Also known as sea vegetables, seaweed is a new food that’s hitting the wellness scene. They can benefit your heart, intestines and more.

If you follow the latest food trends, you’ve probably noticed a rise in the popularity of sea vegetables. Nowadays, you can find snacks made from dried seaweed at your local grocery store, enjoy a vegetable salad from seafood at some restaurants or try a sea vegetable powder in your daily fruit smoothie. Although seaweed, sea vegetables, and sea plants seem like unique foods, these terms are often used interchangeably.

Here are some common examples of seaweed


Culinary seaweed may be a relatively new idea to many Westerners, but sea greens have long been a staple of East Asian diets. S People in these coastal regions have been consuming these plants since prehistoric times, and for good reason. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Their popularity is likely due to their versatility, health benefits, and impact on the environment.

Here are seven reasons why you should include sea greens in your diet.

1. Sea Greens May Support Heart Health

Fatty fish tend to take credit for their high levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but when it comes to these nutrients, salmon and tuna aren’t the only fish in the mix. the sea (so to speak). Sea greens are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

A study published in the September 2019 journal Phycologia found that the majority of fats in seaweed are omega-3s, and further research, published in the May 2021 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, indicates that certain varieties of red and brown algae could provide omega-3s for dietary supplements. Higher levels of omega-3s may support heart health by reducing resting triglycerides and blood pressure, among other mechanisms, scientific evidence shows.

However, more studies are needed to determine exactly how effective sea greens are in achieving these effects. Due to the small amount of sea greens that we usually consume all at once, they are unlikely to be a significant source in the diet. It is easier to incorporate more seaweed into the diet when we consume it in dried form. One tablespoon of dried spirulina contains 0.146 grams (g) of polyunsaturated fatty acids, an omega-3 fatty acid.

2. Sea Greens May Improve Digestive Health

It’s well established that getting enough fiber supports healthy digestion, feeding healthy bacteria in the microbiome and regulating bowel movement. The fiber in seaweed can help you reach your daily goal. For equal amounts, seaweed is a greater source of fiber than many fruits and vegetables. According to a previous study, microalgae (another name for seaweed) are composed of 25-75% fiber by dry weight.

Even if you only consume small amounts of seaweed, it can have a beneficial effect on your digestive health. A study published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules in June 2018 found that sugars called sulfated polysaccharides found in certain brown algae positively alter the composition of the gut microbiota. They also increased the production of short-chain fatty acids, which may have an anti-inflammatory effect in the gut, according to research.

3. Sea Greens May Support Thyroid Health

If you’re concerned about an underactive thyroid, you might consider using sea greens in your soups, salads, or smoothies. Adequate iodine intake is essential for thyroid hormone production, and kelp, nori, aram, sea palm, and dulse are all sources of iodine. That said, it is possible to overdo the iodine in sea greens. It is important to note that more iodine is not always better. Too much iodine intake can negatively impact thyroid health and lead to problems like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and goiter. If you know your thyroid hormone levels are outside the normal range, ask your doctor or dietitian about how much sea greens you can incorporate into your diet.

4. Sea Greens Could Fight Seasonal and Food Allergies

Future medications for the dreaded runny nose and watery eyes of spring could include substances from sea greens. There is some evidence that spirulina can help people with seasonal allergies. For example, an earlier study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, where people with allergic rhinitis were given a spirulina-based dietary supplement for 12 weeks. (Allergic rhinitis is another name given to seasonal allergies that affect the nasal passages). Subsequently, these people had reduced levels of interleukin 4, cytokines implicated in the development of seasonal allergies. In theory, this could mean that consuming seaweed, especially in supplement form, could reduce the severity of seasonal allergy symptoms. However, more studies are needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn about how eating seaweed in its whole form might affect spring hay fever.

Meanwhile, some animal research suggests that seaweed may also have an influence on food allergies. In one study, researchers gave polysaccharides from a red algae called G. lemaneiformis to a group of mice with shellfish allergies. Compared to a control group, the mice that received the seaweed extract saw their allergy symptoms decrease. With insufficient research on the effects of seaweed on human food allergies, it is impossible to know for sure if the same results apply to humans.

5. Sea Greens Could Help Manage Diabetes

According to a previous study, sea green vegetables could be a tool in the treatment of type 2 diabetes due to their high content of antioxidants, fiber and unsaturated fatty acids. The study showed that bioactive compounds in seaweed were effective in reducing inflammation and inhibiting enzymes that raise blood sugar levels after a meal. Although the research did not specify how much seaweed is needed to achieve these effects, the results could pave the way for future studies exploring this potential link, and for people with diabetes, it certainly can’t make a difference. wrong to incorporate seaweed into meals and snacks. A cup of raw seaweed has 33 calories, 2.8g protein, 0.4g fat, and 6.3g carbohydrates, making it a low-carb, diabetes-friendly food.

6. Sea greens help detoxify the body of heavy metals

There is a lot of misinformation about “detox” diets, but sometimes it can be beneficial to rid the body of harmful substances. There is evidence that sea greens could serve just that purpose – when it comes to ridding the body of heavy metals, in this case. A study published in a 2020 issue of the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology, and Oncology found that consuming spirulina mitigated the effects of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead. And in an April 2019 Antioxidants study, 90 days of supplementation with chlorella and another seaweed called Fucus spiralis helped reduce heavy metal levels in patients with long-term titanium dental implants. For people who are regularly exposed to heavy metals, providing a way to safely remove them from the body could improve a variety of health outcomes, including better bone health and a reduced risk of certain autoimmune diseases.

7. Sea greens are a food that promotes weight loss

As part of a weight loss diet, sea greens can be a handy food. With less than 5 calories per 2 tablespoon serving, options like raw wakame, sea kelp, and spirulina are definitely low calorie. And since fiber makes up about 75% of its dry weight, it can be particularly filling. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, which helps you stay full longer.

The antioxidants in seaweed may also promote weight loss. In a large study published in the June 2017 issue of Obesity and that spanned eight years, people who had higher levels of inflammation were more likely to have more weight gain and be overweight or newly emerged obesity. Adding sea greens to your diet may help reduce inflammation associated with these weight issues.

Would you like to try seaweed for weight loss? You can eat them dried or fresh. If you can find fresh seaweed, add it to salads, soups, and ramen. You can also incorporate them into sushi or miso soup. You can also eat the sea vegetables in a salad or sprinkle them with salt on your favorite dishes. There are as many varieties as there are ways to consume these versatile green vegetables.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.