Seaweed offers us one of the best sources of iodine, which can help support your thyroid gland. The vitamins and minerals it contains include vitamins K and B, zinc and iron, and many antioxidants.
It has been eaten in Asian countries, such as Japan and China, for centuries, and finally it’s becoming more and more popular in the western world. Many studies have shown that it helps increase weight loss because it contains a substance called fucoxanthin that apparently increases the protein that metabolises fat – benefiting people with Type 2 diabetes.
It also contains a substance called alginate which can help prevent bloodsugar spikes, which in turn may reduce the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Scientific tests have shown that the carbohydrate in seaweed called fucans may help prevent blood-clotting, which can cause heart disease.
Be careful where you source your seaweed – some can contain a lot of heavy metals. There is a lot of scaremongering about consuming too much iodine, but what is not promoted is the fact that many of us are walking round with an extreme iodine deficiency.
Heating food can kill 90% of the iodine we think we are consuming. It’s really important to understand its huge health benefits and wake up to the fact that the Japanese, as a nation, are far healthier than us, so why don’t we start learning from those that know more about nutrition? Next time you go out for a Japanese, order the kelp salad or, if you can’t hack the taste, get the miso soup with lots of seaweed in it – and know you will be chewing on something that has huge health benefits.
If you want to get creative, it’s very easy to find Nori sheets and follow an online recipe for avocado Maki wrapped in Nori. Like all food products, it’s important to know what you’re buying and, in my opinion, the best and cleanest seaweed source I have found to date is seaweedandco.com.