Seaweed or sea vegetables have a long history of use in Japan and other sea based cultures.
Because they contain a library of unique medicinal compounds, they have become a new weapon in the fight against heart disease and cancer.
Compared to land plants, sea vegetables are twenty times higher in vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Sea vegetables as a group are high in fiber, which is particularly useful in removing harmful metabolites before they damage cells and prevents the colon from absorbing unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
This may explain why the Japanese have such a low incidence of colo-rectal cancer.
Sea vegetables are a good source of minerals including iodine, the mineral involved with proper thyroid function.
The thyroid gland controls carbohydrate and cholesterol metabolism and acts to prevent the buildup of arterial plaque.
Iodine deficiency and low thyroid activity are linked to breast cancer. This may account for the very low rate of breast cancer experienced by Japanese women.
Sea vegetables are also high in magnesium, which is essential for calcium absorption and the production of calcitonin, the hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that is responsible for moving calcium from the blood to bone, thereby increasing its density and strength.
Calcium is another mineral that is found in high concentration in sea vegetables.
Wakame for example has ten times the calcium of milk.
Sea vegetables are high in the antioxidant mineral selenium and other antioxidants. These are important compounds in the strategy to prevent heart disease and cancer.