People living by the coast of the world’s great seas and oceans have been eating seaweed for thousands of years. The Native Americans ate it, as did many prehistoric cultures - and it is common in Asian cuisine today.
Science has confirmed that seaweeds are a very healthy food, extremely nutrient rich and containing 10 times as much fiber and over twice as much protein as cabbage. At the same time, a 20 gram serving of kelp contains just nine calories.
More than that, brown algae seaweeds including kelp, wakame, and others have been shown to have tremendous medicinal properties especially because of their content of bioactive compounds called fucoidans.
Wakame, an edible brown seaweed or kelp common in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisines, has been shown to have beneficial effects on stroke, hypertension or high blood pressure (BP), viral infections, tumors, oxidation and inflammation while promoting a good immune system.
In fact, there are few foods in nature that are so chockfull of nutrients and health benefits. Wakame is a great source of the following minerals and vitamins:
- Magnesium - known to be critical in the contraction and relaxation of muscles, function of certain enzymes in the body, production and transport of energy and protein production.
- Iodine - needed for the process of converting food into energy. It also maintains the balance of the thyroid gland and is needed for the production of thyroid hormones.
- Calcium - every 100 grams of raw wakame contains 150 milligrams of calcium, which is necessary for strong healthy bones and prevention of osteoporosis.
- Iron - essential for the production of red blood cells and prevention of anemia.
- Vitamins A, C, E, and K - all important for skin health and repair, along with boosting the immune system.
- Vitamin D - promotes absorption of calcium for healthy bones and enhances the nervous, muscle and immune systems.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - is needed for proper use of nutrients in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the foods we eat. It is also necessary for red blood cell production. Riboflavin functions as an antioxidant and works in the body with other vitamins such as niacin, folate, and vitamin B6.
- Folate - helps make new cells and is especially important for infant development.
- Lignans - these natural chemicals are thought to play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer.