For most people, the idea of eating seaweed is not very appetizing. However, the consumption of seaweed has an extensive following and history throughout many parts of the world, and for good reasons; they’re actually delicious and one of the world’s healthiest foods.
As a staple food in Chinese and Japanese cuisine, seaweeds are considered an essential part of a healthy diet. During times of the Ancient Orient, they were considered a food for the royal and honorable.
Today, the medicinal and culinary benefits of consuming seaweed is gaining more popularity. The coastlines of Maine in fact, are a source of some of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense seaweeds on the planet.
The Health Benefits of Seaweed
Rich in iodine, trace minerals, amino acids and medicinal complex sugars, seaweeds provide innumerable health benefits. To give you an idea of how miraculous seaweed is, considering the follow ways in which it can improve your health:
• Promotes graceful aging and prevents chronic disease
• Inhibits cellular mutations that lead to cancer
• Relieves PMS
• Alkalizes the blood
• Have potent anti-inflammatory qualities
• Lower cholesterol
• Regulates thyroid function
• Detoxifies heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and carcinogens, which may prevent birth defects
• Inhibits the growth of pathogenic viruses, candida, and bacteria
• Eliminates constipation
• Normalize blood pressure and reduce hypertension
• Improves cardiovascular health
• Neutralizes free radicals
This is just a short list of the healing potential of seaweeds, they have something to offer to everyone. They just so happen to be one of the most potent anti-aging foods around, a topic we will go into detail about.
The Beauty Benefits of Seaweed
Seaweeds are miraculous foods, they are one of the best foods you can eat for improving your overall health and physical beauty (check out our Clay Mask). They are one of Nature’s most nutritious foods, containing protein, full spectrum beta carotene, enzymes, amino acids, fiber, mucilage polysaccharides, antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C, E and B12, copious trace minerals and other special constituents.
If there is one area that all the therapeutic qualities of seaweeds can improve, it is the realm of physical beauty. Seaweed contains the sort of nutrients and therapeutic action that the skin and hair loves.
To begin, most seaweeds (and we will specify next), contain powerful abilities to detoxify the body. They contain a constituent known as algin, which absorbs toxins and heavy metals from the fluids of digestive tracts, similarly to the way a water soften removes hard metals from tap water. Less toxins in the intestinal tract means less toxins in the bloodstream, which is great news for the skin (Alitura Clay Mask) and hair. The skin and hair are nourished via the bloodstream, if the blood is toxic, it can cause inflammation in the skin pores and hair follicles. Therefore, we want blood that is free of impurities but also blood containing a lot of amino acids and minerals, that which seaweed supplies.
Additional beauty benefits of seaweed include:
• Fat loss – Seaweeds contain the same 56 minerals that makeup healthy blood. Their perfect mineral balance helps stabilize our nerve structure and ensure that our metabolism works. If you’re having trouble with weight, essentially your metabolism isn’t efficiently burning fat. One on of the many factors in a healthy metabolism is sufficient mineral balance. Without adequate minerals, the thyroid cannot function, which is the primary gland in the metabolism responsible for fat metabolism. Seaweeds are perhaps one of the best foods you could take for your thyroid, they contain natural iodine, which nourishes the thyroid and results in healthier weight but also improved hair and skin health.
• Reduced Scaring – Most skin issues have their roots in inflammation and bacterial imbalance. In the case of chronic inflammation, which can cause things like acne and eczema, there is usually a thyroid disorder. People with low thyroid function and specifically iodine deficiencies are more likely to experience fibrotic tissue (internal scar tissue from chronic inflammation). The anti-inflammatory properties of seaweed can greatly reduce fibroids or scar tissue on the skin, by correcting thyroid deficiencies.
• Anti-Bacterial – Another major factor in skin problems are bacterial imbalances. Seaweeds possess powerful anti-bacterial qualities. They contain a high mineral content of selenium, which enhances immune function against harmful yeasts like candida and other pathogenic yeast and bacteria. When pathogens overgrow on the skin’s microbiome, they can trigger a cascade of inflammatory responses that cause redness, irritation, acne and even psoriasis. Eating seaweed will correct internal imbalances of the microbiome and adding seaweed to your bath, swimming in the ocean or using kelp to a clay mask is a great way to reap the anti-bacterial benefits of seaweed.
• Protection from Stress – The way seaweed helps prevent stress induced skin aging is by returning mineral salts to the skin that are depleted by stress. Skin cells hold moisture better when they absorb mineral salts, which makes the skin suppler and elastic. Adding seaweed to your facial treatments will therefore help your skin retain more moisture, which will help plump up the skin and eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, the adrenals and thyroid, which take the damage from stress, thrive on minerals. When the body is stressed, the adrenals and thyroid use of minerals that would otherwise be used to keep the blood pH balanced and skin moisturized. By eating seaweed, you can help replenish the adrenal and thyroid, keeping them nourished and resilient in the face of stress.
• Younger Looking Skin – Some seaweeds contain molecules very similar to collagen, like Irish Moss. These mucilage polysaccharides help replenish the skin (used in our Clay Mask), enhance its immunity and smooth it. The amino acid, vitamin and mineral content of seaweed all help in the production of new, youthful skin cells.
The Healthiest Seaweeds of All
Seaweeds come in a variety of shapes, colors and flavors and are a great way to get copious amounts of vitamins, medicinal polysaccharides, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and the widest range of minerals over any other food, into your diet. There are thousands of different species of seaweeds; however, it is important to know which ones are best enjoyed as a highly nutritious food.
Below are the top most flavorful, versatile and more nutrient-dense seaweeds you can start enjoying today:
• Kombu – This particular seaweed is a great decongestant; it helps eliminate excess mucus from the body. It also improves blood pressure and contains one of the most powerful nutrients for the skin, germanium. This mineral facilitates the movement of oxygen across cellular membranes to deliver oxygen into the skin cells. It is great used in soups, stocks and broths. Add it to your bone broth for a mineralizing boost.
• Wakame – If you’re having trouble burning fat, try Wakame. It is shown in study to fight against obesity. It is also one of the rare and rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, something uncommon to come by in plant sources.
• Hijiki – This near black colored sea vegetable grows in the wild coasts of Japan, Korea and China. It is said be an attributing factor to the thick, dark and lustrous hair of oriental people who consume it regularly. However, this is likely to be a fact, consider that it is loaded with the exact mineral content that would build up the blood in such a way to nourish the hair.
• Kelp – This brown alga grows in nutrient-rich ocean water and is one of the more nutrient-dense of seaweeds. It contains near complete proteins, vitamins, minerals and iodine. It is a blood builder and purifier, relieves arthritis, and supports the HPA-axis (pituitary, adrenal and thyroid). Kelp is rich in iodine, making it great for hypothyroidism, obesity, and lymph stagnation. It is also good for prostate, pancreas and digestive health. Organic Kelp Powder is one of the nine super ingredients in the Alitura Clay Mask.