By Kristie Leong M.D., published Jun 11, 2008
Sea vegetable health benefits: They provide for optimal thyroid function
Sea vegetables are rich in the important mineral iodine. Without this critical mineral, the thyroid can't produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormone which is important for regulating metabolism and maintaining life. If you've seen someone with a large goiter, chances are they're deficient in iodine and would benefit from adding fresh sea vegetables to their diet. Concerned about maintaining thyroid health? You can help to optimize your own thyroid function by adding sea vegetables to your diet.
Sea vegetable health benefits: They have anti-inflammatory properties
Brown seaweed as well as several other sea vegetables, contains a biochemical known as fucoidan which has anti-inflammatory properties. Fucoidan may help to tame the inflammatory response that's thought to be responsible for a variety of chronic diseases including cancer. Just one more reason to add seaweed to your diet.
Sea vegetable health benefits: They help to detoxify
A component of sea vegetables known as alginate has been shown to be effective in treating exposure to heavy metals and radiation. Alginates seem to have the capability of binding to and helping flush out of the body heavy metals and radio nucleotides, thus reducing the ability of these components to cause DNA damage and disease. One of the best sources of heavy metal fighting alginate is kelp, available at most natural food markets.
Sea vegetable health benefits: They may reduce the risk of cancer
According to research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health, sea vegetables may reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Sea vegetables are a source of lignans which can bind to and block estrogen receptors on the breast, reducing their ability to stimulate breast tissue. Fucoidan found in kelp has also been shown to interfere with the ability of cancer cells to proliferate.
Sea vegetables are a rich source of potassium which is important for maintaining a normal blood pressure. When blood pressure levels are maintained within normal ranges, this puts less stress on the heart which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Don't forget that you can get some of the health benefits of sea vegetables not only by eating the vegetable itself but by adding a variety of seaweed based seasonings to prepared foods. It's just one more way to get healthy naturally.
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