We all know what seaweed is (marine plant), where they grow (ocean and other water bodies), and the many health benefits it brings about (yes, many!).
Because I love seaweed, and I hope to convert some of you non-seaweed eaters into seaweed lovers, I made it my mission to dig around the Internet for some fun facts about seaweed. HERE THEY GO:
- 70% of the world’s oxygen comes from seaweed and other ocean plants (called ” phytoplankton”)
- Seaweed maybe the secret to your favorite vegan dessert (“agar agar” , a Malaysia word for “seaweed”, cannot only be used as a thickening agent in food but can also be turned into creamy frosting~ YUM!~ and no, agar agar has no taste, no fishy odor, and no calories)
- In Korea and Japan, after women give birth and while they breastfeed, they are often fed seaweed soup because seaweed is packed with an astonishing amount vitamins and minerals. Because this is the mother’s first meal, it is also the baby’s first meal. That’s why in Korea it’s a tradition that people eat seaweed soup on their birthday as a way of paying respect to their mother for giving birth to them.
- Dolphins show love with a boutique of seaweed (they do this by tossing the seaweed between their fins, nose and tail~ pretty romantic, huh?!)
- The only herbivore sea turtle, green sea turtles, has that greenish-colored fat because of their strict diet consisting of only seagrasses and algae (or seaweed).
- Seaweed can have asexual or sexual reproduction, depending on the type of seaweed.
- Seaweeds are technically not plants (Wow! I know! I always thought they were!)
- Some red seaweeds live up to 6-10 years while others are annual and may only live a few months.
- You maybe surprised to hear this but seaweed is also an ingredient in toothpastes, as thickening material, and also is known to be helpful in better protection against tooth decay.
- Products employing seaweed and its extracts total about $6 billion annually, $5 billion of which comes from direct consumption of the algae as a foodstuff.
- Seaweed is believed to help regulate estrogen and estradiol levels – hormones responsible for the development and function of sexual organs; thus seaweed may also help control PMS and improve female fertility issues.
- The people of Japan consume about 100,000 tons of seaweed every year.
- The slimy part of some brown seaweed, or “Fucoidan”, possesses powerful cancer-fighting agents. The use of dietary seaweed is believed to be credited for the low rate of cancer in Japan.
If you haven’t been hooked on seaweed already, you should try some miso soup (which is available in instant dried seaweed packets that you only have to pour in hot water) for lunch/dinner tonight!