The role that a healthy diet plays with your mood and even your mental health is often underrated. All too often there is the temptation around us in the stores and supermarkets to reach for something that isn’t really going to serve us.
Many products are loaded with chemicals that wreak havoc on our systems. Some chemicals and additives are even capable of inducing physical responses that might shock you. And now you’re reading about the benefits of eating dried seaweed, of all things, for mental health.
I don’t blame you if you’re probably wondering “Is this girl for real?”, but stick with me for a minute…
So, you choose to have a look in your local health food or wholefood shop. The shelves are lined with things that look familiar, but they just don’t seem to jump out and say “Buy Me!”
And then there’s that strange stuff you sometimes catch out of the corner of your eye which makes you wonder “How do you even eat that?” You know what I mean; dried seaweed doesn’t exactly look appetizing.
If you’re anything like me, it can take a little time to warm up to new foods, and being adventurous, as much as I want to think it’s my superpower, is not my default response.
I’ll give you a little background here. I grew up with a Grandmother who was a Naturopath. She started practicing long before I was born. I can recall that she would make all sorts of yummy things for us. And then I would find out what the ingredients were.
“What? Seaweed? In my ice cream?! Yuck!” I can recall protesting. This was after polishing off more than half of the bowl. Up until I found out what it was, it was the yummiest thing I had eaten.
Since then, I had grown up, leaned a lot, and come to find out that seaweed is something of an underrated superfood. The benefits of eating dried seaweed was something that freshly caught my imagination again in recent years. The old memories as a child had faded, and I was now adventurous enough to give it another try.
As I began to dive deeper in my research, including tapping into the decades of wisdom my Grandmother had accumulated, I found that there was a whole new world opening up. Of the many benefits of eating seaweed, what stood out to me was the inherent positive effect the minerals and vitamins in some seaweed which helped with depression and anxiety.
This is something that I have found is often missing in the dialogue surrounding mental health. Often, there is a contributing digestive health factor. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you were able to remove the harmful substances in many of the foods around us from your diet, you would begin to feel much better.
The benefits of eating dried seaweed
When your body is lacking in key vitamins and minerals it begins to function differently. Sometimes, that difference has more than a physical impact. Some deficiencies can disrupt the chemical balance in the brain, and be the catalyst behind a range of challenges.
Iodine, for example, as a trace mineral in seaweed, has been linked to proper cellar functioning and brain health. This is a great first step for many in the fight against depression, anxiety, and helping to boost your mood.
It’s a bit like if you get hungry, you may have the tendency to become a little short or agitated. That’s your body’s way of letting you know that something is missing. Listen to your body, it knows what it needs.
Iodine also supports hormone production, which, as another key function, is critical for balanced health and well being. Deficiencies in this area can lead to impacts such as:
- Lover energy levels
- Reduced sex drive
- Feeling a lack of motivation
All of which are things that can easily add to the pressure felt by ant person working through challenges with their mental health, depression, or anxiety. So, anything you can do to stack the odds in your favor is going to be a win for you.
Many different types of seaweed are eaten by people around the world, and they have been for hundreds of years, or even more. The seaweed that I find of particular interest is commonly called Irish Sea Moss.
This has been used as a remedy for a whole range of conditions for generations. Possibly because it contains 92 different minerals your body needs. And it is full of collagen, which is great for your skin.
Now, that’s some serious punch all packed into something many of us wouldn’t normally consider. The benefits of eating dried seaweed from a physical health perspective undoubtedly feed into the benefits from a mental health perspective.
Some of the other common seaweed varieties that have an abundance of vitamins and minerals include:
- Dulse, and
Cooking with seaweed can be very easy, and the best thing is that when it is prepared properly, you won’t even know that it is in the food. Sea moss, once washed and soaked, is able to be blended into a gel that has no smell or taste.
One last inside tip
The key thing is to source a sea moss that is naturally sun dried, and not baked. If it has been baked, it lacks these essential minerals and vitamins. If it is a powder supplement, it is pretty much worthless. With the vitamins and minerals still intact from fresh sea moss, this is a great way to get what your body needs from natural sources.
As a complementary step in your action plan to help with depression and anxiety, the benefits of eating dried seaweed are seen in helping to address vitamin and mineral deficiencies that come from a diet which is not serving you.