Before you turn your nose up at the thought of eating seaweed, allow us to tell you a little about why it’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is rich in iodine, fibre, nutrients, ample quantities of all minerals and it aids digestion and energy production. Moreover, it is low in carbohydrates and calories, which basically makes it the go-to food whenever you’re hungry.
If this seems to generic, let us elucidate a little:
It contains zero fat. In fact, there is a natural fibre found in seaweed that has shown to inhibit the enzymes that allow the body to digest fat. So not only will you be thankful for the lack of fat, seaweed will also make a dent in your current fat deposits.
Seaweed re-hydrates once it reaches your stomach. This means that you actually feel full even if you eat a little amount of it. It’s extremely crucial to remember this as seaweed-newbies might not understand it till they have too much in their belly. Just have a small portion and you will not need to fuel up for a while.
Seaweed is rich in iodine which helps the thyroid gland regulate your metabolism. That should help you extract optimal energy from all the pre-run fuel. This will have a cascading positive effect on your glycogen stores. A seaweed breakfast will give you greater vigor on morning runs as exercising in the morning also helps boost your metabolism.
As it’s a great source of potassium, seaweed plays a role in keeping your blood pressure balanced and in the normal range. It also has high Vitamin C and iron content, which will help fortify your bones and joints. High seaweed intake increases the good bacteria in the gut. The enzymes in kombu, which you can add in dried form to soups and stews, help pre-digest pulses.
Seaweed mops up the toxins cadmium and lead, not only present in cigarette smoke but is also in the environment from industrial and vehicular pollution.
Seaweed is very high in lignans – the plant substances that become phytoestrogens in the body helping block the chemical oestrogens that can predispose people to cancers such as breast cancer, and certain other diseases.
So don’t just restrict seaweed to that odd sushi restaurant visit. Try it as you would any dried herb or leaf. Sure, it’s not as delicious as French fries (not much can match up to those) but it’s definitely healthier than anything else you might want to snack on. And it’s a great addition to your waist kit during a race. You won’t even need to carry much more than a couple of small strips.