If you never considered it before, learn the 3 reasons you should eat seaweed. Your body just might thank you.
You’ve likely seen the brownish-green, vine-like marine plant washed up ocean side as well as wrapped around a sushi roll. How and why seaweed has made its way from the deep end of the ocean to your dinner table is an easy one: seaweed just might be one of the healthiest things that mother earth has made for us! Countries like Japan, Korea, and China have been consuming seaweed as 10% of their diet since prehistoric times and still hold it in the highest respect. In 600 BC, Sze Teu wrote, “Some algae are a delicacy fit for the most honoured guests, even for the King himself.” That being said, few westerners are seen picking up bags of seaweed for regular consumption. Well I say, bring it on! With over 21 species of seaweed in the oceans and multiple ways to add it to your diet, here are three reasons you should be eating seaweed.
Flatten Your Stomach
Wakame and kelp are re-hydrated forms of seaweed commonly found in miso soup and are packed with minerals that can help with keeping a slim waistline. Seaweed is rich in B12, calcium, and magnesium, which aid the body in naturally detoxifying and eliminating waste from the GI tract. It’s also a diuretic, which means it can help prevent bloating and keep off any extra water weight too. Furthermore, the rich iodine and fucoxanthin content of this green marine treat help the body create and maintain healthy thyroid hormones, which are responsible for regulating your metabolic rate, or the rate at which you burn fat.
High in Nutrients, Low in Calories
Roasted seaweed snacks are popular in Asian countries, but you can find them closer to home in any Asian market or Trader Joe's grocery store. What we love about snacking on seaweed is not only does it give you a kale-chip-inspired green crunchy treat, it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like vitamin K, calcium (more than broccoli, milk, and beef!), iodine, iron, and the above mentioned B12 and magnesium. It is comparable to legumes where protein is concerned and is also a lower calorie option sitting closer to 60 calories per 12 grams depending on the brand you choose to purchase. Whether you wrap up a roll, make a soup or salad, or just snack it by itself, seaweed will fuel your body without blowing your calorie budget.
Just think about how the sun and heat take a toll on your skin when you’re at the beach and it's no wonder why the ocean provides such a tasty treat that also helps you keep radiant skin! This marine algae, nori specifically, is packed with omega fatty acids that create a barrier on your skin to prevent damage. So many omegas in fact, one sheet of nori has as many as two whole avocados. These same nutrients can also help reduce acne and dry skin. You don’t have to put it on your skin to get these benefits, just wrap up some of your favorite vegan ingredients into a “sushi” roll and eat your way to better skin!
Now that you’ve discovered a few things seaweed can do for you, try it in this vegan Garlic Mushroom burger recipe!