6 Powerful Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables

Kale has long been considered the darling of the health food world, but perhaps that’s only because everyone has been sleeping on the unsung hero of superfoods: edible seaweed, or sea vegetables.

Many Westerners associate sea vegetables primarily with nori—the green stuff wrapped around sushi rolls—but edible seaweed actually comes in three varieties, separated by color: green, brown and red. What’s more, sea vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals and powerful health benefits.

Whether you’re using kombu—a type of kelp common in Japanese cuisine—to make a dashi broth, or incorporating wakame into a fresh seaweed salad, any dish you prepare with sea vegetables is bound to provide a powerful nutritional punch.

Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables

6 Powerful Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables

1. They’re full of natural iodine—which helps your thyroid.

An iodine deficiency can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, which are extremely similar to hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormones. Seaweed, such as nori, kombu, wakame and kelp, is full of iodine.

2. They might help regulate estrogen and estradiol levels.

These two studies (here and here) suggest that, due to edible brown kelp’s ability to regulate the aforementioned hormones, sea vegetables could potentially lower your risk of breast cancer and help improve PMS and other related female fertility issues.

3. They’re mineral-rich.

In addition to its main mineral, iodine, sea vegetables are also loaded with calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium and iron.

4. They’re a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.

Sea vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins A (in the form of carotenoids), C and E. They’re also a good source of vitamins D and B.

5. They contain soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber packs a double punch of benefits. On the one hand, it increases feelings of satiety, which will help you stay feeling fuller for longer. On the other hand, it helps to lower your LDL levels—that’s your “bad” cholesterol.

6. They reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Research suggests that because seaweed can help reduce that bad cholesterol and because it has such a high mineral content, sea plants could play a role in protecting our cardiovascular health.

Ready to eat some sea vegetables?

If you’re excited to start incorporating different edible seaweeds into your daily diet, just remember that despite their amazing nutritional benefits, you don’t want to go overboard. Make sure to keep serving sizes—which can range from one to three grams of something like spirulina to two giant sheets of nori—in mind before embarking on your sea veggie journey.

Related at Care2

Images via Getty


Lesa T
Lesa Thomas11 days ago

Thanks for sharing several benefits of sea vegetables which are healthy, protective, amazingly low in calories and very good in taste too.

Chad Anderson
Chad A12 days ago

Thank you.

Dennis H
Dennis Hall13 days ago


Clare O
Clare O'Beara13 days ago

I read about brown seaweed recently and have been adding an eighth of a teaspoon of powdered seaweed to my porridge each morning. I feel it is doing me a lot of good.

Clare O
Clare O'Beara13 days ago


Shae Lee
Shae Lee14 days ago

thank you for sharing

Lesa D
Lesa DiIorio14 days ago

thank you Lia...

Marija M
Marija M14 days ago

Good to know, tks.

Sherry K
Sherry Kohn14 days ago

Many thanks to you !

Angelo Morella
Angelo Morella14 days ago

I eat dried seaweed but it is not clear how this costly product compares with other inexpensive sea food such as sardines at 59C for 150 g, three cans a week provides all the fish you need and trace elements .
Interesting that sea vegetables contains natural iodine. Well iodine is not produced by living things it is an element and has been produced as a result of the big bang and possibly the subsequent radio active decay of some elements. Hence no matter where one gets the iodine from the iodine is natural ie produced by god or nature. Iodine in iodinated salt may be in the form of periodate and considered a good source of iodine. In the book Folk lore medicine the good doctor suggests taking tincture of iodine. Iodine deficiency was identified last century and rectified by the use of iodised salt.
Although I do eat seaweed, there are many cheaper and better ways to get both the iodine and minerals provided by sea vegetables both in the garden vegetables you grow, animal produce you produce eg eggs etc and products you buy. In all of these make sure the produce is produced in a manner that it will contain an adequate level of both macro elements, like calcium and magnesium and trace elements like zinc, selenium and iodine.