Seaweed is the term given to diverse sea vegetables ranging from algae to marine plants and has been used for thousands of years, most notably in cuisine.
With tens of thousands of species of seaweed wildly on offer, there is a wide variation in the diversity, flavour and nutritional value. The most popular type of seaweed species is nori, which is widely used to make sushi.  Other common varieties include dulse, arame, wakame, kelp and spirulina.

Seaweed is fast becoming a superfood thanks to the incredible benefits that it brings to your skin and overall health and wellbeing.

The Benefits Of Seaweed For Your Skincare

At Wild Atlantic Surf Co we know that oceans are so rich in life and with the diversity from the saltwater and the sun, it is no surprise that seaweed has some powerful skin caring properties. This includes nutrition to the skin in the form of proteins, bioactive peptides, enzymes, minerals, polysaccharides, fatty acids and vitamins. This special combination of nutrients makes seaweed help the skin from its antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and general anti-ageing ability. It is one of the best bio-actives available for the skin, and this is why it is used so much in anti-ageing creams.

Furthermore, the amino acids found in seaweed plump up your skin, improving its elasticity, smoothing out any fine lines for healthier, firmer skin.

Wild Atlantic Surf Co Vegan SOS Balm contains 3 seaweed extracts, Irish Moss, Golden Kelp and Brown Kelp, all found on the Atlantic coastline, to help preserve the skin’s natural protective layer and fight dryness.

The Benefits Of Seaweed For Your Hair

Seaweed can contain the well-known elements collagen and other nutrients that are responsible for hair recovery, hydration, mineralisation and also its thickness! Owing to the abundance of zinc and vitamins A and C in some seaweed, they may also stimulate hair growth and production.

Seaweed is naturally hydrating to the scalp (which is especially good for seasonally dry scalp) while its fatty and amino acids help keep hair strong. It's not just the inner structure of your hair that seaweed addresses, it also works to improve texture and shine too.

The Benefits of Seaweed For Your Health

Scientific studies have confirmed that seaweed bathing helps lower body stress and relieve skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, acne etc. It has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of muscle aches and joint stiffness namely rheumatism and arthritis, and excellent for some circulatory problems. Seaweed treatments are associated with body toning and the release of toxins. Indeed, the therapeutic merit of seaweed can be aptly described as one of nature's timeless treasures, fostering beauty, balance and vitality.

The Benefits Of Eating Seaweed

Nori is the most common type of seaweed wrapped around sushi rolls. It comes in dried square sheets. Dulse is a red alga that can be quite salty and has a bark-like structure. Hijiki looks like dried dark stems, and sea lettuce is a bright green alga that looks like terrestrial lettuce. Sea lettuce is known for having quite a strong seafood taste and smell. Finally, kelp is the seaweed that typically washes up on shores and is best for raw recipes.

Adding seaweed to your diet may help with thyroid function, digestive health, and weight loss as seaweed is generally a good supply of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Seaweed also contains antioxidants, which may protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation at the cellular level.

Fibre-rich foods such as seaweed may help reduce the risk factors associated with diabetes. This is because high amounts of fibre help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. The slightly sweet, vaguely salty taste of seaweed pairs well with savoury, creamy foods like avocado, tahini, and hummus for supreme seaweed snacks. This will boost a person’s fibre intake without a large increase in calories.

Can you eat too much seaweed?

Eating fresh seaweed is considered to be safe for most people. That said, consuming it regularly or in high amounts may cause some side effects.

  • Seaweed can contain a very large and potentially dangerous amount of iodine leading to thyroid dysfunction.
  • Seaweed can contain large amounts of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead.

Wild Atlantic Surf Co recommends enjoying this ancient ingredient in regular but small amounts for optimum health benefits.

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February 28, 2022 — Andrew Marsden