Seaweed is, in many cases, more nutritious than other sea and land nutritional greens. When many people think about seaweed as a food they are most likely to think about the thin dried sheets that wrap around sushi, which in recent years has become a very popular fast food option in the West. With many of us, concerned about the amount of wheat in our diets, looking for a quick snack option can be very limiting. Nori, the thin black seaweed used to hold together the rice and fish isn’t the only option when it comes to consuming seaweed. The myriad benefits of seaweed for the human body are many, but seaweed itself can be broken down into three different types which vary in colour ranging from red and green to brown. The different colours reflect the different type of light they readily absorb dependent on how deep or how close to the surface they generally grow. Brown, one of the most popular, can be found lying on the beaches around the British coastline. Kelp is considered to be brown seaweed and can be found in variations ranging from brown to reddish and even a purplish brown. It is known to contain more than seventy two trace minerals and can be used in the treatment of stomach problems, skin conditions, cellulite and weight loss to name just a few ailments it has been known to improve. Kelp is one of the largest types of seaweed and has a tendency to grow in large thick forests and can be home to hundreds of different species of marine life. Some smaller seaweed isn’t anchored to anything and lives suspended and floating in the sea. Kelp anchors itself to one spot, forming underwater forests with eco systems of their own while supporting a wide variety of seaweed and algae within it. [caption id="attachment_635" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Kelp Forest[/caption] The antioxidants found in seaweed help to protect the body against harmful cells and with Japanese people living the longest in the world it is perhaps time we started to take some notice of why this may be. The Japanese diet consists of rice and soy and lots of other vegetables including around seven grams per day of seaweed. They also eat a lot of fish, and fish eat seaweed. Kombu, a kelp, is full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, especially iodine and B vitamins necessary to maintain a healthy thyroid and without which thyroid diseases can develop, affecting the body’s metabolism. Iodine is also necessary to help produce female hormones and assists in immune system function. This in turn can help protect and fight against problems caused by radiation. B vitamins are important to break down molecules during digestion and produce energy within the cells. It can also act as an anticoagulant and prevent clots forming in blood vessels. This seaweed, or sea vegetable as seaweed is often known, also contains a number of amino acids which makes it an important choice for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, owing to the fact that amino acids are normally acquired through the inclusion of meat in the diet. Wakame is sometimes called the woman’s seaweed due to the fact that it is loaded with osteoporosis-preventing calcium and magnesium. It acts as a diuretic, which can help reduce bloating and is known to improve insulin resistance. Studies have also shown it can help burn fatty tissue! Arame, also a species of kelp, can provide potassium, a mineral known among athletes for preventing muscle cramps. Research has also shown that Arame has anti viral properties too and can help the fight against obesity. Seaweed has been proven, through research, to be one of the most mineral rich natural foods available. Our bodies can receive intense benefit from the inclusion of this food group into our diet. Improving our levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and iodine, all of which these vegetables take from the ocean in which they grow. Ancient Romans used sea vegetables to treat wounds, burns and rashes with anecdotal evidence suggesting that the ancient Egyptians may even have been using them to treat breast cancer. Certain seaweeds have been shown to possess powerful cancer fighting agents and researchers today are hoping to eventually prove their effectiveness in treating malignant tumours and leukaemia. With the low rate of cancer in Japan having been attributed to the inclusion of soy in their daily diet, it is now believed that the regular consumption of seaweed could play an even stronger role in this. With all of these proven health benefits and more, including increased energy levels and relief from fatigue, it is a wonder more of us aren’t including sea greens into our diet. With Japanese men outliving their Western counter parts, even when they smoke, it is surely time to take some notice and introduce these super foods into our everyday eating plan. These days it is difficult to find the time to follow a healthy eating regime and despite our best intentions we don’t always have time to shop for fresh fruit and vegetables. Eating sea greens in our diet would definitely prove difficult for many of us as buying these foods in their fresh form would need access to specialist shops. Most of these sea vegetables are now available in dried form and can be reconstituted quickly in warm water. They are then ready for use in juices or soups. They can also be taken in supplement form, just ensure you buy from a reputable company to ensure you are buying the highest quality. Available now from Lifestyle Vitamins® is an organic alkalising, cleansing and detox formula made up of the best of nutrient-dense foods available from both sea and land nutritional greens. The organic ingredients that have been blended in these capsules include: Seagreens® food approved seaweed Ascophyllum Nodosum a large, common brown algae found in the Northern Atlantic Ocean and the north west coast of Europe, and also known as Rockweed. Fucus Vesiculosus is also known by the common name Bladder Wrack and is a seagreen that can be found along the coasts of the North Sea, the Western Baltic Sea and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Other ingredients include artichoke, chlorella, green tea leaf, spirulina, rhubarb and cayenne. This food supplement provides a unique blend of nutritious foods, rich in a broad spectrum of nutrients such as iodine, antioxidants, phyto-chemicals, vitamins, minerals and enzymes – daily nourishment made easy!