Seaweed deserves its reputation as a superfood. It’s filled with vitamins and minerals and offers a load of health benefits. If you eat sushi, you eat seaweed, so find out why it is so healthy.
If you think all “superfoods” are merely fads, think again! Seaweed may be a media darling, but it’s been prized for its nutritional and medical benefits for thousands of years.
The Japanese have been using seaweed in their cuisine for 2,000 years. Ancient Greek doctors treated patients with marine algae and also fed it to cattle.
Seaweed isn’t hard to find. The name covers all categories of algae and plants that grow in the ocean as well as freshwater rivers and lakes.
There are thousands of varieties of seaweed, but the following are the most likely to be sold at your local health food store, Asian grocery or supermarket:
- Agar – has no color or flavor, but it’s quite useful as a vegan organic gelatin alternative
- Bladderwrack – this popular herbal tea ingredient in China and Japan is iodine-rich and promotes a healthy thyroid
- Arame – has a sweet flavor, a reddish tint, and is used in Asian desserts. Arame is also rich in calcium and iodine.
- Hijiki – this wild seaweed grows on rocky coasts in Asia and is chock-full of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium and magnesium
- Kelp – has nearly an alphabet of vitamins, including A B1, B2, C, D and E. It is also a great source of calcium
- Nori – this is by far the most popular type of seaweed in the West, thanks to its essential role in sushi-making. Nori, along with other seaweeds, is rich in vitamins and minerals, amino acids and fiber.
Is Seaweed Healthy? You Bet!
When you discover the benefits of seaweed, you’ll understand why it’s been called a superfood. Let’s look at the nutritional information of nori, the type of seaweed used in our sushi.
A 5-gram sheet of nori (just 7 calories) contains:
- 22 mg calcium
- 1.5 grams protein
- 3 grams fiber
- 73. 5 mcg iodine
- 0.32 g zinc
- 1.4 mcg B12
- 0.98 iron
Given the low calorie count, you can eat a few sheets of nori, multiply the nutrition count and still enjoy a low-calorie, low-fat snack.
The Many Health Benefits of Eating Seaweed
Supports a Healthy Thyroid
A healthy thyroid boosts your metabolism, support the digestive system and brain functioning.
So make sure you get enough iodine and the amino acid tyrosine – both of which can be found in seaweed.
Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Countless studies show that seaweed can lower blood pressure and benefit the heart. How so? Seaweed is rich in fiber (great for the heart) and full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Has Gut-Friendly Components
Fiber in seaweed not only helps the heart but is good for the gut. Depending on the type of seaweed you buy, its dry weight can be 25-75% fiber. Why is fiber so healthy? Ironically, we can’t digest fiber but the health-promoting bacteria in our gut can. This gut bacteria helps us digest our food more efficiently and supports our immune system.
Of course, if your general health is strong, you’re more likely to fight off illness. In addition to providing other health benefits, seaweed has been shown to be effective in fighting viruses. If you’re feeling under the weather, order some sushi!
Helps Regulate Blood Sugar
Seaweed has fucoxanthin, a carotenoid that lessens insulin resistance, and thus regulates blood sugar. Furthermore, the fiber in seaweed slows down the pace of digestion, which prevents blood sugar spikes.
Want to Eat More Seaweed? Start With Our Menu!
Want to put this superfood on your must-eat list? Our menu is the first place to start! Most of our sushi offerings are made with highly nutritious nori. They include:
- Cones – nori cone filled with fish, rice and vegetables
- Maki – small fish or vegetable rolls with nori on the outside
- Futomaki – larger rolls covered with nori and filled with fish and vegetables
- Specialty rolls – the sky’s the limit when it comes to the tasty combinations you can get at Sushi Mamilla in Jerusalem!
Do your body and tastebuds a favor. Easily add seaweed to your diet by choosing from our tasty sushi options. Sushi Mamilla is located at the heart of Jerusalem, just 7 minutes away by foot from the David Citadel Hotel. In addition to sushi, we offer salads, Japanese grilled items as well as party platters for your next occasion.