What Are the Benefits of Seaweed Salad?
Seaweed salad is a traditional Asian dish. It is generally made of wakame seaweed, combined with rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallions, apple, cilantro, sesame seeds, sesame oil and sugar. You can obtain many benefits from eating the healthy foods in seafood salad. Seaweed itself helps you to shed fat, ginger assists your digestive system and garlic benefits your immune system.
One of the benefits of seaweed salad is that its main ingredient—seaweed—has been proven to help you lose weight. It does this by reducing fat accumulation, according to a study published in the journal “Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication” in 2005. The study found that wakame seaweed, like all brown seaweeds, contains a compound called fucoxanthin. According to the study’s authors, fucoxanthin was the active compound in seaweed that reduced animals’ weights by up to 10 percent.
Boosts Immune System
Other ingredients in seaweed salad that are beneficial to your health include garlic, which has long been used in traditional medicines to cure and prevent illness. Modern Western science research on garlic shows that it primarily helps with illnesses by regulating your immune system. An article published in the Journal of the National Medical Association, titled “Garlic Revisited: Therapeutic for the Major Diseases of Our Times?” explains that garlic boosts your immune system by helping your body eliminate dangerous free radicals and heavy-metal intoxication.
Aids in Digestion
Ginger, another seaweed salad staple, is the underground stem of the plant Zingiber officinale that has been used in traditional Asian medicines to help with digestion and stomach issues. As with garlic, ginger is also used in holisitc remedies, and has gained popularity in the mainstream largely due to its helath benefits. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that ginger is used to relieve mild upset stomach, and is given to patients who are nauseated or vomiting because of pregnancy or chemotherapy.
Reduces Chronic Disease Risk
Seaweed salad contains another beneficial ingredient: Apple. Apples contain high concentrations of healthy chemicals called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals in apples have many health benefits, as described in a 2004 review paper published by The Department of Food Science at Cornell University. According to this paper, apples may decrease the risks of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The phytochemicals in apples have been found to act as strong antioxidants—removing dangerous free radicals from your body—and as cancer cell inhibitors—stopping the growth of cancer cells.
- “Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication”; Fucoxanthin From Edible Seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, Shows Antiobesity Effect Through UCP1 Expression in White Adipose Tissues; Maeda H, Hosokawa M, Sashima T, Funayama K, Miyashita K; July 2005
- “Journal of the National Medical Association”; “Garlic Revisited: Therapeutic for the Major Diseases of Our Times?”; Tariq H. Abdullah, O. Kandil, A. Elkadi and J. Carter; 1988.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Ginger
- “Nutrition Journal”; Apple Phytochemicals and Their Health Benefits; Jeanelle Boyer and Rui Hai Lui; Department of Food Science and Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology at Cornell University; 2004.
- Water and Seaweed image by Mr Shemp from Fotolia.com