What Illness Causes You To Need Seaweed

Seaweed has long been considered a health powerhouse for centuries. Rich in iodine, vitamins and minerals, it has been used as a natural remedy for ailments ranging from fever to mental fatigue. But today, more and more people are turning to seaweed as a treatment for an increasingly-prevalent illness: Hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormone thyroxine, resulting in a host of health issues including fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, constipation, depression, and more. Seaweed has been used for centuries to treat hypothyroidism thanks the its high iodine content – iodine is a mineral that is essential for proper thyroid functioning.

Experts at Harvard Medical School point out that although seaweed is a natural source of iodine, it should not be used as a replacement for a physician-prescribed hormone replacement therapy. Furthermore, they point out that since wild and commercially grown seaweed can contain levels of heavy metals and other contaminants, it is important for those taking seaweed as a treatment for their condition to look for and purchase only certified organic seaweed.

In addition to its effectiveness as a treatment for hypothyroidism, some experts advocate seaweed as a preventative measure against Thyroid Disease. People at risk for thyroid disease include those with a family history of the disorder, or those who live in areas where iodine intake is low as well as pregnant women and children, whose bodies may not be able to absorb enough iodine to maintain a healthy balance. For these individuals, seaweed is recommended as an inexpensive and natural supplement that can help minimize their risk for thyroid disease.

It is important to note that seaweed should not be consumed in excessive amounts, even for those with hypothyroidism. Consuming too much iodine can suppress thyroid hormones, and could eventually lead to health complications. Because seaweed carries powerful healing properties, people should check with their physicians and nutritionists to determine the amount and type that is right for their bodies.

Indeed, for those with hypothyroidism, seaweed is both a blessing and a challenge. As a naturally-occurring source of iodine, it is an affordable and accessible way to increase thyroid health without the need for hormone therapy. Moreover, it carries with it a host of other health benefits such as boosting immune health and even improving skin conditions. On the other hand, consuming too much of it can be damaging, either due to pollutants in wild, non-certified seaweed or due to excessive iodine intake regardless of seaweed’s certified organic status.

Impact of Eating Seaweed

Apart from its role in the treatment and prevention of Thyroid Disease, seaweed has also been the subject of numerous studies which suggest that consuming seaweed as part of the diet can bring about a host of health benefits. Seaweed is especially rich in cytokinins, hormones which encourage cell division and tissue growth, and bioactive compounds which have been found to help regulate glucose levels and reduce cholesterol. Studies also suggest that regular consumption of seaweed can reduce inflammation in the body and help protect against cognitive decline.

Seaweed also contains high levels of antioxidants, which protect against cell damage by reducing the harmful effect of free radicals. This has been linked to a decreased risk for certain types of cancer as well as better heart health. Additional scientific studies have found additionally seaweed contains powerful compounds called phlorotannins and alginates, which have been associated with inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing chronic disease risk.

One study even suggests that seaweed can help promote healthy aging, due to its many beneficial compounds such as lignans, flavonoids, polysaccharides and saponins. Compounds such as these have been linked to helping preserve cognitive function, reducing inflammation and promoting healthier arteries.


It’s important to note that some people suffer from an allergy to seaweed, and it should be avoided if skin irritation, swelling, or other symptoms occur. Seaweed should also be avoided by people taking blood-thinning medications like Warfarin, as their effects could be increased when taken with seaweed. Additionally, pregnant women should avoid consumption of large amounts of seaweed, as it can contain levels of heavy metals and other contaminants.

Seaweed and its Health Benefits

The health benefits offered by seaweed are indeed vast, but it should be noted that it should not be used as a substitute for prescribed medical treatment. Although seaweed is rich in iodine and other essential vitamins and minerals, its role in the treatment and prevention of hypothyroidism has yet to be determined. By consulting with their physicians and nutritionists, potential consumers can understand the risks and benefits of consuming seaweed and make an informed decision about whether it is the right choice for them.

Nutrition Guide

Depending on the species of seaweed and how it is prepared, seaweed can contain different levels of vitamins and minerals such as iodine, magnesium, potassium, iron, selenium, and zinc. Seaweed can also contain polysaccharides, a type of carbohydrate which helps regulate glucose levels in the body, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved cardiovascular health.

On average, one ounce of seaweed typically contains about 60 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of protein. When analyzing nutritional information, it is important to check the label to make sure the product is organic, unsalted, and not treated with any extra sugar or oil.

A Fantastic Source of Nutrition

Seaweed is considered one of the healthiest of all plants, contributing significantly to holistic health and well-being. In addition to its already proven benefits as a potent healer of certain illnesses, seaweed has been found to offer rich sources of proteins, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, making it a superfood among many health circles.

Though it may not be suitable for everyone, seaweed has much to offer those who do choose to include it in their diets. By doing their research and consulting with their doctors, those individuals who suffer from Hypothyroidism can better understand how including seaweed in their diets may be beneficial and understand what level and type of seaweed is right for their bodies.

Michael Gates

Michael Y. Gates is an ocean biologist and author who specializes in researching and writing about sea sponges. Michael is passionate about protecting the world's oceans and educating others about the importance of conserving our marine resources.

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