Algae may resemble a muddy spinach, but this green or marine vegetable Dark brown has a high amount of nutrients and provides several health benefits. These include digestive health, effects of cholesterol reduction and loss of body weight. Get your daily dose of a number of essential minerals and vitamins with only a small amount of seaweed such as nori, kep or kombu.
Alginate, the natural fiber found in some types of marine algae, such as kelp, may help with digestion and reduce fat absorption. A study by scientists Dr. Iain Brownlee and Professor Jeff Pearson at Newcastle University found that eating seaweed reduced fat digestion by more than 75 percent. Fiber also helps you feel full faster and prevents overeating. These findings indicate that if you add algae to your diet, you could lose weight and reduce unhealthy levels of blood cholesterol.
Like other vegetables, seaweed contains essential minerals and vitamins that you need to have a healthy, balanced diet. According to the Best Health site, only one gram of seaweed gives you your daily dose of iodine, a mineral critical for the healthy function of the thyroid. In addition, a type of brown seaweed called kombu contains the fucoxanthin pigment, which can help your body metabolize fats for energy. Best Health also reports that a portion of seaweed has more calcium than broccoli and is almost as rich in protein as legumes. Other nutrients that contain seaweed are vitamin B-12 and vitamin A.
Healthy fats for the heart
Your body requires healthy fats as an essential part of a balanced diet. Seaweed provides the healthy fats for the heart called omega 3 fatty acids. The Dr. Oz Show website warns that one leaf of nori seaweed contains the same amount of omega 3 fatty acids as two avocados. This type of fat helps raise the levels of good HDL cholesterol, while reducing the levels of bad LDL cholesterol. These fatty acids also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Add seaweed to your diet
There are several ways to add seaweed to your regular diet. The flat leaves of the nori seaweed are used to roll the sushi. You can add them to a burrito or put it inside a sandwich or cut it into strips and mix them in a salad or soup. Buy the strips of kelp brown or green seaweed and add them to breads, pizzas, potatoes, pasta, stews, stews or soups. Or make seaweed chips by sprinkling olive oil over pieces of fresh seaweed and baking them until crispy.