Seaweed consumption isn’t exactly high in North America, and you’d be hard-pressed to find it on any menu beyond its role in sushi and miso soup. This is unfortunate because seaweed is extremely nutritious and offers quite a few health benefits. So the answer to the question is seaweed salad healthy is yes.
A good way to eat seaweed is in a salad, as seaweed salad nutrition is high and worth looking into as an option for lunch and dinner. The calories in seaweed salad, for the most part, don’t exceed 100 calories, which is fantastic considering the nutritional value it offers in such a small caloric package.
How Many Calories in Seaweed Salad?
For the most part, seaweed salad comes in at under less than 100 calories, making it a great choice for those who want to lose weight or are counting calories and want a nutrient-dense food. The following list shows a few types of seaweed salads and their calorie, fat, and protein content. Seaweed can also be added to any other kind of salad as a garnish or sprinkled on top. This is a good way to try it out before diving into a full plate of seaweed salad.
- Seaweed Salad(1 serving)
Calories: 56, Fat: 1g, Protein: 0g
- Wakame Seaweed Salad W/dressing(1 serving)
Calories: 97, Fat: 5g, Protein: 2g
- Japanese Seaweed Salad(1 oz)
Calories: 35, Fat: 2g, Protein: 1g
- Fresh Seaweed Salad(1 oz)
Calories: 35, Fat: 2g, Protein: 1g
Is Seaweed Salad Good For You?
Seaweed offers some great health benefits because it is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and has more calcium in it than broccoli. So if you don’t like broccoli, this might be the vegetable for you. Seaweed also offers a good amount of vitamins B-12 and A, and don’t forget that it is a wonderful source of soluble fiber. It turns into a gel, which slows down the digestive process. When this happens, sugars and cholesterol are less likely to be absorbed by the body, meaning weight gain is less likely to occur.
Seaweed tends to be high in sodium, sitting at about 690 mg per serving. Tack on the sodium found in soy sauce, a common ingredient in seaweed salad, and sodium levels in one salad approach the daily maximum of about 2300 mg a day. If you already have high blood pressure, this amount drops to 1800 mg or less. To reduce the sodium level, cut back on the soy sauce if making it at home, or ask if the dressing can be on the side when eating seaweed salad at a restaurant.
The minerals in seaweed salad are worth trying to eat at least once a week. Seaweed salad typically has wakame in it, a type of seaweed different than nori seaweed that is used to make sushi rolls. The essential minerals found in wakame include calcium, iron, and magnesium, an important mineral in regulating blood pressure.
Folate is also found in seaweed salad, which can help prevent birth defects, so pregnant women can benefit from this salad. Vitamin A is also found in seaweed salad, which is important for healthy eyes and vision.
Seaweed itself is low in fat and has no cholesterol. Good fats such as olive and sesame oil are used in seaweed salad, adding heart health benefits to the nutritional profile.
Simple Seaweed Salad Recipe
Short on time but want to take advantage of eating this powerhouse salad? Here is a simple recipe: a popular Japanese dish that will take less than 10 minutes to prep. Seaweed salad nutrition facts include fiber, vitamins, minerals such as iron, and iodine (a micronutrient), which is needed for thyroid and brain health. Iodine is hard to get from food alone; that is why it is added to table salt to ensure most people get some in their diet. Eat this salad to get the health benefits of seaweed salad.
For the salad, you will need:
- 1-ounce dry mixed seaweed
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- *1/2 teaspoon ginger juice
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
Put the seaweed in a bowl and fill with water. Soak for 5 minutes if you like your seaweed more tender and soak for 10 minutes if you like it softer. The dressing is simple to make. Combine the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and ginger in a bowl and mix it up. Drain the seaweed. You will need to use your hands to squeeze out any excess water. Toss everything together and then plate.
* If you can’t find ginger juice in your local grocery stores, shredded ginger will work just fine. It just won’t be as pungent, which may be a preferred flavor for you.
Other cultures have been eating seaweed for centuries and it is no wonder why. This is an easy to use food that has a strong nutritional profile, even though it is low on protein. Add it to soups, smoothies, or even when baking; or just make a seaweed salad a few times a week to get the benefits of this food.
“Seaweed Salad,” PBS web site; http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/seaweed-salad/, last accessed January 13, 2017.
“Potential Health Benefits of Seaweed and Seaweed Extract,” Sheffield Hallam Univeristy, http://shura.shu.ac.uk/4980/1/The_Potential_Health_Benefits_of_Seaweed_and_Seaweed_Extracts.PDF, last accessed January 13, 2017.
“Nutritional and Digestive Health Benefits of Seaweed Salad,” US National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22054935, last accessed January 13, 2017.