In many Asian countries, seaweed has been used as a flavorful addition to soups, broths, stir fries, and other dishes for centuries. In recent press, brown seaweed has been hailed as a super food, and there is good reason why.
Seaweeds and sea vegetables, along with microscopic phytoplankton are like the ocean’s lungs. They account for a large amount of the oxygen in our environment as an important Co2 sink. They are also packed full of vitamin B-folate, which give the body lots of sustainable energy, magnesium, iron and calcium, as well as riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Additionally, seaweed is full of lingnans, a plant compund which is known to have cancer-fighting qualities. The benefits of sea vegetables truly are worthy of note.
Preventing Breast Cancer
Laminaria, a specific type of brown seaweed, also known as sea kelp, has been found to prevent breast cancer. It changes the gut flora and allows for regular digestion since the seaweed is composed of a large amount of insoluble fiber that must pass through the digestive tract. This type of seaweed also thins the blood and is wonderful for preventing cardiovascular disease.
Removing Heavy Metals from the Body
Sargassum multicum is another type of brown seaweed that is highly resistant to environmental pollutants. It is so resistant, that it has recently been spread to Ireland where it is taking over another, more rare type of seaweed. It was used in the Chernobyl incident as a medicinal brown seaweed to remove heavy metals and radioactive elements as well as free radicals, which can cause cancer and other diseases. This seaweed is also rich in minerals like iodine, so it is excellent for supporting thyroid health. It can also be used as a diurectic and to reduce swelling.
Promoting Weight Loss
Perhaps the biggest benefit for many people looking to lose weight, brown algae is full of a carotenoid (nutrient) that has a natural thermogenic effect, which means it supports the burning of fat in the metabolic process. The key ingredient is fucoxanthin, which supports weight loss when coupled with a smart exercise regime. It may take a few weeks for the compound to take effect, though.
Asian countries have been eating seaweed and sea vegetables much longer than the current cancer scare has been dominating the news, and the populations who eat more seaweed and less meat have fewer incidences of cancer. Perhaps it is time for you to eat your sea food, too.
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Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.