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Lose Weight with Seaweed

by Dr. Raymond Hatland, DDS

In the Battle of the Bulge, Seaweed may be the Secret Ingredient You have been Missing

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New studies are finding that iodine, an element naturally occurring in seaweed, may be the key to fighting metabolic syndrome and obesity.  Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a number of metabolic risk factors in people, such as abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, Prothrombotic, Proflammatory state, elevated blood pressure and insulin resistance or glucose intolerance.
People with metabolic syndrome are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease and other diseases related to plaque buildup in artery walls, and Type 2 Diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States and worldwide, with the exception of Asian countries.  This could be a result of seaweed being a much larger part of the Asian diet.
Additionally, a study conducted by scientists at Newcastle University found that alginate, a fiber found in seaweed, is more effective at stopping the body from absorbing fat than most over-the-counter obesity treatments available right now. Alginate could keep the body from absorbing up to 75% of fat consumed. The scientists tested over 60 different types of fiber on an artificial gut and found that alginate was overwhelmingly effective. The next step is to test the effects of alginate on real people and to see if introducing alginate into a normal diet is both feasible and effective.      
Although many people do not think of eating seaweed as a way to fight obesity, it is an excellent option. Seaweed is a very rich source of iodine, which has many health benefits including lowering blood pressure, decreasing waist circumference, preventing osteoporosis, preventing cancer and aiding brain development, but it doesn't stop there.  Seaweed can be consumed many ways and is a common ingredient in sushi.

The four most common types of edible seaweed are:

Nori: a Japanese variety of seaweed that is most commonly used in sushi, Nori is rich in vitamins C, A, B1, B2, E and K, as well as iron, protein, magnesium, potassium, and iodine.

Wakame: Contains high amounts of EPA, an essential fatty acid that helps combat obesity.

Kelp: a major source of iron, magnesium, Vitamin B9 and iodine, kelp is good to eat and is also used in many household products, like cosmetics and toothpaste.

A reddish-brown variety found near Iceland, Dulse is rich in sodium. It is often soaked overnight and then eaten with milk and water.  It has the same nutrient contents as other seaweeds.

For those just venturing into the world of seaweed there is a simple, delicious and healthy dish to try:

Seaweed Salad:
Combine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and some salt and add it to a bowl of dried and soaked wakame sprinkled with sesame seeds. 

Not only is this a tasty dish, it is rich in calcium, thiamin and has about 0.8-0.9 mg of iron. It increases hemoglobin levels, which nourish skin, regulate hormones and helps the metabolism, all at a low 100 calories.
Scientists have already tried adding alginate from seaweed to bread and report that initial taste tests were encouraging. They are ready to take the next steps in testing how alginate could become a part of the everyday diet.
Roasted seaweed is another very common type consumed by people, as it is one of the main ingredients in sushi. Roasted seaweed has all the same benefits as the seaweed salad and is easy to prepare by simply rolling it around some rice, vegetables and raw fish. Dipping it in soy sauce can help add a little flavor.  With so many ways to consume and enjoy seaweed there is no reason to not give it a try and enjoy a tinier waist and healthier body.

Reprinted with permission from www.ChicagoHealers.com


Related Info:
Full: A Life Without Dieting
The Power of Metabolism
Is it Time to Re-examine Your Relationship with Food?
Are Sea Vegetables the Cure for the Iodine Deficiency Epidemic?
IODINE: the Hidden Deficiency that Could be Causing Your Health Problems
Finding Your Dietary Zone

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