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28 August 2009 Healthy Eating, Healthy Foods 5,969 views 4 Comments/TrackbackPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

Seaweed: Nutritional Values and Benefits

“Tasting the roe-like seaweed popping in my mouth while I was vacationing in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah really got me thinking. How can this particular food be so exquisite but yet so beneficial for health? Often times it’ll be like ‘all the good food are bad food’…I really wonder.”

In case most of you are still not aware of the fact, seaweed as a food source, being one of its variety of purpose, can provide plethora of health benefits. It’s low in fat with moderate but good carbohydrate, high in protein, loaded with calcium and iron, and gives a boost of vitamin A, C and K as well as Folate. In short to say, one of the main benefits of seaweed is in its ability of nutritional provision. Plus, it’s also low in cholesterol!

Here are the approximate nutrition values per 100 gm of raw seaweed:-

  • Water = 81.58g
  • Energy = 43 kcal
  • Protein = 1.68g
  • Total fat = 0.52g (where only 0.247g are saturated)
  • Carbohydrate = 9.57g
  • Fiber = 1.3g
  • Sugar = 0.60g
  • Calcium = 168mg
  • Iron = 2.85mg
  • Magnesium = 121mg
  • Phosphorus = 42mg
  • Manganese = 0.200mg
  • Sodium = 233mg
  • Vitamin C = 3.0mg
  • Vitamin A = 116IU
  • Vitamin K = 66.0mcg

The only downside of this particular food source is perhaps it’s sodium content, which is rather high. It’s like about 10% of the recommended daily intake of sodium based on 100gm of raw seaweed consumption. For those with high blood pressure should consume less of this particular food.

Seaweeds come in various kinds are mostly used as food source by people who lives in East Asia like Japan, China and Korea. However, basically, it’s also being used by people from around the world such in Indonesia, Peru, Ireland and a few other countries limited to those living along the coastal areas.

Part of the algae family, seaweed provides it’s consumer a considerable load of health benefits. It is a great source of nutrition and being low in calorie and fat, it is quite ideal for those who are on healthy eating diet. Being nutritious by itself, it is able to address and correct the issue of minerals deficiencies. Packed with vitamin A and C, making it a great supplement for the skin. It is not something new to find many cosmetics and beauty products with seaweed base since it is excellent in nourishing the skin and hair by replenishing the lost minerals through radicals and toxin attack on your body. That is why, it is even useful in tending wounds. Since it is loaded with calcium, seaweed is also part of component in making toothpaste.

It’s nutritional value too, has made it possible as the curative properties for tuberculosis, arthritis, thyroids and goiters, colds and influenza, tumors, worm infestation as well as skin disease and problems. It has been researched too on its ability to stabilized and lowered cholesterol level, maintaining intestinal health, preventing cancers and tumors, aiding brain development, preventing osteoporosis and all of these have made it a fairly defensive food for our body system.

If you’re thinking of weight loss, seaweed may have something to offer you right beforehand. Perhaps you can categorize it in the weight loss foods, even when it’s raw. Ever wonder of how the Japanese managed to stay thin and slender? I bet if you’re transported back to the Edo period, or even at the time of Meiji Period, you’ll be surprised as to how many fat ladies you would find. This is because their main diet consists of mostly fish, seaweed, vegetables and rice. So there must be something about this right? Researches show that seaweed has the potential to increase metabolism and dissolves fatty wastes through the skin. So, perhaps if you’re on a diet, and trying to be on a healthy one, you should consider adding some seaweed into your dishes. Besides, it tastes good too. Some of the edible seaweed: wakame, nori (layered dried seaweed) and kelp.

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    4 comments so far

    1. Slimming Clubs

      I understand that sea weed can be very beneficial but have to disagrre about the taste. I have tried Lava Bread(a type of cooked seaweed) on holiday in Wales and it was awful!! Never again. Still, enjoyed the article.

    2. Mica

      I’ve never tried lava bread from Wales and now I’m curious! LOL I add seaweed to my meals and enjoy it. Mostly Asian dishes and vegan experiments (though I’m no vegan but I do love vegetables). Great article.

    3. Amanda

      I am currently living in Japan. My husband is in the military. You are right about seaweed being an aquired taste. All of my Japanese friends would make me eat lots of seaweed because it is good for me but I hated the taste…YUK!!! But then I would crinkle up some in my soups or break off a few quarter sized pieces and add it to my burger. Now I love eating my white rice wrapped in seaweed. I fill my rice balls with various fillings and then secure it with a slice of seaweed. I love it now. I can’t get my self to just snack on it but I like adding it to my snacks.

    4. L Williams

      Lava bread(Bara law) is lovely! It may not be to everyon’s taste but what is? Give it a go (but the fresh stuff is best not tinned).

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