, where the seaweed is harvested, and the level of pollution in the water.