How I Changed My Life with Seaweed, and How You Can Do It Too.

If you see me now, you wouldn’t recognize pictures of me from back in the day in Cornwall. I was unhealthy to the extreme, as many of my neighbors were. We grew up in a culture where we spend most of our nights in the pubs, not really concerned about being healthy. But as I grew older, I started feeling that I was missing something. I had no energy for anything and had aches all the time, which were not a good sign. Not even mentioning the other embarrassing ailments that I had. I could not go on the way I did.

A mate of mine, after heart attack scare, for which all the signs were there clear as day, found out about these kelp capsules that was supposed to have great health benefits, including detoxing and weight loss. I had to admit that I was both intrigued and skeptical. So after a bit of research and reading a certain book on why Japanese women live longer, I decided to go all aboard the health train. I could see my own life coming to a head. The warning signs, like big over the road billboards on my path of life, were there. I had to do something, or my heart attack scare could be next, and maybe I would not be as lucky as my mate.

Health Benefits of Seaweed

I looked at all the health foods in the organic produce aisles and all that, but that Kelp capsule never left my thoughts. That was the start of my personal research into seaweed. It turns out that dried or raw seaweed is quite a lot better than the type in capsule form because it contains all the nutrients of the capsule but also some extra fiber and such. Being a no-half-measure kind of guy, I started incorporating it into my diet.

The easiest place to start with was by replacing my usual junk food choices with sushi, focusing on maki and the like, which of course were wrapped in seaweed. Other lifestyle choices followed. The first month was tough, as you would expect it to be. Month two was easier. By month three I started feeling the difference. There was still quite a lot of work to do, as it turns out I was allergic to mold and had to move to a drier climate, but I still credit the change in food and the seaweed to kickstarting this journey to a healthier me.

Fast forward a few years,  some raw organic eating as well as the drier climate agreeing with me, and you could say I’m a changed man. I’ve taken charge of my health, and as such, my happiness. It all started with one small seaweed capsule and ended in under a sign shop in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Perhaps you don’t need to be as drastic in making changes as I have. That mate of mine with the Kelp capsules still gained the benefits of living a little better. Even small things such as that can kickstart your journey to better health. It is worth it, your body is the only one you will ever have, you will not get another one.

Why Eat Seaweed, a Cornish Man’s Guide

As a young man I grew up on a diet of Cornish pasties, meat pies, quite a lot of beer and too many potatoes to count. The net result of all this was that did not feel well at all for a large portion of my life, not to mention simply being large. As I was growing older I decided to make some changes, to try and live a more healthy, whole and organic lifestyle. A big part of this came from the discovery that there was a super food growing right outside my doorstep: seaweed.

Seaweed

I read a book called “Japanese Women Don’t Get Old Or Fat”, by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle and found that the reason for their seeming longevity had to do with very specific foods that formed a staple in their diets, seaweed. Quite a law large portion of these women’s diets consisted of foods that were low calorie, but high nutritional value foods. Because of that, they seem to handle the aging process quite a lot better than the rest of us. That realization set me on a course to try and discover what I could do to live a more healthy life. This all started back in Cornwall, where a sort of seaweed revolution was taking place. I mean, people might well have walked down the street with banners proclaiming the time for unhealthy living was over.  I’ve come a long way since that discovery almost a decade ago, but I’ve taken the lessons that have learned in my Cornish village all the way to my little flat underneath the sign shop in Las Vegas Nevada.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve learned:

Protein content and calories

Seaweed has a high protein content, often as high as you can expect from beef or chicken. Spirulina algae sits at a whopping 70% protein content per weight of raw or sun-dried seaweed. The percentage goes down to around 20% for green algae, but if we take into consideration that beef has 26g of protein per 100g of mass, one can see that this stuff can be taken seriously as a source of protein. A huge plus side for seaweed as well is that there is no fat content to it as you would have with beef.

Health benefits

There’s been quite a lot of research done about the inhabitants of a Japanese island of Okinawa and why they live longer than anybody else. Turns out, this can again be attributed to the amount of seaweed and other ocean vegetables that they consume. Apparently, Okinawans consume 7 to 10 portions of the stuff on a daily basis, something that I have not been able to match by any means. But what I can attest to, is that I do feel a lot better since starting this journey. The signs were all there, I was heading towards a health disaster; heart palpitations, sleeplessness, my weight was spiraling out of control, but thanks to some life choices including moving to a drier climate of Las Vegas, Nevada helped me to be a lot more healthy.

Detox properties

If you have ever been to a spa, you’d remember that they often wrap you in swaths of green stuff that helps renew your skin, at least, that’s what the missus told me. That stuff is seaweed, and the benefits don’t stop when you go from being covered in it to eating it. Apparently, even the Soviets were using seaweed to help detox people of chemical strontium after Chernobyl. With that type of credentials, it is little wonder that seaweed is thought to also help detox you from more everyday chemicals such as Cadmium and lead that can be found in mundane things like cigarette smoke.

Gut health

We all need to take extra care of the gut flora we have, and luckily seaweed is great for that. Even though store-bought nine strain probiotics is a good start to getting your gut flora back in line. Researchers at the good old University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK found that one of the substances in brown algae, the type most seaweed products are made from, called Alginate, helps to strengthen the digestive tract. Good news for us!