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Understanding The Full Nutritional Value of Seaweeds: Vitamins, Minerals, Protein, Carbohydrates & Fat

The nutritional value of seaweed far exceeds any land plants. The first plants on earth, seaweeds are among the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Learn more about the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats they offer.

f048222t Nourish your body thoroughly by adding seaweed to you diet

Seaweeds are the most ancient plants on earth, and among the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. The chemistry & physiology of seaweeds (essentially sea vegetables), is very different to that of land plants. Seaweeds absorb all the minerals and nutrients in seawater (many of which are no longer present in soils today), and are able to concentrate the basic elements which are the building blocks of the human body.

Seaweeds contain all five essential nutrients of a good diet – vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, protein & fat and if you are not already eating them, we hope this article gives you some incentive to get started!

Seaweed’s Vitamins and Minerals

Compared to land vegetables, sea vegetables have up to 20 times more usable minerals, concentrated calcium & iron, and possess the ideal ratio of potassium to sodium. They are also rich in vitamins, contain all minerals and trace elements identified as health requirements and contain other nutrients, many of which are known to offer protection from radiation or chemical pollutants. (The amount of individual minerals & essential elements varies according to the specific seaweed, but they are naturally presented in balanced proportions for easy assimilation by the body).

They are the richest foods in natural organic iodine, with a high bio-availability, which boosts metabolism, regulates weight, and stimulates cellular activity (this in turn burns fats and eliminates toxins).

Seaweeds can offer one of the very few plant based sources of Vitamin B12 so provide excellent nutritional support for vegans and vegetarians especially who avoid animal protein. They also provide an aray of other minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Seaweed’s Protein

Proteins in seaweed are offered in a simple form which is easy for human bodies to assimilate.  This protein is also low in calories and fat, alkaline, and contains no cholesterol. Red seaweeds tend to offer the highest protein of all seaweeds.

Seaweed’s Carbohydrates

Seaweeds also contain exceptional saccharides in the form of glyconutrients ( for example in Agar & carrageenan) & complex sugars (like Mannitol).  Seaweed carbohydrates are slow releasing sugars in the form of fibers, supplying plenty of energy with few calories. The fibers in seaweed come in soluble & insoluble forms, and both are able to bind water, or mineral cations, and may be used by colonic microflora, as fermentable substrate, to provide prebiotic benefits & facilitate the binding, lubrication & evacuation of toxins.

Seaweed’s Fatty Acids

Ocean vegetables contain fatty acids with a favourable ratio of Omega-3, anti-oxidants & phyto nutrients.

Other nutritional value of seaweeds- Balancing 

Seaweeds are generally low in sodium and therefore do not have an adverse effect on blood pressure. They are a very positive alternative to those on a low sodium diet as are naturally salty but also have a far improved mineral content than pure table salt.  The alginates they contain actually help balance salts in the body by eliminating excess sodium & environmental toxins.

Seaweeds contain phytohormones & sterols; with almost no calories.

Being one of the most alkaline foods one can eat, seaweeds support the neutralisation of acidity in the body

Read more about how seaweeds help to balance the body’s various regulatory functions here.

Other nutritional value of seaweeds- Cleansing and Detox

Seaweeds have unique compounds which attract toxins, and some of them, like Agar and Irish moss, also have a gentle laxative effect, helping the body to eliminate waste more efficiently. Read more about how seaweeds can help to cleanse and detox here.

In summary, the nutritional value of seaweed is unrivaled, and holistic.  One does not have to eat great quantities of seaweed in order to enjoy the health benefits they offer. Rather than consumer a handful of supplements daily, just start to add a sprinkle of seaweed seasoning to your regular diet or read here to get some tips on which seaweeds to buy.

Ensure you buy good quality seaweeds which have been dried naturally (so they retain their vitamins and natural enzymes), tested for contaminants and harvested ethically and sustainably.  

Disclaimer: This material is provided for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is generic and may not include the latest research. We encourage you to do your own research and discuss your findings with a qualified health practitioner who can help you validate the outcomes in the context of your specific & individual health situation.

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