Seaweed snacks are becoming increasingly popular because they are salty, tasty, and marketed as healthy foods. There is even a market emerging for seaweed pills – containing various types of sea vegetables and seaweed. What worries people is that can seaweed upset your stomach.
Like many things, too much seaweed is not always good. Despite your intentions to consume seaweed for its health benefits, you should also be aware of possible side effects. Knowing the benefits and side effects of seaweed will help you consume the right amount of this famous sea vegetable.
When consumed in moderation, seaweed is a good source of iodine and other nutrients. When consumed in excess, side effects can include thyroid problems, thyroid drug interactions, digestive problems, and exposure to radiation and heavy metals. Let’s see if seaweed can upset your stomach.
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What types of seaweed are there?
There are many different types of seaweed. Some include nori, kelp, dulse, kombu, spirulina, and chlorella. People use nori sheets in sushi, while spirulina & chlorella are consumed in supplement form. Kelp and dulse can be sprinkled into food for their savory umami flavor.
According to the USDA, one sheet of nori contains nutrition facts; 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 1 gram of, carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 6 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamin A,4 percent of the DV of vitamin C. The nutrition of nori leaves does not end there. Because it is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, it can be incorporated into a variety of diets.
One mineral found in seaweed that is particularly noteworthy is iodine. There is both an advantage and a disadvantage to seaweed, as excessive iodine intake has several side effects.
What are the Health benefits of eating seaweed? Can seaweed upset your stomach?
Their fiber content supports proper digestion. Kombu is especially beneficial for the intestines and can be incorporated into soups such as miso soup.
A study found that seaweed has anti-cancer properties and can slow the progression of colon and breast cancer in humans. Certain compounds found in seaweed have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Seaweed also promotes apoptosis or the death of cancer cells.
Eating enough seaweed can also prevent iodine deficiency. Now, iodine deficiency is less common in America, although not obsolete, due to increased consumption of iodized salt and dietary sources of iodine such as fish and seaweed.
The high fiber content in seaweed can aid digestion, but it can also cause indigestion. Every gram of fiber adds up, and a few servings of seaweed a day can easily put you over your recommended daily allowance of fiber.
People with thyroid-related health problems should be careful about excessive consumption of seaweed due to its high iodine content. A study shows excess iodine consumption has no major consequences for the average person. However, people with specific risk factors for thyroid disease; hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism, may find that too much iodine can affect their thyroid function & medication. Also, people wonder can seaweed upset your stomach? The answer would be yes.
Can environment have a side effect?
One side effect of eating seaweed has to do with the environment rather than the actual food.
Another environmental side effect is exposure to heavy metals. A study tells us that red seaweed contains significantly higher levels of copper, nickel, and other metals compared to brown seaweed. Although scientists have found heavy metals such as lead and mercury, they say the risk level is low. However, they recommend routine monitoring of metals in seaweed.
Health risks are low, but knowing where your food comes from is part of being an informed, health-conscious consumer.
Can seaweed upset your stomach?
When considering the benefits and side effects of seaweed, you may wonder if you should be consuming seaweed products such as seaweed pills and snacks.
Although the risks are low, some people should avoid the high iodine content of seaweed. People with pre-existing thyroid disease or at increased risk of thyroid disease should not go overboard on seaweed snacks. However, people at risk of iodine deficiency, such as populations that live far from natural sources of iodine and those who do not use iodized table salt, can consume seaweed snacks.
People wary of exposure to radioactive and heavy metals should also avoid seaweed grown in Japan and China.
Iodine deficiency was once a major nutritional crisis. Seaweed as well as iodized salt prevent the return of this crisis. It is naturally salty and you can use it as a food seasoning to reduce the consumption of table salt.
Include nori sheets in your diet by making homemade sushi rolls, or sprinkling dulse flakes on your food for an umami flavor.
Seaweed snacks may be more beneficial than seaweed pills. Because supplements are not regulated by the FDA and seaweed snacks are closer to whole sea vegetables.