There are many good reasons to add seaweed to your diet. “Sea greens are very nutritious, as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, as well as iron and iodine,” says Retelny.
points out that sea vegetables are a good source of the ever-important B vitamins, as well as vitamin A and vitamin E. Vitamin A is crucial for vision and your immune system, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH )
and vitamin E is essential for everything from your blood to your brain to your skin.
Kelp, for example, contains 70 micrograms (mcg) of beta-carotene in 100 grams (g), or about ¾ cup (and your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
You’ll also get 1.3 g of fiber, 89 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 168 mg of calcium.
These fibers can function as prebiotics to potentially help maintain a person’s gut bacteria, which benefits health and well-being, the researchers note. “The health benefits of seaweed also appear to be related to constipation and improving bowel regularity,” says Dr. Agarwal.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that help everything from your heart to your immune system and lungs work their best.
found that adding brown algae to rye snacks increased the antioxidant levels of the snacks. The researchers note that this shows that seaweed can potentially be used as a natural ingredient to improve consumer health. (As a reminder, antioxidants are natural substances that can delay — even prevent — cell damage in the body, according to the NIH.)
Yet, not all sea greens are created equal. “The vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content of sea vegetables is highly variable depending on their marine environment, and more,” says Retelny.