According to the The New York Times, wakame, a type of seaweed, may be one of the most aggressive and invasive species. Capable of growing about an inch per day, it edges out any local marine life and chokes up beaches. However, despite being a pest, this seaweed is an incredibly healthy and delicious ingredient.
The health benefits of wakame include its ability to protect infant health, improve skin health and increase circulation. Furthermore, it is also capable of building stronger bones, maintaining hormonal balance, boosting energy levels, boosting heart health, lowering cholesterol, helping with weight loss and preventing cancer.
What is Wakame?
Scientifically referred to as Undaria Pinnatifida, Wakame is a type of seaweed. Even though it is one of the most hostile species of seaweed here on earth, it is a healthy addition to any diet plan.
In Japanese cuisine and culture, wakame seaweed is a common ingredient in salads and soups. It is also used as a side dish, similar to tofu. Wakame tastes salty and briny, yet slightly sweet. Japanese sea farmers have grown it for about 100 years, but recently it has grown in popularity in other parts of the world, especially France.
Wakame is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron, calcium, manganese, iodine, vitamin B2, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin C and folate. It also has relative amounts of fucoxanthin and lignans, both of which offer unique health benefits.
Wakame is low in calories, primarily due to its low levels of carbohydrates and fat. You can obtain 5% of your recommend folate intake from just 2 tablespoons of the food. However, while the seaweed offers many health benefits, it’s important to remember to consume it in moderation. Wakame contains sodium, an excess of which can cause more harm than good.
Health Benefits of Wakame
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of wakame:
Helps balance hormones. The iodine content helps maintain hormonal balance in the body.
Helps improve bone health. The calcium helps protectthe durability and integrity of the bones. Furthermore, it promotes fast growth and prevents osteoporosis.
Helps improve infant health. The folate in wakame helps pregnant women by lowering the chances of neural defects in infants.
Helps boost energy. The magnesium content of wakame helps ensure the efficient transfer of energy in the body. Furthermore, it helps regulate hormones throughout the body and helps in the production and utilization of protein.
Helps prevent cancer. This is probably one of the best health benefits of wakame. The iodine content of wakame helps in lower the levels of various types of cancer.
Helps improve blood circulation. The rich iron content of wakame helps increase red blood cell production, thus providing additional oxygen to various parts of the body. It also helps boost the energy, enhance skin health and more.
Helps lower cholesterol. The fucoxanthin in the food is beneficial in stimulating the liver to increase DHA production.
Helps control weight. Since wakame has just a small amount of fat, calories and carbohydrates, it helps control weight. Furthermore, the fucoxanthin content helps control obesity.
Even though many of the components of wakame are beneficial for the health, it still has a relative amount of sodium. Sodium is not the best choice for those already suffering from blood pressure conditions. You must not eat excessive amounts of wakame, because a high-sodium diet can harm your health. Sodium works against potassium to lower blood pressure.