If you’re a big fan of Japanese food, you’ve probably already eaten your fair share of wakame—but if you’ve never tried this tasty sea vegetable before, it might be time to give it a shot.
What’s so special about wakame? Is eating seaweed really that good for you? The answer is yes. Wakame is just one of the many types of seaweed used in popular Japanese dishes like miso soup, stir-fry, salads, and udon noodles, and it’s one of the healthiest sea vegetables that you can eat. It might not sound too appetizing as a snack on its own, but if you mix it into another savory dish, it’s both delicious and nutritious.
Wakame is high in essential minerals like manganese, magnesium, sodium, and calcium—and it’s much better to get your necessary boost of sodium from whole foods than adding table salt. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and important B vitamins like folate. It’s low in fat, but it is a good source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for overall brain health.
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Wakame could definitely be a great addition to the dinner table for vegetarians and vegans. It can be hard to find plant sources of calcium, Vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids, but toss some wakame in with your vegan ramen, and it will get a nice, healthy boost of nutrients. It’s also a nice substitute for fishy flavors if you don’t eat fish but miss the taste.
Researchers are especially interested in the potential anti-cancer properties of sea vegetables like wakame. Japan has lower breast cancer rates than most other developed nations, and scientists think it could be because sea vegetables are a staple in so many Japanese dishes. Some think that eating seaweed can help prevent both cancer and heart disease because it’s packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body.
You can usually find wakame and other sea vegetables sold dry in the grocery store. Before cooking with wakame, simply rehydrate it by soaking it in water for about ten minutes, then go ahead and add it to soup, salad, rice, or noodles.
Would you try adding sea vegetables like wakame to your diet? Let us know in the comments!