Seaweed for Health

Selection of Veggies from the Sea Garden

Selection of Veggies growing in the Sea Garden

Seaweed has been used medicinally in it’s natural form throughout the ages. In Japan, women are given a seaweed soup for a month after giving birth to help them build their strength. It’s full of vitamins and minerals and you will find that different seaweeds, have different levels of each. This natural source of goodness is easy to add to your favorite foods. Without making any big changes, you can make a big difference in your overall health by including 1 -2 tablespoons of seaweed a week in your diet. See http://www.seaweedcistin.com/recipes/ for ideas to get you started and remember, everything in moderation! 

Good for bones

  • Seaweed can have up to ten times the amount of calcium that milk has and also iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, boron, zinc, and over 30 other minerals. There are not many foods that have such a broad range of minerals. And that’s important because no one mineral makes your bones strong. It’s the balance of all essential minerals that builds up bone. Seaweed calcium extract is an effective calcium and magnesium source for improving bone health compared to synthetic calcium and magnesium supplementation. 

Strengthens immune system:

  • Your immune system is a network of organs and tissues that help fight off illness.  A study published in the Journal of Applied Phycology in June 2012 found that seaweed helped to strengthen immune system functions in HIV/AIDS patients. Scientists observed over a three-month period that patients eating just 5 grams of seaweed daily helped ward off increasing numbers of virus counts. Additional research has found that regular seaweed consumption yielded a positive impact on the body’s ability to stifle viral and infection rates.

Fights cancer:

  • Seaweed contains fucoidan, a complex polysaccharide, one of many polysaccharides found in kelps and other seaweeds. In research in Japan, fucoidan administered to cancer cells in a laboratory dish were virtually wiped out within 72 hours. Is good for the prostate and helps prevent growth of tumors and cleanse the body of radiation

Aids your digestive system

  • Seaweed is recommended for digestive and colon health. The nutrients contained  in seaweeds help cleanse the colon and improve digestion and absorption. This is believed to be due to the antibiotic activity of seaweed that destroys harmful anaerobic bacteria.

Helps your thyroid gland

  • This gland produces thyroid hormone (TH), which regulates, among other things, your body’s temperature, metabolism, and heartbeat. Things can start to go wrong when your thyroid is under- or over-active and even a mild deficiency of iodine can manifest itself subtly. An under-active thyroid can make one feel sluggish and tired, you could have difficulty losing weight, find your skin dry and suffer from depression. An overactive thyroid will make you anxious, unable to relax and often have difficulty concentrating due to the production of too much thyroid hormone (TH). It is important to check with your doctor if you think you suffer from either condition. 

Diabetes – type 2

  • Brown seaweed extracts appear to have the ability to interfere with the release of simple sugars from the gut, which in turn reduces high blood sugar levels after eating. Fucoidan, which is found in kelp, is a type of dietary fiber and belongs to the polysaccharide family. It has been found to balance blood sugar levels, prevent insulin over response and promote healing amongst other things, such as fighting cancer cells.

    * People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or at risk of diabetes should avoid all processed sugars.

The above information is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any ailment that you might have. We strongly advise that you contact your health professional about any medications or health problems that you have.

seaweed

Why Seaweed?

Well, other than the fact that it tastes delicious, it’s really good for you. Seaweed is one of the most nutritious plants on earth and can be used in a variety of ways around your own home, in the garden, on your skin and in your food.

seaweedSeaweed has been used as a fertilizer in gardens for years. Where I grew up it was a common sight to see the donkey coming back from the strand laden with seaweed for the next years spud crop. As times have changed this tradition has all but died out, however,  now you can buy it in liquid form or dried to add to your veg patch or container garden.

The bladderwrack that grows along the shoreline is ideal for baths. It is sustainably harvested by cutting the fonds with a sharp scissors and not taking too much from any one plant. This added to your bath leaves your skin feeling silky and soft to the touch.

When it comes to eating seaweed, the Japanese are well versed, with many yummy dishes including seaweed either as the main ingredient or as a seasoning. In western culture we are beginning to appreciate this often overlooked ingredient, for what it is, a powerhouse of nutrition. It is a well known fact that seaweed contains iodine (helps thyroid gland regulate metabolism) along with many other minerals and vitamins. Some species of seaweed have more calcium than milk and others more iron than red meat. Also high in B12 and that umami flavour!

Recently, seaweed has been making headlines with Jamie Oliver who claims it has helped him to loose weight. And as it turns out, seaweed is a natural source of sodium alginate, a chemical that can reduce fat intake by 75%. The raw material of alginate is founds in brown seaweeds that grow in cold water regions.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/230814037_Production_of_Sodium_Alginate_from_Selected_Seaweeds_and_Their_Physiochemical_and_Biochemical_Properties