Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Is Seaweed a Superfood?


I ate seaweed regularly in Korea. It was often served, in various forms, as a side dish at restaurants. There was one restaurant, affectionately referred to as "Soup Tent" that would usually serve it with our food- and if they had run out, we would elect someone to go to the nearest mart and buy some. It was that important to the meal.

My sweet Job Lot find.
I've seen it sold in a few Asian specialty stores, but it is usually way too expensive for me to even think of buying any. It's hard to justify spending $12 on a product that you spent years paying $7 for- even if it's imported. Today, I stumbled into some at Job Lot- $2 for 5 packs- not bad!

I've seen a handful of articles calling seaweed a "superfood" or explaining why "you should eat seaweed right now!" While I might not believe that it belongs in the superfood category, I definitely see the benefits of adding it into your diet in some capacity. Here's what I know::

Seaweed contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. However, given the common serving sizes, it would be difficult to derive sufficient amount of those nutrients.

Seaweed does contain a rare mineral that is missing from many other foods: iodine.

Iodine is crucial in maintaining a healthy thyroid (a gland in the neck with the difficult job of maintaining healthy hormone levels in the body).

Even mild iodine deficiency can be problematic. The issue manifests subtly; causing issues like fatigue, depression, susceptibility to disease, and inability to lose weight.

Seaweed is a great source of antioxidants.

Not all seaweed is created equal. There are many varieties that are treated in several different ways. For example, there is a variety of red seaweed that in 10 grams, offers 34 times the amount of potassium than that of a similarly portioned serving of banana. Potassium is important, but too much can have a dangerous effect on your kidneys. Just be careful and know what type you're eating and adjust accordingly.

And, in my opinion, the most interesting fact:
The chemical composition of seaweed is fairly close to that of human blood plasma! That makes seaweed a great at regulating and purifying our blood.

What are some creative ways you've used seaweed?

[Based on previously knowledge and information from the following sources:,]

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