Discover the 12 shocking health benefits of seaweed and side effects.
The mind-blowing health benefits of seaweed including but are not limited to promoting thyroid health, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, helps control cancer, promotes weight loss, aids digestion, treats constipation, helps control diabetes, helps protect teeth, improves blood circulation, prevents flu, and helps maintain good vision.
When most of us think of seaweed, the first thing that comes to mind is that useless herb that grows in water.
However, little did you know that seaweed is a major powerhouse and has endless benefits for your health.
Chances are you’ve eaten seaweed before, probably on sushi or alongside miso. But this is as far as many people ever go.
There are many different types of seaweed, which are characterized based on their color, as well as their physical structure and order properties.
Common varieties include green, brown, red, and blue-green varieties.
Are you excited to find out what the benefits of seaweed can do for you? So, let’s dive into it.
While land plants and animals are often not good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, when it comes to aquatic life, the presence of Omega 3 fats is abundant.
The benefits of seaweed are rich in this particular fat, which makes it perfect for vegetarian consumption.
Similarly, the benefits of seaweed are among one of the richest sources of dietary iodine on the planet, as it is capable of absorbing generous amounts of seawater.
Iodine is a critical micro mineral that is involved in many cellular processes, including growth and thyroid functions, such as optimizing our metabolism.
In addition to increasing our metabolism, thyroid hormone also plays an important role in ensuring that nerve fibers are properly isolated throughout the nervous system.
Several diseases can occur if these nerve fibers are not adequately covered in myelin sheaths.
Also, iodine deficiency is believed to be associated with growth disorders and mental retardation.
Seaweed benefits are a rich source of natural anticancer compounds that are being studied for a role in supporting the fight against cancer.
Research has shown that seaweed is effective in helping heal tumors such as those in the colon and certain types of leukemia.
Marine varieties of algae include kelp and wakame contain compounds such as glycoproteins and sulfated polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer cells.
Studies done on breast cancer show that seaweed can help inhibit the production of the hormone estrogen, which is known to fuel breast cancer cell growth.
In addition to its effect on stimulating metabolism, studies have shown that the benefits of seaweed also have the effect of helping to control obesity.
It contains a compound called fucoxanthin that reduces fat storage and promotes its burning for fuel.
Seaweed supplements are even marketed today for weight loss, although in the plant itself it is superior, as it contains a generous amount of fiber that will help keep you full and less likely to eat on a whim.
Many people who live on the Pacific islands consume algae regularly for its digestion-promoting properties.
It is said to support the normal pattern of digestive enzyme release that can help promote nutrient absorption and proper breakdown of food eaten.
The polysaccharides found in seaweed also offer probiotic support to the good bacteria that live in your gut.
People who live in these areas also report fewer average cases of gastric ulcers as a result of the H. pylori bacteria.
As mentioned above, consuming the benefits of seaweed can help promote digestive function thanks to its high fiber content.
High-fiber diets also reduce the likelihood of constipation, helping waste material to move quickly through the digestive tract.
Little do many people know that seaweed also has a mild laxative effect, which can help improve regularity and facilitate bowel movements.
The compound fucoxanthin is found in specific strains of algae and algae, but especially the brown variety shows great promise in helping to control diabetes.
Seaweed is said to have another compound called alginic acid, which helps improve glucose control and decrease the absorption of triglycerides from the blood.
Diabetics commonly suffer from altered triglyceride levels in addition to altered glucose levels, which increases the rate of heart disease exponentially. This makes the algae well prepared to prevent complications from occurring.
Seaweed extracts have long been used to prevent tooth decay, which is believed to be due in part to their ability to increase saliva expression from the glands in the mouth, which in turn promotes frequent rinsing of bacteria and food particles that may have remained on the teeth.
The algae extract is also said to be able to strengthen the strength of tooth enamel, and an extract of alginic acid is frequently used in the production of dental molds for dentures.
Studies have found that the benefits of seaweed also possess anticoagulant properties, which thin the blood and prevent excessive clot formation.
The best-known blood thinner on the planet is aspirin, which is effective but carries several possible side effects. Supplementation or consumption of seaweed extracts by Pacific natives have been attributed to their low rates of stroke and heart disease.
The anticoagulant effect of seaweed is believed to be based on its polysaccharide content, and that seaweed has some of the most pronounced effects on blood thinning.
A word of caution: be sure to use carefully if you have a pre-existing circulatory disorder or are using prescription drugs to thin the blood.
Seaweed extract has been shown to have mild antiviral properties, thanks to the presence of a compound known as Shikimic acid, which happens to be one of the raw materials in the production of the seasonal antiviral drug Tamiflu.
The algae present in water and seaweed produce this compound, which when consumed offers a certain degree of antiviral protection.
Maybe it’s a good idea, after all, to eat more seaweed when flu season rolls around, don’t you think?
People who consume higher amounts of algae receive better levels of protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, thanks to the presence once again of fucoxanthin.
Fucoxanthin helps prevent cell damage to the skin and may reduce the likelihood of mutations occurring in cells that may have been damaged.
Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects also reach the overall beauty of the skin, where it helps reduce the formation of wrinkles, sunspots, and dark spots and is now a regular inclusion in many skincare preparations made by the cosmetic industry.
Preventing inflammation and excessive oxidative damage is key to maintaining optimal organ and cell health as you age.
When it comes to the eye, macular degeneration is often an inevitable part of aging, causing progressive deterioration of vision.
Regular consumption of seaweed can help curb this, and it is even used for implants after cataract surgery.
The inclusion of fucoxanthin in these eye implants is said to prevent subsequent opacification of the lens after successful surgery.
When overconsumed, the side effects may include thyroid problems, thyroid medication interaction, digestive discomfort and potential exposure to radiation and heavy metals.
We know that seaweed is not readily available around the world, which can be an obstacle to your quest for better health.
However, even if you can’t find fresh varieties of this herb, chances are you will find supplements or at least frozen extracts in your supermarket.
You don’t need to go crazy and consume it with every meal, but a few times a week you’ll go a long way if you follow a healthy lifestyle plan. Don’t miss out on all that this superfood can do for you.
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