Wakame seaweed is a type of brown seaweed that is commonly used in traditional Japanese and Korean cuisine. It has a mild, delicate flavor and a slightly chewy texture, making it a popular ingredient in soups, salads, and other dishes. But did you know that wakame seaweed also has a number of surprising health benefits?
Health Benefits Of Wakame Seaweed
1. High in Nutrients
Wakame seaweed is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals (1). It is particularly high in iodine, which is essential for thyroid function and the proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It also contains high levels of iron, magnesium, and calcium.
2. Low in Calories
Despite its many nutritional benefits, wakame seaweed is relatively low in calories. One ounce of dried wakame seaweed contains just 25 calories, making it an excellent option for those trying to lose weight.
3. Rich in Antioxidants
Wakame seaweed is rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals (2). These antioxidants can also help to reduce inflammation, which is a contributing factor in many chronic diseases.
4. Good for Heart Health
Wakame seaweed contains compounds called fucoxanthin and fucoidan, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties (3). These compounds have also been shown to improve heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease.
5. May Help Prevent Cancer
Wakame seaweed has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, which may be due to its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds (4). In particular, wakame seaweed has been shown to have a preventive effect against breast, lung, and colon cancer.
6. May Improve Skin Health
Wakame seaweed is rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy skin (5). It contains high levels of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like zinc and iodine, which help to nourish the skin and prevent aging.
7. Good for Bone Health
Wakame seaweed is also rich in minerals, including calcium and magnesium (6). These minerals are important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.
8. May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Some studies suggest that wakame seaweed may be able to lower blood pressure (3). The high levels of potassium and magnesium found in wakame seaweed may help to dilate blood vessels, which can lead to lower blood pressure.
9. Good for Digestive Health
Wakame seaweed contains a type of soluble fiber called alginate, which can help to regulate digestion and prevent constipation (7). It also contains compounds that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which are important for overall health.
10. May Help Boost the Immune System
Wakame seaweed is rich in beta-glucans, which are complex sugars that have been shown to have immunomodulatory effects (8). These compounds can help to boost the immune system and protect against infection.
Wakame seaweed is an incredibly nutritious food that provides many health benefits. It is low in calories, high in nutrients and antioxidants, and may help prevent cancer, improve skin health, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system. If you are looking for a healthy, delicious ingredient to add to your diet, look no further than wakame seaweed.