Seaweed has been used as a food source for thousands of years in many parts of the world, particularly in Asia. In recent years, it has gained popularity as a functional food ingredient due to its many health benefits. Here are some of how seaweed can be a functional ingredient for a healthier diet:
- Rich in nutrients: Seaweed is rich in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that are important for maintaining good health. It is particularly high in iodine, which is essential for thyroid function, and also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C.
- Low in calories: Seaweed is low in calories, making it an excellent ingredient for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. It is also high in fibre, which can help to promote feelings of fullness and reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks.
- High in antioxidants: Seaweed is also high in antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against damage from free radicals. This can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Blood sugar regulation: Some studies have shown that seaweed may help to regulate blood sugar levels, which can be particularly beneficial for those with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes.
- Gut health: Seaweed contains prebiotic fibres that can help to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This can help to improve digestion and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and diarrhoea.
- Weight loss: Seaweed contains compounds that can help to promote weight loss, such as fucoxanthin, which has been shown to increase fat burning in animal studies.
- Flavour enhancer: Seaweed has a unique flavour profile that can enhance the taste of many dishes. It is often used as a seasoning or garnish in Asian cuisine and can be a great addition to soups, salads, and stir-fries.
Incorporating seaweed into a healthy diet can be easy and delicious. It can be used in a variety of dishes, including sushi, seaweed salads, soups, and stir-fries. It can also be added to smoothies or used as a seasoning for roasted vegetables. However, it is important to note that some types of seaweed can be high in sodium, so it is important to choose low-sodium varieties and consume seaweed in moderation. Additionally, those with thyroid problems should consult their healthcare provider before consuming seaweed, as it can be high in iodine and may affect thyroid function. Overall, seaweed can be a valuable functional ingredient for a healthier diet, providing a wide range of health benefits and adding unique flavours and textures to a variety of dishes.
Seakura is an eco-friendly company dedicated to growing seaweed on-land. Seakura has developed a unique land-based, super seaweed technology that replaces traditional seaweed cultivation methods. To check out our selection of food products, please visit www.seakura.ca