12 Reasons to Eat More Seaweed

Seaweed is rarely featured in most North Americans’ diet but perhaps it should. That’s because seaweed is packed with critical vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, and offers a whole host of health benefits. In fact, many types of seaweed are among the healthiest foods we can eat, but few people eat them outside of their nori rolls at their favorite Japanese restaurant.

Here are some of the best health benefits and reasons you should consider eating a variety of seaweed, including: nori, kelp, wakame, dulse, kombu and others.

12 Delicious Reasons to Eat more Seaweed

Seaweed is Rich in Protein

Most seaweed is a good source of protein that is easily digestible and usable by the body. Sufficient protein is needed for a healthy metabolism, building new cells and tissues, and keeping the immune system strong.

Seaweed is a Good Source of Anti-Aging Antioxidants

Seaweed contains compounds known as laminarans that are natural antioxidants that help fight free radical damage linked to aging and disease.

Seaweed Contains Natural Antiviral Compounds

Research has shown that the natural antiviral compounds found in seaweed, known as fucoidins, are effective against many viruses, including: herpes simplex virus (HSV), poliovirus, adenovirus and even HIV.

It is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Most seaweed contains a naturally-occurring group of compounds called fucoidins that have potent anti-inflammatory activity in the body. Considering that inflammation has been linked to a wide variety of common, chronic health conditions including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many others, reducing inflammation is critical to great health.

It Helps with Osteoarthritis

In a study of 122 people suffering from osteoarthritis, researchers found that an increase in fucoidins in the diet for 12 weeks resulted in a 30 percent improvement in the health of knee joints.

Seaweed has Anti-Tumor Properties

Fucoidins in seaweed have shown anti-tumor activity against different types of cancer, including: lung cancer, melanoma—a type of skin cancer that can become systemic, lymphoma—cancer of the lymphatic system and breast cancer.

It is Beneficial for Weight Loss

Seaweed is a rich source of critical nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, protein and minerals, all of which may be beneficial for weight loss. While seaweed is rich in nutrients, it has a low caloric value making it an ideal food as part of an overall weight loss plan. It may help to restore metabolic balance for those who are overweight, obese or suffering from metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms, including: abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as high glucose levels. It is often a precursor to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Seaweed Helps with Heart Disease

Due to its natural anti-coagulant properties, seaweed is helpful with conditions like stroke and heart disease where the blood can become excessively sticky, clumping together and making it difficult to pass through blood vessels. Alginates found in seaweed help to prevent high cholesterol levels. Fucoidins in seaweed have proven blood-thinning abilities similar to the drug heparin, without the lengthy list of side-efects.

Seaweed Is Beneficial for Diabetes

The fiber found in seaweed helps to regulate blood sugar levels and may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Rich in Thyroid-Boosting Minerals

Seaweed is typically one of the best sources of minerals, including thyroid-balancing iodine.

Seaweed is Beneficial for Gastrointestinal (GI) Health

Most seaweed is rich in fiber that helps to ensure bowel regularity while stimulating the growth of beneficial microbes that ensure GI and overall health, and which may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Seaweed Helps Bind to Harmful Substances

Seaweed contains compounds like alginic acid, which is known for its ability to chelate, or bind, to harmful substances, including heavy metals to help escort them out of the body.

It’s easy to get more seaweed in your diet. In addition to eating nori-wrapped sushi, you can add kelp to soup stock, toss a handful of dulse into miso soup, snack on toasted nori made for snacking, or rehydrate finely sliced seaweed and add to salads or vegetable dishes.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.


Chrissie R
Chrissie R5 months ago

Seaweed salad...YES! Thank you for posting.

Sophie A
Past Member 5 months ago

Thank you

Daniel N
Past Member 6 months ago

Thank you

Marija M
Marija M6 months ago

tks for sharing

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

Should help with iodine at least.

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

I have powdered organic seaweed which I bought for adding to baths... but I only take showers anymore. How long is it good to use? I could add it to soups.

heather g
heather g6 months ago

We don't have access to seaweed in our town, but I buy fresh and dried seaweed when I drive to Vancouver and shop at OSAKA in West Van!


Thomas M
Thomas M6 months ago

thank you for sharing

Angela K
Angela K6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Jack Y
Jack Y6 months ago