Nutrition and DietNori seaweed: properties and benefits

Nori seaweed: properties and benefits

Benefits of nori, a widely consumed seaweed especially rich in nutritional properties, thanks to its content of vitamins and minerals such as iodine. Discover its most important virtues.

Although it is true that even today they are a novelty in our diet, it is also true that more and more people tend to include them in the kitchen. We are talking about seaweed, highly consumed in countries like Japan, which in fact becomes the country with the highest consumption of seaweed per inhabitant.

Simply explained, we can tell you that algae are fresh or salt water plants that have the same cycles as land plants. Of course, they grow, reproduce and die without the involvement of sowing or irrigation processes.

There are varieties of algae that are better known than others, such as spirulinafucus or Kombu. Although we can also find other less known species, such as the cochayuyo alga.

But what is known as nori seaweed also becomes another seaweed whose consumption is extremely interesting, especially for its nutritional contribution. For example, as we will see below, it stands out for its high contribution in minerals and proteins.

Although its color before being used in the kitchen is green, the truth is that when it is used in Japanese cuisine, the most common is that it tends to turn dark, rather black.

Do you know what nori seaweed is?

The nori is a type of seaweed species or small size, appearance and color characteristic that changes depending on their status: for example, when it is cooked appearance is green, while their color when dried it becomes black.

It is, in fact, a Japanese term for an interesting group of edible seaweeds, belonging to the Porphyra red algae species.

For this reason it is also common to find different dishes and recipes that bear this name.  In this sense, for example, the delicious and traditional sushi (making rice with rice vinegar, sugar and salt, accompanied by seaweed, vegetables, fish and seafood) are popular. Or the onigiri, a wonderful stuffed or mixed rice ball.

Nori seaweed benefits

Rich in iodine, useful against hypothyroidism

As with most marine algae (as is the case with cochayuyo algae), being very rich in iodine it is useful for the prevention of goiter, which consists of an increase in the size of the thyroid gland, causing an increase in size of both the anterior part and the lower part of the neck, becoming a very visible disorder.

It is also useful in the prevention of hypothyroidism, a disease of the thyroid gland characterized precisely in a decrease in the functional activity of this gland.

Therefore, its consumption is not recommended in people with hyperthyroidism.

Help in case of high cholesterol

In case of high levels of fats in the blood (both cholesterol and triglycerides), nori seaweed helps to reduce it, thanks to the fact that it is able to eliminate fats from the blood. Why? This quality must be found in its high fiber content, which drags cholesterol through the feces.

Rich in protein

As with other edible seaweeds, it stands out for its high protein content. In fact, from a nutritional point of view it is estimated that more than a quarter of its content is protein.

High content of minerals and vitamins

As with most seaweed that can be consumed, in the case of nori seaweed it stands out mainly for its high mineralizing power, especially its mineral content.

In this sense, the presence of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iodine and iron stands out in particular.

It also stands out for its high vitamin content, particularly the B group vitamins, which help the proper functioning of the nervous system. It also highlights its high content of provitamin A.

But there is no doubt that if there is a vitamin that also stands out, it is vitamin C, thus becoming an excellent source, since just a sheet of nori is capable of providing 10% of the recommended daily amount of this vitamin.

Nutritional properties of nori seaweed

100 grams of dry part of nori seaweed provide:

  • Energy:  117 Kcal.
  • Carbohydrates:  43.1 gr.
  • Proteins:  29 gr.
  • Fat:  0.3 gr.
  • Fiber:  34 gr.
  • Minerals:  sodium (3,100 mg), potassium (2,030 mg), calcium (330 mg), phosphorus (235 mg), iron (24 mg).
  • Vitamins:  vitamin A (36 mg), vitamin B12 (0.3 mg), vitamin C (12 mg).

Contraindications of nori seaweed, when is its consumption not recommended?

As with most seaweed, due to its high sodium content (we must remember that 100 grams of nori seaweed provide around 3,100 mg of sodium),  it is not a recommended food for people with hypertension, since its consumption tends to raise even more if possible the already high blood pressure levels.



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