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Say Yes To Super Seaweed Arame

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Arame Seaweed is a superfood and contains several vitamins and minerals than your average green vegetable. It's loaded with Calcium, Iodine, Vitamin A, Iron and Lignan, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infections to prevent outbreaks of acne. Lignan also reduces breast cancer and diabetes risk.

Arame seaweed has long been featured in Asian cuisine, and its popularity is spreading beyond Japan. A form of kelp, Arame (or eisenia bicyclis) is often translated as ‘sea oak’ – perhaps due to the branch-like nature of its sprawling shape.

It is enjoyed not just for its pleasant taste, but also because this unique foodstuff is incredibly rich in nutrients and minerals with various health benefits. For this reason, Arame seaweed is increasingly being hailed as the latest superfood.

Nutritional Profile

Arame doesn’t just contain a much wider range of vitamins and minerals than your average green vegetable – it contains them in such high quantities that its superfood status is well deserved. Some of the nutrients found at impressive levels in Arame seaweed include:

Calcium

Calcium is vital for healthy bones, teeth, nails, and hair. Since the human body cannot produce calcium by itself, it is important to ensure you include plenty of calcium in your diet, in order to reduce your chances of suffering from conditions such as Osteoporosis as you get older.

Iodine

Iodine is present in surprisingly high levels in many forms of seaweed, including Arame. It is due to the prevalence of kelp consumption in Japanese cuisine that many commentators suspect some health problems are experienced less frequently in this part of Asia. Breast cancer rates, in particular, are lower than in the West, and research is being carried out to better understand the preventative effects of iodine [1].

It is also thought that iodine’s antioxidant properties may have a preventative effect against stomach cancer, and that treatment with some types of iodine can improve survival rates [2]. Using natural sources to ensure you are not deficient in iodine is the best way to protect your health.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is found in considerable quantities within Arame, making it an ideal food to include in your diet in order to promote eyesight, protect the body’s natural defenses against infection, and encourage cell growth and repair.

It is possible to overdose on Vitamin A if used without caution, so incorporating natural products rich in this nutrient is a great way to ensure you are boosting your system without any unwanted side effects.

Iron

Most people are aware of the importance of iron for maintaining good energy levels, concentration, and avoiding anemia. The most common sources with which Western populations tend to be familiar are red meat, bread and cereals (to which iron has been added) and some pulses.

Arame seaweed is a great alternative source of iron for those are vegetarian or vegan, who avoid pulses, or don’t want to consume processed grain products (which often contain more harmful additives than nutritious ones) in order to be sure of getting enough iron.

Lignan

A powerful antioxidant, lignan, has been found to be present in Arame seaweed at surprisingly high levels. This type of antioxidant can have anti-inflammatory effects [3], making it the ideal nutrient for everything from fighting off infections to preventing outbreaks of acne.

Research has also shown that lignan can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer [4], making Arame seaweed an ideal food if you are looking for multiple anti-carcinogenic properties in one place!

Other properties and benefits

Research into the many properties of this superfood is ongoing into all areas of physical and mental well-being. This includes the possibility of using this sea vegetable to formulate medications which would reduce the symptoms and side effects associated with diabetes [5]. This fascinating miracle food has also been studied for its anticoagulant (blood thinning) and tumor inhibition properties [6]. Given its wide range of nutrients and natural health-boosting constituents, research into Arame looks likely to continue.

References

  1. Smyth PP (July 2003). “The thyroid, iodine and breast cancer”. Breast Cancer Research: BCR (review) 5 (5): 235–8. doi:10.1186/bcr638. PMC 314438. PMID 12927031.
  2. Golkowski F, Szybinski Z, Rachtan J, Sokolowski A, Buziak-Bereza M, Trofimiuk M, Hubalewska-Dydejczyk A, Przybylik-Mazurek E, Huszno B. (2007). “Iodine prophylaxis–the protective factor against stomach cancer in iodine deficient areas”. Eur J Nutr. 46 (5): 251–6. doi:10.1007/s00394-007-0657-8. PMID 17497074.
  3. Korkina, L. G. (2007). “Phenylpropanoids as naturally occurring antioxidants: From plant defense to human health”. Cellular and molecular biology (Noisy-le-Grand, France) 53 (1): 15–25. PMID 17519109.
  4. Adlercreutz, H (2007). “Lignans and human health”. Critical reviews in clinical laboratory sciences 44 (5–6): 483–525. doi:10.1080/10408360701612942. PMID 17943494.
  5. Okada, Yoshihito, et al. “A new phloroglucinol derivative from the brown alga Eisenia bicyclis: potential for the effective treatment of diabetic complications.” Journal of natural products 67.1 (2004): 103-105.
  6. Usui, Taichi, Katsuko Asari, and Takashi Mizuno. “Isolation of highly purified “fucoidan” from Eisenia bicyclis and its anticoagulant and antitumor activities.” Agricultural and Biological Chemistry 44.8 (1980): 1965-1966.
Jenny Travens

Jenny Travens is a chief editor and a wellness coach and fitness blogger for http://www.superfoodliving.com. She loves to share her knowledge about the different ways of staying fit and healthy and helps people to conquer over health related issues and maintain their fitness regime.

Jenny Travens

Jenny Travens is a chief editor and a wellness coach and fitness blogger for http://www.superfoodliving.com. She loves to share her knowledge about the different ways of staying fit and healthy and helps people to conquer over health related issues and maintain their fitness regime.

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Jaafar EL Wafi
Jaafar EL Wafi 5pts

But it could be radioactive by now, this is why I don't touch it

Dan Hawley
Dan Hawley 5pts

I think I'll leave that to you Stephanie McNelly

Kd Zahir
Kd Zahir 5pts

I buy dried seaweed at Asian supermarkets and soak it well before I use it. Do you think that's enough? Is seaweed prone to mercury?