The Power-Green You’re Probably Not Eating: Seaweed
Seaweed is a food that many of us know strictly as the brown wrapper around sushi rolls, but how many of us would go to the store and buy it on our own? Probably not many!
If we’re changing our health for the better by following a weight loss diet plan we may be missing out on this amazing green superfood: seaweed.
This superfood comes in three different colors, the two most popular being brown (like kelp) and red (like nori - the kind used in wrapping sushi rolls). Seaweed is usually served in Japanese restaurants as a small kelp salad, or as part of miso soup.
The most notable nutrient is iodine: a mineral that is rarely found naturally in our diet. Iodine is critical to supporting a health thyroid, which in turn regulates our metabolisms and hormones. In addition to this important mineral, seaweed is also a source of many other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It has been linked to reduced PMS symptoms in women, and can help regulate estrogen levels. Recent studies have also shown it to play a role in the healthy development of reproductive organs, even preventing breast cancer!
“Studies suggest that seaweed may be another important dietary component apart from soy that is responsible for the reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers.” -BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
So how do we include this seemingly slimy vegetable in our weight loss diet plans? The answer is moderation. Seaweed is incredibly high in potassium (two tablespoons has over 34 times the amount of potassium that a banana has!). It’s high iodine concentrations can also cause side-effects themselves, so it’s best on occasion instead of a daily weight loss diet plan ingredient.
Seaweed can be purchased in dried sheets from Asian grocery stores, or even in the Asian section of your local grocery store. Try lightly toasting the sheets, then crumbling them with lettuce, olive oil and lemon juice for a refreshing salad, or add some to your next soup.
Finding new flavors and ingredients to use in a weight loss diet plan is crucial to keeping things new and exciting. The exotic flavors of seaweed may be just the change you need to keep your tastebuds, and your body, nourished and intrigued. Happy eating!