The Health Benefits of Seaweed

By Kelly Walker – Naturopath
Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market, Gymea

We often hear about the amazing health benefits of a swim in the ocean, but have you ever wondered exactly what the hype is around SEAWEED?


Seaweed is packed full of vitamins and minerals. In fact, the known medicinal effects of seaweed have been legion for 1000s of years. The ancient Romans used seaweed to treat wounds, burns and rashes. Chinese medical literature has documented its use for various medicinal purposes for more than 2000 years.

Nowadays seaweed is widely known as an excellent source of micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamin K.  More importantly, seaweed’s best-known benefit is that it is an extraordinary source of a nutrient missing in almost every other food: Iodine.

Consuming healthy levels of Iodine can be vitally important to maintaining a healthy thyroid, a gland located in your neck, which assists in producing and regulating hormones.

In addition, seaweed can help with digestive health, assist in lowering cholesterol and may help with weight loss. As seaweed is a good source of zinc and selenium, it can boost the immune system and may reduce the risk of illness and infection. Due to its iron and vitamin B content, it can also improve energy levels.

One serving of seaweed is loaded with more calcium than broccoli and is almost as high in proteins as legumes.


So, with all the health benefits of seaweed in mind, the question is how do you add seaweed to your diet?

There are many ways of enjoying the health benefits of seaweed, such as making sushi with nori, or crumbling it over rice or popcorn.  You can also add nori to salad dressings.

Kombu is another member of the kelp family and is used in Japanese broths and is popularly added in the making of miso soup.

Wakame is also used in making miso soup. Wakame is a slightly sweet seaweed and for this reason, is also used in making seaweed salads.

In powder form, kelp can be added to smoothies and juices or sprinkled over meals.

A popular ‘on the go’ snack available at Flannery’s is called ‘Honest Sea’, which has a fabulous range of organic seaweed snacks, described as, ‘papery thin’, ‘delicious’ and ‘perfect for big and small kids’.  They are certified organic, Australian owned, gluten free and vegan.

Our staff love them too!


This article is for educational purposes only. Always seek health advice from your healthcare professional.

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