Sea vegetables, which, not long back, were dismissed as seaweeds, are now recognized for their nutrition value. Check out the health benefits of sea vegetables.
Benefits of Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables, which, not long back, were dismissed as seaweeds, are now recognized for their nutrition value. They are now considered one of the greatest health foods and are found in abundance in specialty stores around the world. Sea vegetables are low in calories and abundant in vitamins and minerals, not to be found in foods that are found on land. With some of these including nori, wakame, arame, dulse, kombu, kelp and hijiki, most of which are found in a variety of food items like cream, baked goods, jelly, salad dressings, chocolate milk and toothpaste. Grown in the depths of sea, they are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that are essential for human health and nutritional balance. Yet, they are not very popular yet around the world, except in countries like Japan and China who have acknowledged its nutritious value and have made it an essential part of their dishes. Read this article to familiarize yourself with the health benefits of sea vegetables and how to include it in your diet.
Popular Sea Vegetables
The popular sea vegetables are dulse, kelp, alaria, laver, from the east coast, and sea palm from the West coast. Nori, Hiziki, Arame, Kombu and Wakame are some Asian varieties. Sea vegetables are widely used to thicken and add to the flavorings of other products such as ice cream, instant pudding, whipped topping, salad dressing and toothpaste. Rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories, they can be easily consumed like any other vegetable.
- Empowering immune system function, they have been credited with increasing energy, improving general well-being and accelerating wound healing.
- Sea vegetables maximize the body's metabolism and anti-aging defenses. They also possess anti-inflammatory effects and help in the treatment of certain skin conditions.
- Sea food contains minerals like zinc, boron, tin, selenium, chromium, antimony and bismuth, which are missing in modern food. An unusual amount of full spectrum vitamins, including E, A, C and B12 are also present in sea food. Certain enzymes and the full range of essential amino acids are found in these vegetables.
- They are stores of magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, and Vitamin K and plant compounds called lignans. They are also a rich source of iodine, a mineral which promotes healthy thyroid function and contains carbohydrate-like substances which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Though sea vegetables lack Vitamin D, a substance in them, ergesterol, is converted into Vitamin D in the body.
- Sea vegetables are also rich in different enzymes and dietary fiber.
- Possessing a higher concentration of nutrients than the foods that are grown on land, they contribute to overall health.
- There are certain sea weeds which are rich in calcium, protein, iron and micro nutrients which are required by the body for the proper functioning of the body. Potassium present in sea weeds helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
- Sea vegetables also helps in eliminating toxins and heavy metals from the body, shrink goiters, cysts and tumors, helps in weight loss, controls thyroid levels and reduces water retention.
- Certain compounds in sea vegetables helps in fighting cancer and those that possess cancer-fighting benefits are nori, alaria, hijiki, dulse and kelp. As per studies, while dulse hinders the growth of cancer cells by 69%, kelp slowed down the growth by up to 78%.
- Sea weeds help in reducing the cholesterol levels and other benefits such as lowering the risk of estrogen-related breast cancer in women.
- The fucoidan content in sea vegetables have anti-inflammatory benefits and anticoagulant and antithrombotic properties which contributes to cardiovascular health.
Packed with nutrients, minerals and vitaminsthey improve the immune system. For example, Nori is high in Vitamins A and C which provide a boost to the immune system. The vitamin A content in Nori makes them effective for vision health and fights against night blindness.
How To Include In Diet
Adding these vegetables to your diet is quite convenient. You have to just add small pieces to your favorite soups, salads, sandwiches and stir-fries. Dried sea vegetables are highly vital wild food and provide highly concentrated nutrition.
For most people, sea vegetables are available only in dried form. In unopened packages, dried sea vegetables are usually secure. Once you have opened the packages, keep them in air tight containers in a cool place. If the vegetables absorb moistures, they could be re-dried in a low oven.
Sea vegetables have amazing nutritious benefits which are often neglected and avoided by most people. These natural wonders lay hidden under the sea, explored and unable to see our dining tables. So, make it a habit to include sea vegetables in your diet and live healthy.