Cutting to the chase: Is seaweed really good for weight loss? The results of the research say that it is. However, it is not wise to think that seaweed is some wonder drug capable of weight loss magic on its own. As you’ll see in this article, it can play a very important part, but there will need to be other aspects considered at the same time.
Regardless of where you are in your weight loss journey, the topic of getting to your goal weight and maintaining it is very important. However, we don’t believe that this goal should be at the expense of your general health. So that begs a response to the question ‘Is seaweed good for weight loss?’
There is still a lot of research required before anything can be said conclusively about how seaweed helps with weight loss. With that being said we will look at this from the perspective that it may be very effective rather than not.
How is seaweed good for weight loss?
Seaweed is believed to help with weight loss in a few very interesting ways, including that it is apparently able to:
- Help stop the body from absorbing fat
- Stimulate the production of protein through specific compounds
- Support balanced health by virtue of trace mineral elements
- Improve digestion for a healthier gut, and
- Help boost your metabolism
That’s not an exhaustive list, as the benefits of seaweed for health is something that cultures around the world have been aware of for generations.
Some things you may not know about seaweed
Is seaweed good for weight loss only, or are there other benefits? Some little known facts about seaweed which may surprise you include:
- Seaweed is at least 50% protein. This is on par, if not, better than animal proteins
- Containing Iodine, B Vitamins, and Alginates, seaweed is a great source of nutrition
- Seaweed assimilates with the human body more effectively than animal based products, and
- Seaweed has an abundance of collagen
Often referred to as sea greens, seaweeds have more minerals than any other plant based food on the planet. Seaweed is also arguably the best source of Iodine. Iodine is needed to maintain healthy thyroid functions.
Some examples of consumable seaweed include:
- Dulse, and
- Irish Sea Moss
To help with weight loss and a healthy diet you can put seaweed into smoothies, soups, salads or make entire meals out of them.
Can I eat seaweed every day?
Seaweed can easily be consumed every day. There are some very versatile uses in different recipes where seaweed, such as Irish Sea Moss, when prepared properly, can be used as a Vegan gelatin substitute, and more!
Seaweed is great for helping your body detox and flush out waste. This can be a benefit with your goal of losing weight. Some people believe that there are concerns about the volume of Iodine and other minerals in seaweed, but these are unlikely to present an issue to many people if consumed in moderation.
Like many things in life, too much of a good thing is not a great idea. Consuming too much chocolate is going to cause problems. The same can be said with other foods, drinks, you name it. Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up a little.
I normally have about 100g of Irish Sea Moss in the average week. This has been converted into a gel that I then use in a range of recipes. Other than that, I’ll use other types of seaweed as ingredients in a range of salads and soups, but all up that would normally come to between 300g and 400g each week.
Why is seaweed good for weight loss?
The magic happens when there are higher concentrations of a specific component; Fucoxanthin. But we will get to covering more about Fucoxanthin soon. If you are looking at having seaweed snacks such as toasted Nori to help with weight loss, this may not be as effective as going for the natural, unbaked or uncooked varieties that are available.
Many of the snack versions of seaweed have been made with different preservatives and salts that may not be that good for you. Some even contain MSG, which is not going to help you lose weight, so be careful. The down side with baked or cooked varieties of seaweed is that they have been stripped of all of their nutrients and are effectively dead.
It is the live and naturally occurring minerals, vitamins and elements in seaweed that help with weight loss. Cook the seaweed and you lose these. With the right balance of nutrients in your food you will find that your body has a better chance of functioning as it should, and it will begin to purge waste (weight) from the system. Seaweed goes a long way to supporting the health of your digestive system, and combining this with a colon cleans should help get things moving for you.
How do they know that seaweed is good for weight loss?
Fucoxanthin is the component that Japanese scientists have identified as being responsible for weight loss. As a part of the digestion process, Fucoxanthin helps to block fats from being absorbed into the body.
Through a series of initial tests, model experiments have shown that including a small amount of seaweed in your diet can block as much as one third of consumed fat from being absorbed. As much as this may sound like a miraculous discovery, your body still needs to have some fats to remain healthy. Going on a seaweed only diet to eliminate the absorption of all fats is not a good idea. Fats are not necessarily the enemy.
How does Fucoxanthin work?
Through the stimulation of the production of UCP1, a protein responsible for increasing the burning of fat. As a carotenoid, Fucoxanthin is metabolized by digestive enzymes before it is absorbed by the body in the gastrointestinal tract.
As much as studies may indicate that consuming seaweed as a fresh, unadulterated product has less of an impact over a supplement, you need to think about a few factors. What else does the seaweed contain that helps other processes in the body? It’s not just about the Fucoxanthin after all, this is about your overall health.
There are valid reasons why cultures around the world have been consuming fresh seaweed for generations. They haven’t been consuming synthetics versions, or concentrated supplements that lack other required minerals and molecules to help the Fucoxanthin do stay the body needs it to.
Take some time to consider this element in your research and learning about ‘why is seaweed good for weight loss?’ as there is more to this big picture than just the end result of simply losing weight.