Have you heard of it? Wakame is a seaweed and seaweeds are generally high in iron and iodine, essential for healthy brain function and great to help growing bodies (or mamas-to-be who are growing little bodies!). It provides nutrients that assist thyroid function, energy, metabolism, nervous system, bone strength and much more. As mentioned below, watch the salt content if you are on a low sodium diet. I use Wakame by soaking and adding to a salad, pasta or stir fry- I’ve even added it to bread (a sour dough olive concoction- don’t ask for the recipe, I made it up, forgot it and have never been able to replicate it since…) I just use the Power Super Foods Wakame which you can get in a lot of health food stores (or from their website)- it’s great quality and they do a lot for charity.
Here’s a quick run-down on this amazing super food:
Major Nutritional Values:
- Energy (190kj/100g)
- Protein (3.03g/100g)
- Carbohydrate (9.14g/100g)
- Fat (0.64g/100g, including 0.13g saturated)
- Vitamin A (360iu/100g)
- B1 (0.6mg/100g), B2 (0.23mg/100g), B3 (1.6mg/100g), B5 (0.697mg/100g).
- Vitamin C (3mg/100g)
- Vitamin E (1mg/100g)
- Calcium (150mg/100g), Iron (2.18mg/100g), Magnesium (107mg/100g), Phosphorous (80mg/100g), Potassium (50mg/100g), Sodium (872mg/100g), Zinc (0.38mg/100g), Copper (0.284mg/100g), Manganese (1.4mg/100g), Selenium (0.7mcg/100g)
Seaweeds in general are very nutrient dense- wakame is particularly high in calcium, iron and iodine as well as B1 and B3. Iodine helps to promote a healthy thyroid and may assist maintaining a healthy weight. Algin, a fibre molecule, is particularly beneficial, as it binds to heavy and possibly toxic metals, taking them out of the body.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Wakame has a high mineral content which can supplement a diet lacking, particularly in calcium or iron. It is easy to include in basic foods, as it can be used as a green vegetable or made into a spread. When cooked with beans, wakame has a softening effect on the hard legumes. The sodium level is unfortunately high, so wakame (and most other seaweeds) should be eaten in moderation by those wishing to avoid salt.
*Information gained from a few sources, primarily this USDA website. Wakame is a food and not designed to treat any medical conditions.