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While we cannot stop or control aging, we can slow the process with smart choices. Graceful aging is any women’s desire. Ayurveda understands that one’s nutritional and hydration requirements needs a boost when women enter their 40s. Kapha’s may face bloating, sluggish energy, weight gain or find it hard to lose weight due to slower metabolism, Pitta’s may experience hot flashes, skin flare ups or heart conditions and lastly, Vata’s may go through frequent constipation, anxiety, sleep deprivation and joint pain. Hormonal changes can imbalance the Doshas. Therefore, smart eating and making a few lifestyle changes will ease the transition into 40s.  

As women we are prone to decreased metabolic rate, lower estrogen levels, low vision, inelasticity in veins and blood vessels, mood swings, muscle loss (especially near the belly), the risk of heart conditions, cognitive decline, hair, and bone loss are higher.

If you are still not aware what your dosha is, then you can take the quiz here.

Eating Smart in your 40s:

  1. Eat half full: Do not be full after your meals or overeat. You must leave some room or eat half full to the stomach. Stop eating right away if you feel that your heart is beating faster than usual. Especially Kapha and Pitta dosha people should pay attention to the changing of their heart beats while eating.
  2. Eat mostly cooked: According to Ayurveda, cooked foods are best for digestive health. This is more so for Vata and Kapha dosha imbalances. Eat steamed, baked, boiled or sauteed 80% of the time. Additionally instead of deep frying, try the air fryer or ovens that come with an air frying feature.
  3. Eat a Variety of Colorful Vegetables: Eating seasonally and eating variety is highly recommended in Ayurveda. More colors add various kinds of antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients.
  4. Eat Fruits Consciously: Eat no more than 2 servings of fruits that are low in the glycemic index. Try to eat seasonally and ensure variety in your diet as much as possible.
  5. Eat Protein: Eat small amount of protein rich foods in each meal. Vegetarians can try eating beans (including soy), lentils, nuts, or seeds with their meals.
  6. Eat Fats: Add oils, nut/seed butters or fatty fruits such as, olives, avocados into your diet. Avoid any hydrogenated oils and choose virgin oils. Try adding olive oil in your salads. Kapha’s or if you are prone towards high estrogen or weight gain or even have had painful periods, then avoid dairy foods such as, milk, yogurt, cheese, ghee, butter, cream, or kefir. Usually dairy is ok for Vata or Pitta dosha.
  7. Avoid Factory Processed Foods: Do not to consume packaged, frozen, and dehydrated foods filled it hydrogenated oil, sugar, high salt, artificial-sugars, food color, fillers, additives, and chemicals. However, if you have a guilty pleasure do balance out with more water or a bit of fasting.
  8. You must try to eat calmly, not when stressed, depressed, anxious, multi-tasking or otherwise distracted.
  9. See a nutritionist occasionally to personalize your diet, especially if struggling to maintain good health. For a consultation with me check out this page.
  10. Avoid Caffeine: You must let go or reduce caffeine significantly as it dehydrates you and can cause hormonal imbalance. Drink water and herbal teas instead. In the west even medicinal mushroom beverages are also available.
  11. Practice Mindfulness: Ensure you eat well 80% of the time. However, when with friends and family enjoy and let go a little where you can.
  12. Avoid Sugar: Add honey (not for Pitta), jaggery or stevia instead of any white or brown sugar as well as any artificial sweetener. Sugar is particularly harmful for Kapha dosha imbalances.
  13. Less Salt: If you are cooking your own meals reduce salt intake by half. It will be painful initially however the pay off is very high If you like to snack then make them at home. Homemade potato chips (esp. air fried) will be much better in quality than store brought. Eat vegetables high in potassium so balance electrolytes.
  14. Hydration: There is no substitute for water. Filtered or spring water is preferred. Warm or room temperature water is best for Kapha and Vata while cold water is good for Pitta. Although hydration is important however, during meals, right before or after meals drink less water or avoid.
  15. Last but not the least – fast occasionally for 16-18 hours. Especially if you are a Kapha who is insulin resistance, overweight or have hormonal imbalances such as, low thyroid or estrogen excess.

To make full use of these tips, incorporate them 1 or 2 at a time in your lifestyle. When going out with friends and family be mindful but do not be too strict. Enjoy a little and let it go.

There are many benefits of the following the above tips. You can stay fit and light, reduce the chances of heart disease, if pregnant in your 40s then you must increase certain other nutrients. If you follow these tips, you also reduce the chances of diabetes and kidney disease.

Customize your Diet:

If you need a custom diet to combat your current health condition you can book a consult with me. Custom diets help to reduce inflammation, pain, identify food intolerance to improve digestion and balance hormones. Custom diet also combats nutrient deficiencies such as, iron, calcium, and D3. I have also designed diet plans for people who have cancer, diabetes, kidney disease or arthritis in their family to prevent the same through lifestyle and food choices. One of the best features of a custom diet it works with your current health and lifestyle. Choose package 2 from my health consultation packages for a nutritional protocol and a meal plan.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet in your 40s:

  1. Eating half full to the stomach gives you the ability to combat changes in metabolism such as, slow, sluggish metabolism and weight gain.
  2. The same also strengthens Agni or the digestive fire for better digestion.
  3. Adding probiotics and fats will improve brain function, mood, memory, and focus.
  4. Including nuts, seeds, and berries will build up immune system, bone density, and improve sleep.
  5. Adding dark leafy greens improves calcium and iron intake, B vitamins and chlorophyl in your diet.
  6. Reducing salt and sugar will improve metabolism, digestion, balance hormone, combat water retention, and contribute towards weight loss if required.
  7. A variety of fruits and vegetables will provide fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. This will result in better liver and kidney function, stronger immune system, and glowing skin.
  8. Better nutrition also result in less anxiety, nervousness, and depression.

Try the Buddha Bowl recipe from my channel.

Eat Right for Your Body Type:

I wrote an e-course called 21-Day Eat Right for Your Body Type. This is an informative course that assists with decoding many health mysteries and wrong notions. If you are serious about your health and want to avoid fad diets and want to learn more about the science behind health and nutrition then the Eat Right for Your Body Type is the right E-Course for you! This 21-Day information filled course based on Ayurveda and Nutrition. It can help you combat chronic diseases, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain and depression. I cover everything from food sourcing, meal planning, herbal supplements, to emotional healing and reasons behind food cravings. This complete e-course will be administered solely through your email or in a PDF form. However, for deeper health challenges and custom design protocol and meal plan a consult with me would be more suitable.

A few Extended Tips:

Try a New Grain:

Gluten free grains such as quinoa, teff and millet are packed with nutrition, protein. and fiber. Eating whole grains can lower the chances of belly fat than refined grains.

Up your Essential Fatty Acids:

If you are a vegetarian or vegan the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are from chia seeds, seaweeds, flax seeds, and hemp seed oil. Purchase a good quality plant-based Omega 3 fatty acid as well as have Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids to add to the diet. In a personal, one on one health consultation, I suggest both my male and female clients how best to add EFAs in their diet and what would be the best source for them.

Don’t forget Fiber:

One major part of carbohydrate rich food is its fiber. Fiber promotes digestion, lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar, promotes healthy weight, and increase healthy gut bacteria. Although fruits, vegetables and grains contain fiber in various amounts, it is important to add extra fiber as you are in your 40s. Psyllium husk, flax seed and chia seeds are my top choices to add extra fiber. Apple, pear, avocado, artichoke, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, beet, and peas also carry good amount of fiber.

Please let me know which of the of the tips you will try first. What have you changed recently that improved your metabolism? And always speak with your primary health care professional before making any major change in your diet.

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There are 50 different types of hormones secreted and circulated by the human body at any given time. The word “Hormone” comes from the Greek for “to excite or arouse.” Hormones are the body’s chemical messenger. All multi cellular organisms in the body produce hormones of one kind or another. The network that make and release hormones are the endocrine cells (mostly glands). The hormones enter the blood system and circulate throughout the body and activate target cells.

Organs and Glands that Produce Hormones

The glands in the endocrine system that produces hormones are pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and the thymus. The organs that produce hormones are pancreas, heart, kidneys, ovaries, testicles, and intestines.

What Hormones Do?

These chemical substances control and regulate the following

  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Growth and development
  • Contraction of smooth and cardiac muscles
  • Defence mechanism
  • Homeostasis
  • Energy balance
  • Water, nutrient, sugar and electrolyte balance in the blood

Where is the Thyroid Gland Located?

“The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck, below the Adam’s apple, wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). It has the shape of a butterfly: two wings (lobes) attached to one another by a middle part called the isthmus.” = Medicine.net

What Hormones are produced by the Thyroid Gland?

Thyroid gland uses iodine (a mineral) to make its hormones such as, thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin. Note that 20% of the body’s triiodothyronine is made by the thyroid gland; the other 80% comes from thyroxine converted by organs such as the liver or kidneys.Thyroid gland produces calcitonin from C-cells and the hormone is known to play an important role in regulating calcium levels in the body.

It is the pituitary gland that produces the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which stimulates the thyroid gland to make its hormones. The hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone called thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) that tells the pituitary gland to produce TSH. Hence, it is important to understand that the thyroid gland is regulated by feedback mechanism of the brain. The feedback loop is called, hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis.”

What does the Thyroid Gland do?

The hormones produced by the thyroid gland ensures

  1. Regulated the body’s metabolic rate.
  2. Heart function
  3. Digestive function
  4. Muscle control
  5. Brain development
  6. Balances mood
  7. Proper bone health maintenance

Types of Thyroid Disorders or Diseases

  • Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid
  • Hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid
  • Goiter – enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Thyroid nodules – abnormal growth of thyroid cells that forms a lump within the thyroid gland
  • Thyroid cancer – cancer that develops from the tissues of the thyroid gland.
  • Thyrotoxicosis – too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. 
  • Grave’s disease – autoimmune thyroid disease. The thyroid gland is stimulated by auto-antibodies, which make it overactive, resulting in increased thyroid hormone production.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis/Hashimoto’s disease) – an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed. 

Symptoms of Thyroid Gland Disorder:

The following are the most notes symptoms of thyroid issues

  • Fatigue
  • Poor circulation (cold hands and feet)
  • Apathy
  • Hair loss
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Weight gain
  • Poor appetite
  • Poor concentration and inability to retain information
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland
  • Depression

Causes of Thyroid Gland Disorders

  • Iodine deficiency
  • Pituitary disorder
  • Autoimmune condition
  • Weather changes – Studies show that people with normal thyroid function tend to have higher TSH levels in the colder month because the body is trying to cope with the cold by increasing hormones to generate more heat. These people may be diagnosed with hypothyroidism but it may be just the weather effecting their TSH levels.
  • Pregnancy
  • Side effect of medication
  • Radiation

Natural Remedies to Support the Thyroid Gland

Avoid Dietary Disruptors: Avoid or reduce intake of gluten containing grains such wheat, spelt, rye, barley, oats manufactured in wheat processing facility can cause thyroid conditions. Eating too many uncooked or raw cruciferous vegetables can disrupt the thyroid function. It also recommended avoiding A1 casein protein that is found in commercial dairy based products as it may lead to thyroid malfunctions.

Add Dietary Helpers: Lack of iodine can also cause some of the thyroid conditions therefore using iodized salt is beneficial and can act as a protective mechanism. Algae and various seaweeds such as, kelp, nori, kombu, wakame etc. are some of the best sources of iodine. Read m previous blog about the benefits of seaweeds in your diet. Adding selenium rich foods such as nuts, seeds will assist in avoiding Hashimoto’s condition. Tyrosine rich foods are also essential for Thyroid gland such as, oats, watercress, spinach, sesame seeds, fava beans, cabbage, pumpkin seeds etc.

Add Herbs and Spices: Add circulatory spices such as ginger, turmeric and cinnamon to combat cold hand and feet. These spices are beneficial for the thyroid health. Ayurvedic herbs such as, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, Guggulu are extremely popular to improve thyroid health. One of the issues we often face is NOT all herbs are good for everyone. One must seek advise from their local Herbalist or a ND to find out what would be the best herbs for their thyroid condition.

Avoid Autoimmune Response Triggers: Work with you primary health care practitioner and your Natural Health Care Practitioner to find out what triggers your autoimmune response in order to avoid those triggers. For autoimmune conditions try eliminating the usual suspects such as, wheat, gluten, dairy to begin with.

Avoid Fluoride: Excessive fluoride in your body may lead to many health hazards including iodine deficiency which in turn can cause thyroid dysfunction. Avoid fluoride in water and toothpastes I use the filter below and if you are following you may know that I make and sell my own toothpowder.

Castor Oil Packs for Swelling: Applying warm castor oil pack on the thyroid gland will reduce the swelling of the gland. To do this one must apply castor oil over the thyroid gland, put a flannel cloth over it and apply mini heating pad on top of it.

Sunshine or D3: Sunshine has many benefits than just Vitamin D production in the body. Studies have shown that sunshine can positively affect or can be protective against autoimmune condition. For thyroid related autoimmune conditions exposing the thyroid gland to sunshine for a small period of time can assist with lessen trigger response. Vitamin D3 supplementation is required when sunshine is missing.

Reduce Plastic (including BPA) Exposure: Plastic and BPA containing plastic disrupts our natural hormone balance. These toxic materials can cause thyroid diseases as well. Read my previous blog on how to reduce plastic materials from our lives. BPA is also in can’s can contains canned foods Note when reducing plastic start from the kitchen and then move on to toiletries, cosmetics and personal care products.

Reduce Exposure to Heavy Metals: It is hard to avoid heavy metal exposure in this modern world. If you can’t reduce exposure then increase foods that are high in Vitamin C in your diet as well as add cilantro and parsley leaves in your diet. Both these herbs are considered heavy metal detoxifiers by naturopathic doctors.

Pranayama or Breathing Exercise for Thyroid: One of the best Pranayam to stimulate the thyroid gland is “Kapal Bhati” or the breath of fire, where the focus is on forced exhalation. One should always work up the stamina to increase the length of their pranayama. Start with a set of 20 and work up to 100 breath of fire. Ujjayi Pranayam or “ocean breath” is also highly beneficial for thyroid health which can be performed by making oceanic sound in your throat. Last but not the least “Anulom Viloom” or alternative nostril breathing is essential to reduce stress and improve thyroid health. Read my blog on Benefits of Pranayam.

Yoga Asana & Stretches to Improve Thyroid Functions: Neck stretches and rotations are absolute key to improve overall thyroid function. I am linking a website here that I really liked to perform neck stretches. Lion’s pose (Singhasana) is also known to directly impact the thyroid gland. More challenging are the shoulder stand, supported head stand, wheel pose (or upward bow pose), plough pose and boat pose. Whereas, less challenging poses are fish pose, bridge pose, cobra pose and upward dog pose. Before attempting any Yoga Asana it is important to contact a health care practitioner and certified Yoga teacher.

Above are some of my recommendations for improving Thyroid Gland Function or keeping it in balance. It is important to keep a Basal Body Temperature track to find out if you thyroid is working well. Ask you ND or alternative health care practitioner to do a physical thyroid examination for swelling and an iodine test to rule our iodine deficiency thyroid gland disorders. Many MDs and NDs send patients with Hashimoto’s condition to a compounding pharmacy to desiccated thyroid gland.

As you are aware I am a Clinical Herbalist with background in Nutrition, Yoga and Ayurveda. For live consultation in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Canada or skype consultation click here to book an appointment.  

If you have seen improvement in you thyroid condition by following any remedy please share with us and leave a comment. Share this blog in your social media so others can benefit from these remedies.

Disclaimer: I have added Amazon.ca product links for a few products I like. These are my Amazon.ca affiliate links.

My very first experience with sea vegetables was at a Buddhist Temple in Mississauga where they served their main meal with seaweed salad and it was YUM! The first bite into the seaweed salad changed my taste bud for good! Later when we fell in love with Sushi I have had many nori rolls and seaweed salads. Luckily my education in the field of nutrition and herbal medicine also lead me to learn and explore more about sea vegetables or seaweeds. I use them in many of my favourite and delicious recipes at home, such as, I use Irish moss as a thickener for my almond milk, use kelp in my kelp and zucchini noodles, use Agar Agar in making vegan cheese and arame to cook rice. I will soon share some of these recipes with you.

I have been to many wellness seminars and I believe I heard someone (quite possibly David Wolfe) quoting someone, “The future of nutrition lies within the ocean

There are many essential nutrients required by the body to function at optimal level. The word ‘essential’ is used because the body cannot produce these nutrients on its own and need to derive them from the food we eat. Of which trace minerals and glycol nutrients are required for optimal cell function. However, many of these nutrients are missing from the very soil we grow food in. Tropical countries and countries were the land has been under water do not have this problems as much. Therefore using sea vegetables that are mineral and nutrient rich are the best ways to ensure we get all of our essential nutrition. The best thing to know about sea weeds it is grown wildly under the sea and doesn’t have to be organic and no one needs to worry about GMO! Because this is under water it is in its most pure form and human interjections to change anything in it has not happened. It is a wild edible from the ocean.

Sea vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and polysaccharides (long chain sugar, almost a bitter sugar). There are mainly three categories of seaweeds – green, red, brown, blue-greens and yellow-greens.

As I am moving towards being an herbalist, I am seeing the medicinal value of sea vegetables.

Sea vegetables are the best source of iron and iodine. Seaweeds contain ten to twenty times more nutrients than land vegetables.1 They balance thyroid function and prevent aging and chronic disease. Sea veggies are also chockfull of chlorophyll (specially the green seaweeds) and dietary fiber and they lend a salty flavor to foods, which comes from a balanced combination of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and many other trace minerals naturally found in the ocean. The nutrient that makes it unique is the glyconutrients found in sea weeds.

Common Benefits of all Sea Vegetables:

  1. All sea vegetables contain protein, fiber (soluble and insoluble), omega 3 fatty acids and minerals.
  2. Most all of the sea vegetables contain both fat and water soluble vitamins such as, high amount of Vitamin A, beta carotene, B complex, Vitamin C and E.
  3. All seaweeds are excellent source of calcium, iodine and iron.
  4. More minerals and trace minerals combinations compared to any land vegetables.
  5. Kelp, kombu and wakame contains alginic acid which assists the human body with detoxification from heavy metals and radioactive isotopes.
  6. All sea vegetables contain iodine which makes it essential for hormonal health.
  7. The iron content in seaweeds is more bioavailable to the body because they also contain high amount of vitamin C.
  8. All seaweeds improves carbohydrate metabolism and aids in weight loss.
  9. All of the seaweeds assist the body with reducing bloating, swelling and water retention.
  10. Seaweeds are known to bind with heavy metals and radioactive pollutants in our body and remove them.
  11. Sea vegetables are also high in lignans that can block oestrogens or the bad estrogens. This reduces the chances of estrogen related cancer.

Precaution before Culinary Uses:

  1. Wash fresh sea vegetable thoroughly before using them for cooking to get rid of any sands.
  2. After cooking or adding them to salads, refrigerate any left overs.
  3. Pre-soak dried sea vegetables before consuming or adding to a dish.
  4. Note before soaking that sea-vegetable grows double in size after soaking.
  5. Store dried sea vegetables in an air-tight glass container after opening the initial package.

Varieties of sea vegetables:

Benefits of Agar Agar: (Gelidium corneum)

Taste: Salty and Sweet

Effect: Cooling

Agar Agar also known as Kanten in Japan, is wonderful for creating delicious sugar-free desserts. It comes in powder, flakes, bars and long string (almost like noodles). It is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin. It can be used to firm up jellies, pies and puddings as well as when vegan cheese. Currently Agar Agar noodles are available at Chinese Super stores and health food stores. Note that it simply dissolves in hot liquid and thickens at room temperature.

  • Agar Agar has mild laxative properties and therefore can be helpful for those who suffer from constipation.
  • If used in conjunction with vegetables in a salad Agar Agar can aid in weight loss.
  • Agar Agar is known to reduce inflammation, improve liver, lungs and heart health.
  • Agar Agar is known for its high content of iron and calcium.
  • Could be used in treating hemorrhoids.
  • This sea vegetable also can assist in eliminating radioactive toxins from the body.  
  • In cosmetic industry, it can be used to soften and moisturize skin and hair. Therefore, a number of cosmetic manufacturers are starting to use Agar Agar as one of the raw material in making lipstick, soap, ointments, lotion and cream.

Caution: Do not use if you have loose stools or diarrhea.

Benefits of Arame: (Eisenia bicyclis)

Taste: Salty and Sweet

Effect: Cooling

Arame has a rather mild flavor. Arame is brown Japanese kelp used primarily in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Peruvian and Indonesian cuisine.

  • Arame is a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A and dietary fiber
  • A tablespoon of dried arame will give you 0.7 mg of iodine, therefore beneficial for thyroid health. Contains more iodine than shell fishes and more calcium than milk.
  • Arame can be used in lowering blood pressure.
  • This seaweed contains an abundant amount of chlorophyll. 
  • The nutrients in Arame improve the elasticity of skin while the antioxidants and minerals draw toxins from the dermal tissue. 
  • Arame also contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation in skin, strengthens hair, bones, teeth and nails.

Benefits of Bladderwrack: (Fucus vesiculosus)

  • Improves thyroid function as it contains a good supply of iodine.
  • Bladderwrack increase metabolism and curbs appetite.
  • Contains beta-carotene that improves vision by fighting the free radicals in the cornea.
  • Reduces inflammation for people suffering from arthritis, gout, sore muscles and joints.
  • Bladderwrack is amazing for those suffering from high cholesterol, blood sugar issues and even cancer. A unique fiber found in bladderwrack is called Fucoidan (a polysaccharides) which promotes cell regeneration.
  • The fiber in the bladderwrack also assists to relieve from constipation, reduce flatulence, bloating, cramping and reduces the chances of ulcer.
  • Bladderwrack has also been used in skin care for dryness, wrinkles, and age spots. It has also been used to fight skin irritation such as burns, insect bites and itch.

Benefits of Dulse: (Palmaria palmate)

Dulse also comes in shakable flakes, similar to granulated kelp and can be a good substitute for salt. Expect a chewy texture and slightly salty finish. Dulse is available in fresh, dried, flaky and form. Dulse flakes are often shredded and sprinkled on soups, but fresh dulse can be sautéed like vegetables, dulse flakes can be used in lentil soups or sprinkle on avocado or salads. It can also be consumed as a snack.

  • Dulse packed with protein, iron and contains all 8 glyco nutrients.
  • It has less iodine (by most accounts, about 1/5 of the amount) than kombu, with high amounts of magnesium and calcium.
  • The high levels of vitamin A found in dulse make it an ideal solution for vision problems.
  • Dulse also contains manganese which can assist with preventing skin conditions (scurvy) and viral infections (herpes).

Benefits of Hijiki: (Sargassum fusiforme)

Taste: Salty

Effect: Cooling

In Japan Hijiki is known to have a very strong taste. Hijiki grows in the coastal regions of Japan, China and Korea. The “Hijiki” means “Bearer of wealth and beauty.” It expands up to four times more than its original volume after soaking in water.

  • Hijiki has vitamin B2 and niacin which assists in balancing blood sugar levels and aids in weight loss.
  • Iodine present in it balances hormones (thyroid) and also ensures their proper functioning.
  • Hijiki is a rich source of the essential bone mineral – calcium. A small amount of hijiki contains more calcium than cow’s milk. Hence it is beneficial for bone, teeth, hair and nails.
  • Hijiki is known to reduce phlegm in the body and assist in detoxification.
  • It is an amazing addition to beauty care as it is known to brighten skin tone of the face and add luster to the hair. If you think about the Ayurvedic perspective of understanding how the food looks like or the color or the shape of the food guides you what it is good for. Hijiki looks like thick, black hair.

Benefits of Irish moss (Chondrus crispus)

Taste: Salty and Sweet

Effect: Cooling

Irish moss is also known as “Sea Moss” or “Carrageen Moss.” 

  • Irish moss contains vitamin A, D, E, and K as well iodine, potassium, sulphur and calcium chloride.
  • Used externally as a beauty care ingredient, as it softens and soothes the skin as well as reduce wrinkles and dark circles. 
  • Other skincare benefits include sunburn, chapped skin, eczema, psoriasis, and rashes.
  • Within the food industry it is used as a thickener, so it is a great addition to a raw vegan diet such as to make ice-creams and nut milks. I add this powerhouse of seaweed in my homemade almond milk.
  • Irish moss is used in reducing mucus and dryness from the lungs. It is used as a remedy for any lung diseases such as cold, flu, and mumps.
  • This seaweed is also used to lower cholesterol.
  • The gelatinous substance in Irish moss makes it a useful treatment for peptic and duodenal ulcers.
  • Irish moss is also used in kidney and bladder diseases.

Benefits of Kombu (Laminaria japonica)

Kombu is a type of kelp. It comes dried, for soup or broth, or fresh, to be eaten as sashimi.

  • Kombu contains high amount of iodine, calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • Kombu is used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for goiter.
  • The alginic acid in Kombu is known to act as an intestinal cleanser.
  • Kombu in the diet will provide the much-needed iron to maintain good health.
  • In cooking Kombu is used as a flavour enhancer as it contains glutamate.
  • Kombu is also used when cooking lentils as it is known to improve the digestion of the legume.

Benefits of Kelp (Laminariales)

It is edible brown algae. At specialty grocery stores it is found in dried as well as powdered form. I mix this in my salt bottle to get more nutritional benefit from this salty food.

  • Kelp adds good amount of iodine in one’s diet which boosts metabolism and improve thyroid function.
  • Kelp is known to contain all 8 glyco nutrients.
  • Kelp has been used for men’s reproductive health especially for prostate problems.
  • Kelp is also used in autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s condition, rheumatism, hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyriodism.
  • The abundance of vitamins and minerals in kelp can promote healthy hair and skin.
  • Kelp is useful for the GI tract and the pancreas.
  • Kelp is known to reduce swelling, edema, ovarian problems, tumors, lymphatic swelling, goiter and swollen testes.
  • The nutrient content also aids in heart health and reduces blood pressure. It protects the heart in high altitudes and assists in deep breathing.
  • Kelp is also used to sooth lungs and throat when suffering from coughing and asthma.

Benefits of Nori (Porphyra species)

Seaweed sheets used to make sushi rolls which are essentially Nori. Roasted Nori also available and has the best of flavours amongst the sea vegetables.

  • Nori contains one of the richest sources of protein (30-40 grams of protein per 100 gram) and amino acids (such as Taurine) of all seaweeds.
  • Nori contains high amounts of Vitamin A, B1, B12, niacin, Vitamin C, E, K, potassium and iodine.
  • One sheet of Nori has high amounts of fiber and omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Nori contains all of the 8 glyco nutrients.
  • Nori is used in reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Also used to prevent goiter, edema and painful urination.
  • Nori is amazing for skin health and reduces the chances of beriberi, cysts, warts, and rickets.

Benefits of Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca)

Sea lettuce is also known as Irish seaweeds. It is green seaweed or algae that grow worldwide. Sea lettuce is added in soups, meats and fish.  

  • Rich source of B vitamins, vitamin A, C and E.
  • Sea lettuce is known to be used to protect from macular degeneration.
  • Sea lettuce also contains good amount of calcium and magnesium – both minerals promotes bone and dental health.
  • Sea lettuce is also rich in high amount of protein and iron.

Benefits of Sea Palm (Postelsia palmaeformis)

Sea Palm is brownish-green in color, looks just like a miniature palm tree. Sea palm has a sweet and salty taste. It can be added to soups or salads. Toasted sea palm can also be consumed on its own.  

  • Sea palm like the other sea vegetables contains an array of nutrients that boosts metabolism, reduces edema, improves thyroid function, and aids in weight loss.
  • Sea Palm eliminates toxins and heavy metals from the body.
  • Reduces the chances of growths, tumors, goiter and cysts.
  • This antioxidant rich sea vegetable eliminates free-radicals and in turn slows down aging.  

Benefits of Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida)

Wakame is related to kombu and also is known as badderlocks, murlins or wing kelp. I have added to soups, rice and stir fries. Roasted wakame can be sprinkled on salads or stews as an easy way to add minerals to your favorite foods. Wakame contains high levels of B Vitamins and C which makes it amazing fat burning.

  • Contains fucoxanthin which improves insulin resistance.
  • Also is a diuretic herb which reduces swelling, water retention and bloating.
  • Wakame contains good amount of calcium which makes it good for bone, hair and skin health.
  • Reduces the chances of tumors.
  • In Japan wakame is given to mothers after childbirth to purify blood.

 Types of Sea Vegetables or Seaweeds in Nature:

Green Algae Brown Algae Red Algae
Sea Lettuce Arame Agar Agar
  Bladderwrack Dulse
  Hijiki Nori
  Kelp  
  Kombu  
  Wakame  

 

In future, I will be sharing two sea vegetable recipes. These are:

 

  1. Edmame and Arame Salad
  2. Sea Vegetable Rice. 

Stay Tuned!

Reference:

Phipott, Jane and Bradford, Montse, “Seaweed: Nature’s secret for a long and healthy life”. The Nutrition Practitioner. Winter 2006

Mateljan, George. Sea Vegetables. Weblink, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=135.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. Third Edition. Page: 580 – 595.5

http://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com/seaweed.html

Ravensthorpe, Michael , “Sea Lettuce: A Possible Secret  to Longevity.”

Weblink: http://spiritfoods.net/health-benefits-of-sea-lettuce/. Date researched: May 28, 2017.

 

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