10 Reasons Why Seaweed is the New Kale

seaweed salad

Sure, we might chow down on a piece of seaweed during girl's night out at the local sushi bar, but many people don't realize that seaweed contains a variety of nutritious properties that we should be adding to our diets on a regular basis! Believe it or not, seaweed is actually renowned as a superfood according to many food experts. It is packed with fortifying nutrients that help supplement a healthy lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more.

>> Read more: Glossary of Foods: Seaweed

There are three major kinds of edible seaweed that are most commonly added to our cuisine: brown, red and green. Most of us are more familiar with the brown seaweeds, like kelp and wakame. Nori, a type of red seaweed, is what those tasty sushi rolls are wrapped in. Some of us have also probably experimented with kelp salads or miso soups that call for simmered seaweed.

seaweed

So why, exactly, do we recommend adding this superfood to your diet? Check out some of the health benefits below:

1. Seaweed contains vitamins A and C, which help boost the immune system and contribute to healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and eye health.

2. Seaweed is a great source of calcium, which aids in bone health and development, which can help prevent or treat osteoarthritis. Check out our favorite calcium-rich foods by clicking here!

3. Seaweed possesses iodine, a nutrient that is hard to find in most of our diets. Iodine is absolutely essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy thyroid. Without enough iodine in the body, we may experience fatigue, muscle weakness, heart problems, high cholesterol and impaired memory.

4. Seaweed can help regulate estrogen and estradiol levels, which might help reduce the risk of breast cancer and control symptoms of PMS!

woman laying in bed hurting from pms pain

5. Seaweed is packed full of antioxidants, which are known to counteract free radicals and slow or stop the deterioration of cell damage in the body.

6. Seaweed helps prevent inflammation, which often leads to ailments like arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, depression and obesity.

7. Seaweed is overflowing with potassium. It is estimated that 2 tablespoons of dulse, a kind of red seaweed, contains nearly 34 times the amount of potassium than can be found in the same sized banana. Keep portion control in mind when you munch on this miracle algae!

8. Seaweed contains a healthy amount of dietary fiber, which can help promote digestion and helps the body reduce fat absorption by a whopping 75 percent! Fiber also helps us feel fuller longer, which makes it the perfect snack for those of us who are watching our waistline!

9. Seaweed is full of heart-healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats can help reduce bad cholesterol, while positively impacting our good cholesterol! Are "good" fats just a marketing scam? Click here to learn more.

10. Seaweed is rich in proteins. In fact, experts estimate certain kinds of seaweed contain just as much protein as legumes, which makes it the perfect food for vegetarians who are looking to add a little creativity to their diet!

seaweed
(Photo: Marie Claire)

Want to learn more about the health benefits of seaweed? Check out our sources here: Huffington Post, U.S. National Library of Medicine, and Livestrong.com.