Health Benefits Of Seaweed
Seaweed contains a massive variety of health - promoting components as compared to the majority of other plant and animal - based foods available on land. It is a rich source of essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, potassium, selenium, zinc, iodine, and iron, while also containing a very low amount of fats. It is also a treasure troveof antioxidants, phytonutrients and rich fibercontent that is required by the body. Vitaminspresentin seaweed are vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin Eand vitamin K. Seaweeds also contains omega-3 fatty acids and all the vital amino acids necessary for the body as per the WHO & FAO guidelines.
Cancer: Seaweeds contains cancer-fighting agents that may prove useful in curing tumors and other cancer conditions like colon cancerand leukemia. Brown seaweed such as kelp, wakame, and kombu contain glycoprotein and sulphated polysaccharides called fucoidans that possess immuno-stimulant, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties.
Source ofIodine: Seaweed is a rich sourceof iodine, which it absorbs in ample amounts from the sea water.
Obesity: Scientific research has shown that edible seaweed possesses anti-obesity effects. The compound fucoxanthin present in seaweed helps in reducing the accumulation of fats and aids weight loss.
Digestive Health: Seaweed has a mild laxative effect and is quite useful in main taining healthy digestion. It aids in stimulating the release of digestive enzymes, supporting the absorption of nutrients, and facilitating the metabolism of fats.
Diabetes: The Fucoxanthin compound present in brown algae has been proven effective in exerting anti-diabeticeffects. Along with this, the triglyceride absorption of seaweedLaminaria japonica,also known as kombu, has been praised for its effect on diabetes.
Dental Health: Seaweed extracts have long been appreciated for their preventative effect in the growth of dental cavities. The anti-inflammatory properties are responsible for the improvement in the functioning of salivary glands and making the oral tissues more resistant to damage. Alginate, a salt of alginic acid extracted from seaweed, is quite useful in the fabrication of dental molds.
Anti-Coagulant: Laboratory research has made it evident that seaweed possesses antioxidant and anti-coagulant properties. Anti-coagulants, also known as blood thinners, prevent the formation of blood clots and decrease the threat of stroke, cardiac failure, and obstruction in the veins and arteries.
Detoxification: Seaweed possesses the ability to detoxify and cleanse the body and facilitates the excretion of toxic waste. The binding property of the natural absorbent, alginate, which is present in seaweed, makes toxic materials, including heavy metals like lead, mercury, and other pollutants indigestible and eliminated them from the body through bowel movements.
Influenza: Seaweed possesses anti-viral properties that have been proven promising in providing a protective effect against Influenza B virus. Seaweed extracts obstruct the absorption of harmful viral particles in the cells and prevents the body from getting infected.
Cardiovascular Health: Seaweed has been useful in sustaining lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body. This helps in maintaining a healthy heart, smooth circulation in the blood vessels, and prevents fatal conditions like heart failure, atherosclerosis, and peripheral artery ailments.
Radiation Poisoning: Seaweed has the ability to protect the skin from damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight. The antioxidant effect of fucoxanthin protects the skin from photo-aging, pigmentation, and wrinkle formation, while also making it an effective component to be used in the cosmetic industry for the manufacturing of sunscreens. Various research studies conducted to investigate the radio-protective effect of seaweed extracts against the exposure to gamma radiations have shown positive results.
Protects Your Eyes: The anti-ocular inflammatory effect exerted by fucoxanthin, present in seaweed, has shown promising results in the prevention of after-cataract.
Healthier Skin: The wealth of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants in seaweed helps in keeping the skin revitalized, moisturized, and youthful. These elements guard the skin against the harmful effects of environmental pollutants and helps to slow down the skin’s aging process.
Hair Care: The high mineral content of seaweed also aids in maintaining healthy hair. They help in strengthening the roots and shafts of hair follicles and make them thick and lustrous. Due to this beneficial effect, it has been proven valuable in the manufacturing of shampoos and hair creams.
Culinary Usage: Some seaweed has a nice flavor and is served as a delicacy in many Asian countries such as Japan, China, and Korea. Nori, Kombu, and wakame are some of the most commonly grown and used species in these countries. Famous Japanese sushi roll uses seaweed called nori as an ingredient with rice and raw fish. Seaweed such as agars and carrageenans are used in many processed food items like yogurt, health drinks, non-vegetarian dishes, and even high-quality German beer. The harvesting of seaweed is done to extract phycocolloids such as agar, carrageenan, and alginate to use them as food additives or preservatives for fish, meat dishes, and baked items.