How much do you know about seaweeds? You’ve probably had the experience of some of them clinging to you as you were jumping around in the ocean. You have also probably encountered them when eating sushi. But have you ever stopped to wonder about them?
For many of us, the answers to those questions are “Not much” and “Not really” respectively. The topic of seaweeds is not one that will arise in any of our conversations. Yet, they are touted as one of the most beneficial plant matter in our world today.
Seaweeds are marine algae that are found in our oceans and seabeds. There are several types: kelp, wakame, arame, hijiki, dulse, agar, nori and kombu.
Benefits of Seaweeds
Before today, you probably didn’t know seaweeds are good for you. The following are some of their benefits:
- They are rich in nutrients as a food source e.g. iodine, potassium, magnesium and even protein.
- Can be used as a toothpaste
- Helps in weight loss
- Promotes health by providing essential vitamins and minerals
- Seaweed baths are said to cure diseases such as arthritis. They cleanse the body of toxins and they are also known to deal with fatigue and tension. Seaweed baths also re-hydrate your skin.
- Source of alternative energy
- Increases libido
- Increases metabolism
What about the link to Depression?
Issues relating to depression are not only about emotional health and well-being but also about nutritional well-being. Some authors from the past understood the relationship between what we ate and how it affected us.
Ludwig Feurebach wrote in his 1860s essay, Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism, that “You are what you eat.” [translation]. Even the famous writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
You see, the quality of our health is intrinsically linked with the quality (and availability) of vitamins and minerals in our system. What is scurvy other than a vitamin C deficiency? What is hypothyroidism and goitre if not problems caused by iodine deficiencies?
The same concept is true of depression. While there are other factors that might lead to depression, there are nutritional causes as well. Here are some of the nutritional deficiencies that lead to depression:
With these deficiencies in mind, this is where seaweed comes in.
As already mentioned, seaweeds have great nutritional value. They provide all the minerals mentioned above as the deficiencies that lead to depression. Plus, they are high in fiber, which is useful for digestive health.
Therefore, it is expected that incorporating seaweeds into your dietary plans – as well as fixing other issues in your life – will help ward off depression.
I was tempted to write in my introduction that this is the “strangest news you have heard recently”. I realize now, that everything that deals with mental health issues is outside what many consider the ‘norm’. Despite having the term ‘weed’ in its name, seaweeds offer more favourable outcomes to our health and to our lives if used in the proper manner.
If you’ve been looking for an alternative way to treat your depression, then perhaps seaweeds are the solution for you.