It might surprise you, but seaweed is considered a bit of a superfood. Many of us are probably familiar with nori, the dried seaweed used to make sushi, but many people around the world have been eating seaweed for thousands of years in a variety of ways and dishes. BBC Good Food notes that there are over 10,000 species of seaweed, and the marine plant is a common ingredient in the diets of people living in Japan, Korea, and China.
Seaweed is also packed with nutrients that are great for you, like iodine and tyrosine. Healthline explains that our thyroid glands use iodine to make hormones, and when you don’t get enough iodine, you may have symptoms including weight change, fatigue, or neck swelling.
So with that kind of benefit, it might be tempting to eat seaweed every day and really maximize everything the water plant can offer. But The Globe and Mail says it’s important to be cautious — here’s why.
Seaweed is good for you, but not every day
Even though iodine is good for you, it is possible to overdo it. Adriana Barton, the Health Reporter for The Globe and Mail, asserts that while cases of too much iodine are rare, eating large quantities of seaweed each day can definitely cause the imbalance.
BBC Good Food backs up this warning, adding that some seaweed might contain a lot of potassium, too, which can cause even more problems.
Too much potassium can definitely wreak havoc on your body if you’re consuming seaweed daily. For starters, you’ll likely experience nausea and weakness, especially if you have preexisting kidney problems. Removing extra potassium is one of the functions of the kidneys, but they can’t do their job if they’re stressed out by a sudden uptick in potassium intake (via The Globe and Mail).
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to eat seaweed safely. For starters, just consume small amounts of the plant instead of making sure you have a side of seaweed at every meal. The Globe and Mail also recommends avoiding green seaweed salad at Japanese restaurants, since food dye is typically added to achieve that green, steering clear of packaged seaweed snacks, as there’s a lot of added sodium, and avoiding dairy products that contain carrageenan if you are concerned about your digestive system.
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