If you want a super healthy and nutritious way to add extra vitamins and minerals to your diet, seaweed may be your solution.
Seaweed is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine that’s gaining popularity among health-conscious people all around the world.
If you are not familiar with seaweed, it is just a general term used to describe many different species of algae and marine plants that can grow in a variety of waters, including the sea, lakes and rivers. Algae from the sea is generally edible, while freshwater varieties tend to be toxic.
Most common types of seaweeds are: nori, kelp, sea lettuce, arame, kombu, wakame, dulse, agar.
Wakame seaweed, a marine plant that grows in the depths of Japan, China and Korea, is the third most consumed seaweed in the world after nori and kombu.
Wakame seaweed, rich in beneficial properties, is a powerful tonic and stimulates the weakened body.
For many, this brown seaweed is destined to become an increasingly common ingredient on our tables.
Let’s discover its super powers.
Properties and Nutritional Values
Wakame seaweed (Undaria pinnatifida) is one of the most popular foods in Japanese cuisine and throughout Southeast Asia. Climate change has also moved the blooms of this seaweed to the seas of New Zealand and Australia. It has also been sighted in France: since the mid-1980s it has been grown along the Breton coasts of Finistère to be sold as a gastronomic ingredient and as a cosmetic. After all, the properties of the wakame seaweed allow it to work real miracles inside and outside our body.
The wakame seaweed is rich in proteins and essential amino acids such as tryptophan, which is very precious for our sleep. It goes well with vegetable proteins of legumes and cereals. It is used to create supplements and tonic, thanks to the good supply of B vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium.
For every 100 grams of wakame seaweed there are 45 kcal, 0.64 g of fat, 9.14 g of carbohydrates, 3.03 g of protein, 0.5 g of fiber, 0.65 g of sugar, 80 g of water.
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Benefits of Wakame Seaweed
The wakame seaweed contains iodine and selenium, two very important minerals for the balance of the thyroid gland and for maintaining the metabolism. Suffice it to say that this vegetable contains a quantity of iodine that is ten times higher than that present in kombu seaweed. For this reason it is good to be careful not to abuse it so as not to have to face unpleasant contraindications.
5 Surprising Benefits of Wakame Seaweed:
The vitamins and mineral complex contained in the wakame seaweed are a panacea even for those with nutritional deficiencies.
- Strengthens too fragile nails and hair.
- Increase concentration and relieve fatigue, giving a real boost to the whole body.
- The photochemicals present in its leaves can help slow down the aging process.
- Rich in nutrients and low in calories.
- May help weight loss.
Why it is Good for the Intestine?
Thanks to its soluble fibers (and the consequent laxative effect), wakame can promote weight loss. Promotes the elimination of fats and helps the body to purify itself above all of radioactive waste and heavy metals. But the real superpower of wakame algae lies in alginates. These are colloidal fibers that can protect and soothe the gastric mucous membranes under stress. Effects on the gut include a potential reduction in gastric acidity and gastroesophageal reflux problems.
How to Eat Wakame Seaweed
The wakame seaweed can usually be found dried. If you love Japanese restaurants, you will already know that to order it you will have to ask for a goma wakame. It is usually harvested in spring. In Japan, to preserve it, it is briefly scalded in boiling water and then thrown in the cold water. The operation aims to give the wakame a beautiful green color, but above all to inhibit the growth of microorganisms that ferment. This allows it to be sold as a fresh vegetable for longer (at least in Japanese markets).
The flavor of wakame seaweed is among the lightest in the seaweed family. This is why it is very popular in the West. Soaked in water, wakame has a beautiful green leaf divided by a central rib. This part is eliminated to obtain dishes with a more delicate flavor. When dried it can be used to cover rice balls. It can be toasted and crumbled as a condiment. Or you can use mekabu, the reproductive part of the plant, rich in minerals, in vegetable stews.
Wakame seaweed goes great with sauteed onions. It releases its taste even just soaked and served with cucumber, citrus or a vinegar sauce, an ideal salad dish for the summer! Toasted in the oven and crumbled, it enhances the beneficial effects of a dish of rice or cereals. If you ever have tried a miso soup, the small pieces of green leaves that you’ve seen, is the wakame seaweed.
What Does Wakame Seaweed Taste Like?
Coming from the sea, it has a taste of the sea, salty, briny, umami flavour but without any fishiness.
As for its texture, rehydrated wakame has a slightly rubbery, slippery texture, almost squeaky when you bite into it, while dried wakame straight from the bag, that can be served also as a snack, resembles a slightly chewy potato chip.
But as always, be careful, and don’t exaggerate with wakame seaweed.
It is good, it is very good, it helps us to keep the weight under control, but be careful: it is better not to exaggerate with wakame.
The recommended daily dose ranges from two to four grams per day.
If you exceed the recommended doses, you could run into some problems, especially for those suffering from thyroid problems due to its iodine content.
Also, it’s best not to use it during pregnancy.
Have you ever tried wakame seaweed?
I love the dry one as a snack 😉😋
It should be noted that I am not a dietician nor a certified physician. This post is purely based on my research and also based on my personal experience. Please consult a physician before consuming wakame seaweeds if you are dealing with any serious illness.