Health Benefits and nutrition value of Wakame Seaweed

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Wakame Seaweed Quick Facts
Name: Wakame Seaweed
Scientific Name: Undaria pinnatifida
Colors Deep green
Calories 4 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Manganese (6.09%)
Sodium (5.80%)
Vitamin B9 (5.00%)
Copper (3.11%)
Iron (2.75%)
Wakame (scientific name Undaria pinnatifida), is an edible seaweed, marine algae and sea vegetable. It possesses a subtly sweet but distinctive and strong flavor as well as texture. It is a type of brown algae but turns to green when processed. In Japan, sea farmers have cultivated wakame since Nara period. Similar to other seaweeds, wakame possesses health boosting properties. This seaweed also possesses minerals (such as iron) and chlorophyll. Moreover, sea vegetables promote circulation, promote hair & skin health and also boost metabolism.

Wakame is packed with minerals such as sodium, manganese, calcium and magnesium. Also it contains Vitamins C, A, K, E and B vitamins (such as folate). Its intake helps to combat cancer and in Japan, the rates of breast cancer with regular intake of wakame seaweed. The presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory levels in seaweed helps to lower the chances of heart ailments. Furthermore, it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids helpful for depression, hormone issues an ADHD.

Wakame has a pigment called fucoxathin responsible for distinctive greenish to brown hue. It grows in inter-tidal cold waters of Northern hemisphere oceans at depth of 3 to 10 meters.

Health Benefits of Wakame seaweed

  1. Healthy weight

Wakame possess low amount of carbohydrates, calories and fats without adding too much calories to the diet. It is recognized for its fat burning properties. Presence of fucoxanthin prevents fat accumulation of fat and triggers fat oxidation. It adds bulk to density and keeps one full for longer time period with benefits of fiber.

  1. Helpful in treating anemia

Wakame seaweed offers 0.28 mg of copper, 0.28 mg of iron in 10 grams of serving. It makes it beneficial for people experiencing iron deficiencies. Wakame could be added to salads, soups and pickled as side dish to promote the intake of copper and iron. It contradicts diseases such as anemia and maintains high levels of energy.

  1. Supports digestive health

Wakame is a great source of fiber required for maintaining digestive functions. Fiber facilitates body to emit regularly and prevent the chances of diarrhea. The immune boosting properties maintain the gastrointestinal tract free from diseases. The regular bowel movement assures body to absorb nutrients efficiently and break down fats as well as complex carbohydrates in food easily.

  1. Lowers bloating

Wakame has low content of sodium and possesses diuretic properties and supports water retention in the body. Bloating is caused due to water retention and regular intake of wakame helps to prevent this condition.

  1. Prevention of breast cancer

Wakame helps to obtain required iron preventing iron deficiency and prevents the onset of breast cancer. Vitamin C, lignans and selenium are powerful antioxidant that focuses on cancerous cells and inhibits the tumor growth and lumps in breasts. It protects cells from oxidative damage and eliminates free radical cells.

  1. Cognitive health

Loaded with nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and good fats promote bodily functions as well as maintain brain health. Study shows that individuals with daily wakame intake show high alertness and healthy brain activity in comparison to those who does not consume it. It maintains healthy memory and brain function when people ages without affecting memory loss.

  1. Lower inflammation

Wakame has anti-inflammatory properties and also lowers heartburn. Inflammation is the major cause for health conditions and helps to soothe inflammations on skin, joints and also treats fever. It prevents arthritis, osteoporosis and joint pain.

  1. Treat hypertension

Besides affecting mind, hypertension adversely affects heart as well. It could lead to heart failure and result in symptoms related with stroke. It is closely associated with high blood pressure in the body and results in severe effects if not properly treated. Diet is a way to add isothiocyanates to the blood and also manage high blood pressure as well as other diseases that leads to diabetes.

  1. Slows aging process

Aging is a natural process which could not be stopped ultimately but the process could be slowed. Wakame is an antioxidant source especially vitamin C, an ingredient that supports collagen formation, provides elasticity to the skin, younger looking skin and lowers free radicals effects.

  1. Treatment for thyroid

The deficiency of iodine worsens the thyroid conditions and balance thyroid hormone TSH.

  1. Enrich with B vitamins

Wakame seaweed is an excellent source of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6. These vitamins are challenging to be obtained from vegetables. Wakame has folate in it which stimulates iron absorption in the body and prevents other abnormalities. It is beneficial for expecting women as folate prevents the chances of neural tube defects in children. It also promotes the red blood cells count. B vitamins are regarded as mood elevators and also boost the levels of energy.

Culinary uses

  • It is preserved in salt in Japan and served fresh.
  • Make salad by mixing wakame with rice vinegar and soy sauce.
  • Toasted or baked wakame makes a nutrient rich snack.
  • Make an appetizer with marinated cucumber, salt, vinegar, salt and ginger.
  • Use wakame as a substitute for nori to make sushi.
  • Add it to miso soups or serve it as a side dish with tofu.
  • Add it to desserts to make seaweed pudding and seaweed brownies.

Precautions

  • The high sodium content does not make a healthy choice for people experiencing obesity and blood pressure.
  • Sodium acts against potassium to reduce blood pressure so one should be careful not to have excess intake.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/wakame

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/collagen-products-trend/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/wakame.html

https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-health-benefits-wakame/

https://draxe.com/wakame/

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