A Rich Seaweed Diet - Health Benefits and How to Do It

What are the benefits of a rich seaweed diet, and how can we go about incorporating this very nutritious food?

It has become very evident that there is a definite relationship between the digestive system and the decisions we make concerning our food. As a result, good nutrition is becoming a way of life. Seaweed is one of the areas being researched, with positive effects being discovered, other than adding iodine to the diet - for example, for thyroid function, as well as hair and nail growth.

There have been numerous benefits connected with eating seaweed, as many Asian cultures can attest to, with their use of the sea product dating back about 1,200 years. These include boosting the immune capabilities in the body, protecting against such cancers as thyroid, decreasing high blood sugar as well as cholesterol levels, and helping the body to detoxify itself of free radicals and toxins, including heavy metals. Many important health benefits of a rich seaweed diet, indeed.

The nutrient content of the vegetable also contributes greatly to the health benefits of seaweed diets. Containing such minerals as calcium, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, iron, magnesium as well as many of the trace elements, it helps in areas such as weight loss, too. It is also a source of complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids, which helps when you are cutting down on animal proteins because of their fat content.

Adding fiber to the diet improves the function of the gastrointestinal tract and helps in the feeling of fullness (particularly kanten). Besides fiber, seaweed also contains vitamin A, the B complex and vitamin B12, vitamin C, folic acid, as well as niacin. Not to mention it has significant amounts of vitamins K, D, and E.

As you can see, a rich seaweed diet has many health and nutritional benefits.

Does this then mean we should forego most foods for seaweed? Though you can obtain seaweed in various forms - capsules, dried-chopped, minced or powdered, extracts, pureed jelly (and for topical use), and you can see the benefits of incorporating it into your diet, it is not always easy to 'make a meal of it'.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to incorporate this sea vegetable into a rich seaweed diet.

Seaweed not only provides great nutrition, it binds and thickens, giving everything an enhanced and creamier texture. Most people do not notice the difference when it is used in soups, casseroles, slow cooked meals, and any of the entrées requiring a sauce. And for children, it can be added to favorites foods (such as milk, etc.) to make nutritious snacks and even desserts (sugar cookies - just omit salt and add 1 tsp of dried kelp), due to many of its properties. For babies, mix with any pureed food.

The question, therefore, is how to add it to an existing diet to make the diet better. Because most seaweed is sold in its dehydrated form, it is easy to add to every salad you eat - which should be no less than two a day. It can be added to every stir-fry you make, every dish of vegetables you serve (at least two everyday), every casserole or stew you place before your family, and in every drink of green tea or smoothie of fruits and vegetables. What a rich seaweed diet that would be!

Many Asian countries dry and use seaweed as a wrap to keep other foods contained as they eat. One example is sushi in Japan. Further, seaweed flakes are easily added to cereals, and grain meals of rice or oats. Seaweed can also easily be baked into bread or served with whole grain pasta dishes.

Many seaweed varieties have no flavor (some do and need getting used to), few calories, the same type of fiber as such foods as apples, strawberries, nuts, and oatmeal, as well as rich amounts of iron and calcium. If you are trying to lose weight, you can dissolve 2g into a hot liquid and it will boost the system with nutrients as it curbs the appetite.

So, these are some tips and ideas on consuming a rich seaweed diet. If you aren't already doing so, you may wish to start enjoying the many health benefits of this superfood from the sea.

Having read about rich seaweed diets, you can learn more about this vegetable by reading the other related seaweed articles and pages.

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