The last time you went to the beach you probably didn't think much about the seaweed washed up on the shore. But maybe you should have. Seaweed and other ocean vegetables are chock full of nutritional goodness. They're well worth inclusion in your daily diet: here's why.
High Concentrations of Bioavailable Iron: A teaspoon of dried sea vegetable can contain up to 35 milligrams of iron. That's a lot! Even better, this iron is accompanied by vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the type of iron you find in plants. Iron deficiency can be a big problem, particularly for toddlers and women of childbearing age. It can also be difficult for vegetarians to get enough iron in their diet, making sea vegetables a significant addition for many.
Potent Antioxidant: Antioxidants help fight free radicals, compounds that can negatively affect health and wellbeing. Sea vegetables contain high concentrations of antioxidant compounds, as well as vitamins and minerals that reduce oxidative stress. Many cardiovascular problems can be caused or worsened by oxidative stress, making sea vegetables a strong addition to a healthy diet.
High in Vitamins and Minerals: Sea vegetables are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Sprinkle a tablespoon of dried spirulina over a meal and you'll get a boost of copper, manganese, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, zinc, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Not bad for something that washes up on the shore!
Supports Good Gut Health: Sea vegetables support good gut health in two ways. First, they contain high concentrations of fiber - higher, in fact, than many fruits and vegetables. Fiber can be used as a food source by the beneficial bacteria found in your large intestine. Second, seaweed contains sugars called polysaccharides, which support the growth of good gut bacteria. Put these two factors together and it's easy to see why sea vegetables are great for gut health.
Improves Cholesterol: Research into the connection between sea vegetables and cholesterol is ongoing - and fascinating. A recent study conducted on rats found that a high fat diet supplemented with freeze dried seaweed led to a 40% reduction in cholesterol. While the results aren't yet conclusive, this is definitely something worth keeping an eye on.
There are clearly a lot of reasons to add sea vegetables to your diet. However, you're not alone if you don't find the idea of chowing down on a handful of seaweed appealing. The good news is you can get all of the benefits of sea vegetables in powdered form. Choose a standalone powdered seaweed to get all of the benefits listed above. Or, even better, choose a greens powder that contains powdered sea vegetables for even greater benefits.
However you choose to consume them, there's no doubt that sea vegetables are well worth adding to your diet.