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Think of seaweed and it is likely that you will think of something that comes from the sea, and that you only see when swimming in the ocean.  But seaweeds are actually plants that can have a whole host of health benefits for you.  Read on to learn more about their amazing properties.

What are Seaweeds?

Seaweeds are edible plants from the sea that are rich in minerals and nutrients.  All of the minerals that are needed by humans are found in seaweeds including calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, and zinc.  Nutrients include vitamin A (as beta-carotene), vitamins B1, B2, B6, niacin, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and folic acid.  There are also trace amounts of vitamin B12.  It also contains soluble fibre and omega 3 fatty acids.  As well, seaweeds contain all of the trace elements that the body needs in the correct balance.

Seaweed is one of the richest sources of iodine and thus promotes thyroid health.  This is one of its most important health benefits. As little as 25 grams per week of dried seaweed will improve your iodine levels.

Benefits of Seaweed

There are many different types of seaweed but all have health benefits.  These include:

• cleansing the body of toxins and pollutants
• improving the health of the hair
• regulating hormones
• helping in metabolism
• warming the body to promote mental youthfulness
• enriching the bloodstream
• stimulates and improves blood and lymph circulation
• nourishes, oxygenates and detoxifies the skin
• promotes mental wellbeing
• strengthening the immune system
• correcting mineral deficiencies
• helping with brain development
• helping to prevent osteoporosis
• dissolving fatty wastes through the skin
• lowering cholesterol
• stabilising blood pressure
• promoting a healthy intestinal tract
• reducing tension
• relieving muscle pain and fatigue

Types of Seaweed

There are several different types of seaweed.  These include:

• Kelp – there are thousands of different types of kelp and it is exceptionally rich in iodine, making it fantastic for treating thyroid issues.  It is also rich in iron, magnesium and folate.
• Laver or Nori – is used by the Irish and Welsh.  Nori is a type of laver and it is generally sold as flat sheets or flakes.  It is commonly used in sushi.  It is rich in iodine, iron, protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and riboflavin.
• Dulse – is very nutritious, with around 10 to 20 percent protein and many vitamins and mineral including iron, magnesium, and beta-carotene.  As well as its health benefits, it is used in skin care and cosmetics.
• Carrageen – is rich in retinol and minerals and is used to thicken foods.  It is the vegetarian equivalent of gelatine.
• Wakame – has anti-obesity properties and is very high in EPA, an essential fatty acid.  It can be added to soups and stews.


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