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Wakame Seaweed Health Benefits & Uses

Wakame is a type of brown alga/seaweed that is grown by the sea-farmers of Japan since Nara period. It is most popularly served in miso soup. Wakame is considered to be one of the healthiest seaweeds in Japan and is favorite for people looking to increase the health of their skin and hair. In a recent study at Hokkaido University that Wakame helps to burn fatty tissue also.

What is Wakame?

soaked edible wakame seaweed.png

The binomial name of Wakame is Undaria pinnatifiida. Earlier in 1603, this seaweed was referred as ‘Vacame’ and then in 1867, the word ‘Wakame’ came into use.  In English, it can be termed as ‘sea mustard’. It is an edible seaweed or sea vegetable. Wakame has high amounts of fiber and much nutritional value in it. The subtly sweet flavor makes it perfect for being used in soups and salads.

The Invasive species specialist group has listed Undaria pinnatifida on its list of 100 worst globally invasive species. Wakame is thin and stringy and usually deep green in color and is satiny in texture. Wakame can be found either dried or fresh, in a refrigerated and sealed package.

organic wakame
Organic Wakame

Wakame Supplement

This Swanson Brown Seaweed – Wakame Supplement is good for weight loss, fitness. It is herbal supplement made from wakame, which comes under brown seaweed category.  Always, buy and use after consulting with the family doctor. If you have never eaten wakame salad or soup, you can try wakame salad or soup at Japanese Restaurant nearby in your city.

wakame supplement

Wakame Nutrition Facts

Wakame has been an important ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicines for a long time. Wakame nutritional properties make it incredibly healthy, particularly for vegetarians and vegans, as it is remarkably high in omega -3 fatty acids.

It is a very important source of vitamins and minerals including iodine, calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is also rich in folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin B2. Wakame also has lignans and fucoxanthin, which have their own unique health benefits.

Calories in Wakame

Wakame offers a less amount of calories from corbohybrade, saturated fats, fatty-acids and protein.

Minerals in Wakame

Wakame being a sea vegetable has to offer a good amount of natural minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, and high amount of sodium.

Wakame Warning: Excessive consumption of sodium may increase the blood pressure. You are always advised to consume packed and process wakame. Consult your doctor before you start taking wakame. During summer time, you can try wakame if you have never eaten before and also drink enough water after eating wakame.

Vitamins in Wakame

Wakame is also source of a variety of vitamins that include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and B12, fotate, choline and beta carotene.

Wakame carries high amount of vitamin A, which is good for eye health and vision.

Fats & Fatty Acids in Wakame

Wakame holds very less amount of saturated and monounsaturated fats, but it offers good amount of fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which are help balance unwanted fats in our body.

Since, wakame is a good source of fatty acids, it can be used in order to lose weight.

According to calorie count, one serving of Wakame seaweed or 2 tablespoons provides:-

– Calories 5 – Calories from fat 1
– Total fat 0.1g – Saturated fat 0g
– Poly saturated fat 0g – Monounsaturated fat 0g
– Cholesterol 0g – Sodium 87mg
– Potassium 5mg – Carbohydrates 0.9g
– Dietary fiber 0.1g – Sugar 0.1g
– Protein 0.3g – Vitamin A 1%
– Vitamin C 1% – Calcium 2%
– Iron 1%
  • Magnesium: This mineral is critical for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, the function of certain enzymes in the body, production and transport of energy, and the production of protein.
  • Iodine: It is needed for the strong metabolism of cells and needed for the process of converting food into energy.
  • Calcium: wakame easily allows for the absorption of the calcium in the human body which makes bone stronger.
  • Iron:  It is essential for the production of red blood cells and prevention of anemia.
  • Folate:  helps the body make new cells and is especially important for pregnant women.
  • Lignans:  plays an important role in preventing a certain type of cancer, particularly breast cancer.

Uses of Wakame

Wakame is most often used in seaweed salad and soup filling. Wakame is often served with a small side salad dressed with rice vinegar and soy sauce. Or it is used in a Japanese marinated cucumber side salad called sunomono. It adds a delicious component to a variety of meals, but recently it has gained popularity because of its health benefits.

Wakame for Health

wakame soup

 Wakame is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as folate, vitamin B2, and manganese. Therefore has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and healing properties. Along with these Wakame also has the power to support cardiovascular health, boost energy levels and supply the body with omega-3 fatty acids. It helps to prevent heart disease, cancer, blood clotting and obesity. Wakame has beneficial effects on tumors, oxidation, and inflammation while promoting a good immune system.

Phytessence Wakame For Skin Care

Long before modern skin care science discovered that seaweed containing marine collagen – plumped and tones the skin, Japanese beauty care for centuries included seaweed for skin care beauty.

Wakame is used to make a soothing and detoxifying face pack and body gel-toner. The compound named fucoxanthin which helps burn fatty tissue and used topically to gently cleanse and detoxify your skin.

wakame skin cream
Wakame Skin Cream

 Phytessence Wakame is transformed into a cosmetic extract using new technologies. It is especially good at healing inflamed skin because of its high levels of B-group vitamins, in particular, B1(thiamine), B2(riboflavin), B3(niacin), B6, and B12. It also contains an active ingredient called sulfated poly fucose, which protects cell wall integrity and stability against damaging environmental factors, such as UV light, temperature, and abrasions.

 In most of the cases, phytessence wakame has demonstrated dose-dependent inhibition of the activity of hyaluronidase in vitro. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that attacks the skin’s supply of hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for the elasticity and smoothness of the skin.

By binding collagen and elastin fibers together, hyaluronic acid makes skin smooth, firm, and flexible. Without hyaluronic acid, elastin and collagen fibers lose their “glue,” leading to a loss of youthful appearance.

In inhibiting hyaluronidase, wakame prevents the deterioration of the extracellular matrix, which is a dominant means of defense against visible aging and the weakening of dermal thickness.

Hence, phytessence wakame helps to hamper one of the main factors contributing to skin decline with age.

Wakame products

Cut Wakame

Cut Wakame is the most popular form of distribution in Japan and America. Raw wakame is washed and dried. It’s convenient and used for soup and salad.

Cut Wakame
Cut Wakame

Enzo Wakame

(salt curing wakame) is raw wakame being salt cured? It said to have resilient and flavorful characteristics.

Haiboshi Wakame

(ash dried wakame) It’s produced in Naruto, Japan. Harvested wakame is coated with ash and dried. Coating wakame with ash makes wakame brilliant green, and crisper but production has been.

Wakame as an ingredient

Wakame seaweed is common ingredient in Japanese cuisine and other Asian cuisines. wakame can be found either dried or fresh, in a refrigerated, and sealed package.

When refrigerated, the wakame seaweed is preserved with sea salt and, though it seems wet, it is actually partially dry so that it’s moist to the touch, but not completely dried out and dehydrated and brittle like the nori sheets used in making sushi.

Health Benefits of Wakame

Japanese Wakame Powder
  • Weight Control

    Wakame fills you up without adding too many calories to your diet. Fucoxanthin in wakame actually inhibits the accumulation of fat in the cells and stimulates fat oxidation

  • Cholesterol and Heart Health

    Fucoxanthin also stimulates the liver to increase its production of DHA, which lowers the levels of “bad” cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol commonly associated with atherosclerosis and artery blockage, so you are able to protect yourself from various heart diseases, as well as heart attacks and strokes.

  • Circulation

    The high content of iron in Wakame increases production of red blood cells. Which leads to increased circulation in the cardiovascular system.

  • Cancer Prevention:

    Wakame help to protect your body from developing cancer.

  • Infant Health

    Folate, also known as Vitamin B9, is extremely vital for pregnant women, as it has been consistently connected with lowered chances of neural tube defects in infants

  • Bone Health

    The high levels of calcium found in wakame help your body increase bone growth and speeds up repair.

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