We're obsessed with seaweed. Here's why you should be too...
Jamie Oliver is on a mission to get the nation eating well and supposedly attributes his recent weight loss (and subsequent healthier lifestyle) with – amongst other things – eating seaweed.
He recently told the Radio Times, ‘I thought seaweed was hippy, globetrotting stuff but our ancestors ate seaweed. It’s got a load of iodine and it’s the most nutritious vegetable in the world… It’s like dynamite – fibre, nutrients, all the minerals, aids digestion – unbelievable.’
His new book, Jamie Oliver Everyday Super Food (Michael Joseph) has launched at the same time as his new programme Jamie’s Sugar Rush and while his agenda is to get Brit’s off the white stuff it’s his admission that he’s a seaweed fan that has us talking.
And he’s not the only one who’s partial to a little marine algae. Victoria Beckham and Britney Spears are reportedly fans too. So what’s so special about it?
For starters it’s low in carbohydrates and calories making it the perfect snack to munch away on at your desk – granted they’re not as delicious as a Percy Pig but what can you do? Secondly they are packed-full of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Still not convinced? Here’s eight reasons why you need to introduce this super food to your diet:
1. It’s beyond brilliant for your skin
Seaweed boosts detoxification so it helps your skin cells rid themselves of toxins that would otherwise prevent them from working as they should. There’s also plenty of zinc, magnesium, omegas and antioxidants in every mouthful. All things your skin loves.
2. It hates fat with a passion
There’s a natural fibre found in seaweed that has been shown to inhibit the enzymes that allow the body to digest fat. Other tests seem to suggest that another ingredient in seaweed not only makes our bodies burn fat quicker but discourages the production of fat in the first place. This research isn’t set in stone (yet) but it sounds promising.
3. It can save you from a binge-athon
Seaweed rehydrates once it hits your stomach. Sounds gross but it makes you feel full and so less likely to snack. Winning.
4. It contains chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in seaweed (amongst other green leafy vegetables) and has been shown to help suppress hunger and reduce inflammation.
5. If you have big boobs you’ll likely benefit from eating seaweed.
Iodine helps the thyroid gland regulate metabolism and it’s found in seaweed by the bucket-load. Oddly, iodine is stored in your breasts and the bigger your bust the greater your need for iodine. The recommended daily allowance of iodine is 150mcg per day but it’s thought that we only get around 130mcg. All the more reason to chomp on that seaweed.
6. It’s a powerhouse of iron
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Not only is seaweed high in iron but it’s also rich in vitamin C which helps your body to absorb the mineral.
7. Seaweed keeps your heart healthy
As well as looking after your heart and helping to keep your cholesterol under control, seaweed contains polysaccharides which help to prevent blood clots.
8. It helps to regulate blood pressure too
Seaweed is also a good source of potassium, which helps to prevent high blood pressure.