The Newest Brain Food: Seaweed?
Is seaweed the newest brain food? A growing body of evidence suggests that regular intake of seaweed may offer brain benefits.
First, seaweed is a vegetarian source of those brain-boosting DHA Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other cold-water fish. A large body of research strongly suggests that DHA can improve memory and help keep dementia at bay.
Seaweed is also an excellent source of folic acid, which is a key nutrient for brain health in babies, children, adults, and into old age. Folic acid has been shown to improve verbal and memory performance. It is also needed to make serotonin, which affects mood in a positive way. In fact, depression is linked to low levels of folic acid. Getting enough folic acid while pregnant is important for fetal brain development as well.
Seaweed contains a lot of dietary magnesium, which is a key nutrient for reducing stress and protecting the body and brain from the negative effects of stress. It is also rich in lignans, which are associated with better cognitive performance in post-menopausal women.
As a bonus, it’s not just the brain that benefits from seaweed, either: numerous studies have found it may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
So how can you get seaweed in your diet? Here are ten super-creative seaweed recipes from around the web to try!
- Sushi Handrolls
- Seaweed Salad
- Chilean Seaweed Risotto
- Baked Oysters in Seaweed Butter
- Kale with Seaweed, Sesame, and Ginger (dark leafy greens like kale are another brain food – full of antioxidants and vitamin A)
- Seaweed Chips
- Korean Sushi Rolls with Walnut-Edamame Crumble (brain bonus: walnuts are another fantastic brain food)
- Seaweed Butter
- Cucumber and Wakame Seaweed Sunomono
- Seaweed and Watermelon Salad (did you know? watermelon is also great for your brain!)