Wakame, this ‘seaweed’ or more accurately, algae plays a major role in both Japanese and Korean cuisines where it is often served as part of soup dishes. Examples include Miso Soup in Japan and Miyeok guk ( which means seaweed soup in Korean). Besides being an ingredient that adds a unique flavour to soup dishes, it also has many health benefits too. Join me as we explore some of the health benefits that Wakame possesses.
Health benefits of Wakame
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Promote weight loss
- Improve thyroid health
- Contains Fucoidan which has many health benefits including enhancing immunity
- Anti-diabetic effects
- Enhance overall cardiovascular health
Wakame has high amounts of Omega-3 which could help to reduce inflammation in the body, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes, arthritis and medical conditions related to digestion.
Promote weight loss
Some research indicates that Wakame can help promote weight loss thanks to a carotenoid (a pigment found in Wakame) called Fucoxanthin that helped to reduce body fat and triglycerides in the test subjects. In addition Wakame is possibly able to reduce the effects of Metabolic Syndrome. These benefits indicate how Wakame could potentially be a boon for people grappling with issues connected to probable difficulties in the breaking down of fats in their body.
Improve thyroid health
Thanks to the high iodine content that Wakame possesses, it can help those who have thyroid issues due to a lack of iodine and thereby help to maintain good overall thyroid health by facilitating the efficient production of thyroid hormones in the body.
Contains Fucoidan which has many health benefits
The longevity of the Japanese thanks to their diet has long fascinated many researchers. Furthermore, some scientists found that a polysaccharide sulfate molecule within Wakame called Fucoidan has many properties that facilitate long lifespans by contributing to the healthy overall functioning of the body. Some of these properties will be described below.
Fucoidan in Wakame helps to enhance your immunity
Fucoidan has the ability to remove toxins in the body and help to regulate your immune system thus enabling greater protection against viruses and bacteria that may invade your body. It does so by preventing these foreign viruses and bacteria from latching on to the cells in your body, which thereby wards off any potential dangers of contracting a viral infection.
Fucoidan in Wakame has cancer fighting abilities
The Fucoidan found in Wakame has the ability to enhance the robustness of your immune system as discussed above. This ability of Fucoidan also has the potential to help fight cancer as studies have indicated that Fucoidan is capable of helping to kill cancerous cells in the body, which aids in the inhibition of the growth of cancer tumors.
Thanks to the Fucoidan found in Wakame, this algae is capable of being a potent tool in the toolkit of diabetics who are dealing with this condition. This is due to Fucoidan’s ability to stabilize and slow down the digestion of starch from carbohydrates which could help to reduce the likelihood of potentially dangerous insulin spikes or postprandial glucose.
Enhance overall cardiovascular health
Wakame also can help to facilitate good cardiovascular health in the following ways: one, by helping to break down fats more effectively and two Wakame’s anti-inflammatory properties. One major lynchpin in Wakame’s cardiovascular benefits in addition to its high levels of Omega-3 is Fucoidan once again.
Wakame truly is a superfood
With all of Wakame’s nutritional and healing benefits, it has truly proven itself to be a superfood of the highest calibre. This powerful attribute on the part of Wakame is visible in how research has shown that Wakame consumption has a connection with overall longevity as seen in the long lifespans of many Japanese people. This is prominently so among Okinawans, who consume about four to six grams of Wakame on a daily basis. This makes it a very powerful resource that one should consider adding to their diet to facilitate greater long-term well-being. Do consult a good nutritionist about including Wakame in your diet. Doing so can help you be sure about how much Wakame you can consume depending on your state of health, before you add it to your daily food intake.