Seaweed and nutrition
When you soak dried seaweed in water, it restores itself to its original shape and size. Five grams of dried seaweed translates into fifty grams of water soaked seaweed. Whether you use it fresh or in dried form, always try to keep a 2:1 ratio between brown and red seaweed, in order to fully benefit from all healthy and nutritious qualities of both color groups. It is even better when you also add green seaweed to your diet. By eating seaweed on a daily basis, you restore the natural balance of your body’s mineral levels, which in turn leads to a healthier intestinal environment.
Seaweed and nutritional benefits
Seaweed is an incredibly versatile product in terms of physical appearance, but also with regards to its nutritional value. Most algae are rich in minerals, such as, calcium, sodium, iron and iodine and contain trace elements. Some kinds of seaweed are also a great source of vegetable proteins and vitamins A, C and E. Those parts of seaweed that the body cannot break down are completely harmless and can be viewed as roughage.
Seaweed can be a natural, healthy addition to our daily diet in terms of:
- vegetable proteins
- trace elements
Seaweed is highly recommended by nutritionists, because the nutritional value of modernly produced food has severely declined over the years and many people do not have the time to maintain a healthy and varied diet. Minerals and trace elements are essential for your digestion and metabolism, as it aids the body in absorbing vitamins. Iron, for example, is vital for the transportation of oxygen through our body. Also for the growth and maintenance of tissue, the functioning of muscles and nerves, you need a large variety of minerals.
Seaweed does not just possess beneficial qualities; it contains unique combinations of nutrients. Combinations that do not occur in ‘land vegetables’.
- more vitamins, minerals and cell salts that any ‘land vegetable’
- the vitamin B complex
- natural iodine in quantities much higher than any plant on land
- laminarin and fucoidan (to prevent an iodine deficiency)
- antioxidants (antioxidants neutralise harmful free radicals)
- lots of essentials amino acids and essential fatty acids, including DHA
- essential glyconutrients (vital to our immune system; a dietary supplement found in sugars from plants and the key to cell communication and the healthy functioning of cells according to scientists. They do not fall under the category of vitamins or minerals.)
- vegetable hormones and lignans (Lignan is a group of substances found in plants, especially in linseed, hence the name. Lignan is one of the most important classes within the phytoestrogens)
- many galactans (agar and carrageenan)
- an ideal ratio potassium – sodium (2,4:1)
- natural antibiotics and antibacterial substances
- antibodies, antiviral and antiparasitic elements
myostatin (an inhibitory growth factor for abnormalities in muscle development)
anti-inflammatory agents with valuable and easily absorbable vegetable calcium
- lots of moderate monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Monoamine oxidase is an umbrella term for a group of enzymes that are responsible for the degradation of monoamines. MAOIs are used as an antidepressant and are sometimes also prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s disease.