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Wakame Seaweed

Pronounced wah-ka-may, this light to dark stringy green veggie is the tenderest seaweed of all of the edible seaweed varieties. It has potassium and adds fiber to your diet. After soaking it for about 10 minutes in water, wakame expands up to six to eight times its original size. After being soaked then cooked, long strands become really silky and tender. You can eat it raw as a salad or make seaweed soup.

Health Benefits:

Most seaweeds are regarded as a superfood.  It has long been a diet staple in many parts of the world. Especially in Asia like Japan, China, and Korea. It is now popularly enjoyed in the western countries. There are thousands of varieties of seafood. The most commonly eaten varieties include nori, wakame, kelp, dulse, spirulina, and arame. Seaweed offers a ton of health benefits that are so beneficial.

Digestion

wakame smoothie

Wakame Smoothie

Most seaweed varieties are well-known for their digestive health properties. Seaweed brings about the release of enzymes that aid in nutrient absorption. These enzymes also help with fat metabolism. Seaweed also enhances good stomach bacteria while it helps guard against the effects of harmful bacteria. There are many ways to use seaweed in your diet. Salads to soups, to smoothies, to sushi rolls, seaweed makes for a delicious ingredient to flavor your food. If you have bouts of indigestion, consider eating seaweed on a weekly basis. It will help to keep your digestive tract working great.

Detoxifying Your Organs

wakame

wakame

Keeping your body detoxified and clean is a very important in our toxic environments. Many of the processed and preserved foods we eat can have a toxic effect on our bodies. Seaweed has natural detox properties that can help cleanse the body of this toxicity before it gets stored in our organs. Green seaweed is a potent cleanser that uses its chlorophyll to help bind toxins. It gets rid of these toxins from our systems through the digestion.

Cold and Flu Viruses Can Be Stopped

We should all try to eat more of this plant during cold and flu season. Seaweed has powerful anti-viral properties that have been shown to help guard against the flu virus. Seaweed can help to prevent cells from being infected by some viruses. Because it is so readily available at many supermarkets and specialty markets today, it’s quite easy to find it and eat it weekly.

Skin Protection

Seaweed has a ton of nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants that are associated with skin health and beauty. The skin is constantly plagued by environmental effects that can be harmful and can speed up the skin’s aging process and work to ruin the health of our skin. It has been shown in certain research that seaweed has a revitalizing effect on the skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to produce blood flow to the skin. Many people in many countries have long used seaweed wraps to keep the skin clean, moisturized, and renewed. You can use different products for your skin that contain seaweed.

Heart Health

Seaweed can help to protect your heart against heart disease. Seaweed is known to reduce levels of triglycerides and bad  cholesterol. When triglycerides and LDL cholesterol are high, there is a risk for developing

sushi

Sushi

heart disease and heart failure. Bad cholesterol can cause the blood vessels to narrow with plaque that can clog and disrupt the flow of blood. To add more heart-healthy seaweed to your diet, enjoy more seaweed salads, soups that contain seaweed, or even crackers made from roasted seaweed, and of course, sushi.

Helps with Thyroid Function

Since kelp or Wakame contains iodine, it can help regulate the thyroid gland.  The thyroid is essential to help regulation of hormones. These hormones not only help keep our moods stable; they can regulate energy levels. An iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid dysfunction. By eating more seaweed such as kelp, we can guard against that iodine deficiency. If you know that you have a thyroid problem, by eating certain types of seaweed on a weekly basis, you can protect your thyroid and make sure that it has the nutrients it needs to properly function.

Guards against Cancer

Seaweed is know to be rich in antioxidants, and research has shown that seaweed can helpin the prevention of the development of some cancers. Studies have shown that some seaweed is rich in compounds that can actually block certain types of cancer cells from forming. Also, seaweed has a lot of vitamin C and disease-fighting antioxidants, which can fight against cancer. It is believed that the reason why many cancers are rare in some Asian countries like Japan is that their diet is so rich in seaweed.

Seaweed can Help Your Muscles

While exercise is important to our health, it can lead to stress for our muscles if over worked. Seaweed contains compounds that can guard against this stress that can lead to muscle damage and fatigue. Once again, rich in antioxidants, seaweed is a superfood that can benefit athletes but also older adults who may be more vulnerable to muscle fatigue.

Blood Sugar Regulation

wakame soup

wakame soup

Some types of seaweed can be as effective at lowering blood sugar as medications. Some studies have shown that ocean plants like spirulina can even reduce blood sugar levels. Some research has even said that seaweed can actually lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. When thinking about changing to a healthy diet, add seaweed to your diet and try seaweed dishes like sashimi and sushi, vegetable stir fry with seaweed, and even seaweed salads.

Weight Loss

Low in calories, seaweed is a smart option for dieters, but it’s not only it’s caloric content that can promote weight loss. Seaweed contains a certain ingredient which can effectively boost metabolism and reduce fat.  You can even add small portions to your vegetable soup or quinoa salad where you can easily mask its taste but still enjoy its incredibly healthy benefits.

In summary, I actually suffer from several of these maladies like thyroid dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome and heart burn, tired muscles, pre-diabetes, and of course, I can stand to lose some weight.  So, I better start adding lots of health benefiting seaweed to my diet, especially Wakame!

 

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