Wakame seaweed is a frequently enjoyed sea vegetable in Japan. With its potential health benefits, you may want to consider adding it to your own diet.
More and more people are making the commitment to healthier eating and are trying to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets. One of the advantages of living in America is the ready access to food from a variety of cultures. One diet that’s lauded for its health value is the Japanese diet. The Japanese have one of the longest life spans in the world as well as low rates of obesity and chronic disease. One Japanese food that’s received interest because of its potential health value is wakame seaweed. Although not typically part of the mainstream American diet, the Japanese enjoy this vegetable frequently. It’s been a favorite for awhile with the natural food crowd in America and interest in this healthy vegetable is growing. What are the health benefits of wakame seaweed?
The Health Benefits of Wakame Seaweed
Wakame seaweed is high in a variety of minerals and nutrients which are a product of its kelp content. This vegetable is extremely low in calories with only about five calories per serving with minimal fat. Although high in sodium, it’s a good source of other minerals including magnesium, iodine, calcium, and iron. It’s also high in vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as folate and riboflavin. It’s also a source of lignans which are thought to play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer. In fact, a study published in the journal Cancer Science in 2005 demonstrated that wakame seaweed effectively suppressed growth of breast tumors in rats.
Another area of interest relating to the health benefits of wakame seaweed is its role in promoting weight loss. A study carried out in Japan and presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in September of 2008 showed that an ingredient found in this vegetable known as fucoxanthin promoted weight loss in rate by increasing the rate at which fat is broken down. The rats who received the wakame seaweed lost up to ten percent of their body weight. Although studies have yet to be conducted on humans, researchers are optimistic.
How to Get the Health Benefits of Wakame Seaweed
For a food so low in calories, the health benefits of wakame seaweed are impressive. With a taste somewhat similar to spinach, this is a versatile vegetable that can be added to soups and salads, giving them a slightly salty flavor. It can also be enjoyed on its own with a little rice vinegar. Wakame in its dry form can be purchased in packages at most health food stores and natural food markets. Rehydration is as simple as adding water.
Why not consider adding some healthy wakame seaweed to your diet?