Table of Contents
The origin and much of Wakame seaweed’s history is discovered in Asia, specifically in Japan. Belonging to cold temperate coastal areas of Japan, Korea, and China, in current years wakame has become developed in temperate regions all over the world, including New Zealand, the United States, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Australia and Mexico.
How is Wakame Farmed?
Wakame cultivation was first studied at Dalian, northeast China, by Japanese scholar Youshiro Ohtsuki who patented cultivation methods in 1943. Considering that the mid-1960s wakame seaweed has been thoroughly farmed there at a commercial level, however it can likewise be collected from the wild. In the Republic of Korea, growing of wakame began in 1964, and was largely established, promoted and industrialised throughout the 1970s, at that phase accounting for 30% of seaweed farming production in 2013.
In China, comprehensive production started in the mid-1980s, mainly in two northern provinces which have actually because ended up being the main wakame producers worldwide. Intake of this macroalgae as a seafood is divided in two categories; the processed midribs are taken in inside China, while the sporophylls and blades are primarily exported to Japan and other Asian nations.
In 1983, wakame farming was intentionally introduced into the North Atlantic in the coastal locations of Brittany and initially cultivated at 3 websites. Wakame growing is also being established in Northwest Spain.
Coming closer to house, in 2010, the New Zealand federal government authorized business harvest and farming of wakame under certain conditions– basically, that it be collected from a man-made structure. There is still much work to be performed in this space as a few of the New Zealand regulations are dated and complicated. The more we learn about wakame, the easier this should become.
Wakame as an ‘Intrusive Types’– aka a ‘weed’!
Interestingly, wakame has been regarded as a poisonous intrusive seaweed in nations aside from those where it is considered to be native. It is believed that wakame was first presented to foreign waters through the ballast water of freight ships from Asia, as the spores (gametophytes) included in the water can make it through long-distance journeys.
In New Zealand, wakame remained in fact declared an undesirable organism in 2000 under the Biosecurity Act 1993. It was first found in Wellington Harbour in 1987 and it is thought it likely shown up in our water as hull fouling on shipping or fishing vessels from Asia. Wakame is now discovered throughout our marine environment in New Zealand, from Stewart Island to as far north as Karikari Peninsula. Although it is an intrusive seaweed, in 2012 the government allowed for the farming of wakame in Wellington, Marlborough and Banks Peninsula.
Wakame spreads in two ways: naturally, through the millions of microscopic spores released by each fertile organism, and through human activities, the majority of commonly via the hull of shipping vessels or marine farming devices. It is a highly successful and fertile species, which makes it a major intruder. However, its impacts are not well understood and can differ depending upon the place.
Is Wakame a Friend or Enemy?
So as we learn about wakame, do we see it as a pal or opponent? The downside of wakame is that it is intrusive and can change the structure of environments, particularly in locations where native seaweeds are absent. By forming a dense canopy, it shades the sub-canopy, and can affect the development of slower-growing native seaweed types. For example, in New Zealand the native coralline algae which are necessary for paua (edible marine snail) settlement were partly displaced by wakame, leading to decreased paua quantities.
Furthermore, this invasive seaweed can affect not just the biodiversity of flora, however also the fauna communities which are based upon these phytogroups. Wakame can grow on reefs which use havens for fish, and slowly result in environment loss of fishes that dwell on the reefs. Research studies carried out in the Nuevo Gulf showed that the elimination of wakame from attacked sites led to a boost in the biodiversity at those places.
Research study shows that the wakame seaweed or sea vegetable has the potential to end up being an issue for marine farms due to the fact that it increases labour and harvesting expenses, due to fish cages, oyster racks, scallop bags and mussel ropes ending up being covered. This growth can also restrict water flow through cages.
On the flip side, Pacific Harvest is proud to use a clean, ethically harvested wild wakame, which is densely healthy and beneficial for health. The responsible harvesting and proper drying of wakame, and subsequent use of it as a surprisingly useful cooking area pantry staple, suggests we rid our oceans of a ‘pest’, lower expenses of obliteration, and add to a circular economy. 
Wakame Nutrition Facts
One serving of wakame (2 tablespoons or 10g) supplies 4.5 calories, 0.3 g of protein, 0.9 g of carbohydrates, and 0.1 g of fat. Wakame is an excellent source of iodine, manganese, magnesium, and calcium. This nutrition info is provided by the USDA.
- Calories: 4.5
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Sodium: 87mg
- Carbohydrates: 0.9 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Sugars: 0.1 g
- Protein: 0.3 g
- Manganese: 0.14 mg
- Magnesium: 10.7 mg
- Calcium: 15mg
- Folate: 19.6 mcg
Wakame, like all seaweed, is very low in carbs. A normal serving determining 2 tablespoons offers less than 1 gram of carbs. However even a more substantial 1/2 cup (100-gram) serving supplies only about 9 grams of carbs. The majority of the carb is starch. There is less than 1 gram of fiber and less than 1 gram of sugar in a serving of wakame.
The estimated glycemic load of wakame is zero if your serving size is 2 tablespoons. The 100-gram serving has a glycemic load of 4, making it a low glycemic food.
There is practically no fat in wakame seaweed. Even the larger serving has less than 1 gram of fat, and the majority of that is healthy polyunsaturated fat.
Wakame can increase the protein material of your preferred soup, salad or entree, depending on how much you utilize. A small serving has less than 1 gram of protein, however the larger 100-gram serving offers 3 grams of protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
Wakame is a good source of iodine, supplying about 42 micrograms per gram of seaweed. A 2-tablespoon serving would provide 420 micrograms of iodine, or nearly three times the recommended everyday intake for grownups.2 Other minerals in wakame consist of manganese, magnesium, and calcium.
Wakame likewise offers vitamins. Each 2-tablespoon serving of wakame provides 5% of your suggested everyday consumption of folate. It likewise provides smaller sized quantities of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin E, and pantothenic acid.
One 10-gram serving of wakame offers 4.5 calories, making wakame a low-calorie food.
Wakame is a low-calorie and mineral-rich food that provides manganese, magnesium, and calcium. It supplies minimal carbohydrates, protein, and fat, but boasts healthy levels of fucoxanthin and iodine. 
What research says?
Wakame is high in vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients. It is a low-calorie, low-cholesterol, low-fat food containing a reasonable amount of fucoxanthin, a marine carotenoid with anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative homes. The majority of its health benefits originate from the rich supply of vitamins and minerals in its fragile green leaves, which benefit one’s health.
Similar to other seaweeds, wakame is low in carbohydrates. In 100 grams of raw wakame seaweed, 9.14 grams of carbs exist, generally from starch and fibre. Moreover, wakame is a non-starchy veggie that can also suit the ketogenic diet plan. According to research, Wakame’s glycemic index (GI) is low at simply 4 in 100 grams serving, making it ideal for individuals with diabetes.
There is a trace of fat in 100 grams of Wakame seaweed, and the fat material of Wakame is 0.64 grams per 100 grams. And the fat is generally healthy poly-unsaturated fat (0.218 grams).
Research shows that the protein content of wakame is relatively high compared to other seaweeds (3.03 grams per 100 grams). Therefore, wakame can boost the protein content of your favourite soup, salad or meal, depending on how much you use.
Data shows that wakame is high in several micronutrients, with niacin (1.6 mg), potassium (314 mg), magnesium (107 mg), sodium (872 mg), beta-carotene (216 µg), and folate (196 µg) topping the list.
Besides the nutrients discussed above, it contains a small quantity of pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. Both potassium and magnesium add to lowering your high blood pressure. In addition, potassium counters the impacts of high sodium in the blood with urination and helps launch stress in the capillary.
Due to the high amount of sodium, wakame is a good source of iodine, supplying more than the advised daily intake for grownups.
Health Advantages of Wakame Seaweed
Rich in Antioxidant
Research study suggests that anti-oxidants boost the body immune system, preserve nerve cells and keep the blood vessels healthy. In addition, they neutralise totally free radicals that trigger oxidative cell damage and protect the body versus macular degeneration and diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Wakame seaweed is high in anti-oxidants such as fucoxanthin, the main carotenoid in brown algae. Studies show that it has 13.5 times the antioxidant potential of vitamin E. In regards to cellular membrane protection, fucoxanthin surpasses vitamin A. While the body doesn’t constantly take in fucoxanthin well, eating it alongside fat can help.
Wakame includes a variety of valuable phytochemicals, consisting of flavonoids, folate and beta-carotene, in addition to antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K. According to research studies, they likewise protect the cells in your body from free extreme damage. Nevertheless, these benefits still require more research since there is not enough human study to support these assertions. But, at the same time, professionals think that consuming wakame has no side effects and you can extract fucoxanthin quickly from wakame.
Skin and Hair Care
Wakame uses numerous essential elements, consisting of vitamin C, needed for the function of various body functions. Wakame offers 3 mg of vitamin C in 100 g. In addition, studies reveal that wakame seaweeds assist produce collagen, an aspect of skin tissue made use of for making and repairing harmed skin and organ tissues. The antioxidants in wakame help revitalize, moisturise, and smoothen the skin. In addition, it assists thicken hair and nails by adding to keratin synthesis.
Regular intake of wakame avoids early signs of aging, such as scars, acnes, wrinkles, and age spots, due to adequate amounts of minerals, anti-oxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and dietary fibre.
Wakame’s antioxidants protect the body from oxidative tension and unsteady molecules referred to as free radicals. Wakame is likewise rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help in reducing overall inflammation. These swellings can lead to chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and digestive concerns. Additionally, wakame contains polyphenols, which act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents that lower the danger of illness like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and swelling.
Helps in Weight Reduction
According to the study, fucoxanthin, a carotenoid found in wakame, assist in controlling fat deposition and triglycerides. The substance also helps individuals drop weight. Fucoxanthin also helps reduce white adipose (fatty) tissue efficiently. Nevertheless, the majority of research on wakame and weight reduction is animal-based. But, studies reveal that fucoxanthin increases fat oxidation in overweight mice, especially hazardous belly fat. Fucoxanthin is acknowledged for its fat-burning capabilities given that it avoids fat development in cells and accelerates fat oxidation.
Regulates Thyroid Hormones
Thyroid hormones aid in development, metabolism, protein synthesis, and cell repair work, manage metabolic process and are required for brain advancement during pregnancy and infancy.
Iodine is essential for thyroid gland function. Wakame is a great source of iodine, with an average of about 42 micrograms per gram. Research recommends that iodine intake for adults need to be 150 micrograms daily. In addition, a number of research studies show that regular consumption of wakame seaweeds favorably associates with healthy thyroid function. However, research studies also reveal that excessive usage may have harmful effects.
Remember that insufficient iodine can elevate TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), resulting in goitre or an enlarged thyroid gland. It’s usually the initial symptom of hypothyroidism. According to research study, a shortage in this essential micronutrient can cause hypothyroidism, a disorder in which your thyroid can not produce adequate thyroid hormonal agent to support normal function. Moreover, iodine deficiency shows signs like weight gain, tiredness, hair loss, and dry, broken skin. Nevertheless, people with hypo or hyperthyroidism must speak with a physician before eating wakame or seaweed.
Decreases the Risk of Diabetes
Fucoxanthin applies an anti-diabetic effect in obese people. An animal study discovered that wakame lipids reduce hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, or hyperleptinemia. Even in humans, wakame’s fucoxanthin has actually shown an anti-diabetic effect. Nevertheless, it requires more human research.
A research study found that eating wakame can help stabilize blood glucose and insulin levels because it includes 107 mg of magnesium. Research study also reveals that routine intake of wakame might assist avoid prediabetes. Furthermore, research recommends that the dietary lipids in wakame help attend to insulin resistance triggered by a high-fat diet. So if you’re trying to find a diabetic-friendly cuisine, wakame is an excellent choice to consist of.
Wakame has abundant fucoidan, a bioactive sulfated polysaccharide. Based on research study, fucoidan deals lots of advantageous properties, including antioxidant and antiviral residential or commercial properties. Wakame’s a lot of popular health benefits are reducing cancer cell advancement and expansion. In addition, scientists discovered that fucoidan from wakame had anti-cancer homes. Fucoidan’s sulphate content is responsible for its anti-cancer properties.
Iodine in wakame seaweeds also aids in cancer cell death or apoptosis. Nevertheless, extreme iodine usage might have unfavorable effects such as thyrotoxicosis.
Wakame can also assist control the inflammatory reaction in cancer clients. Hence, it is an active ingredient in some anti-inflammatory medications. However, some research studies show contradictory results. For instance, based on a study, increased seaweed intake leads to a greater risk of thyroid cancer, perhaps due to too much iodine. Nevertheless, it needs more research to see how wakame impacts human cancer cell production.
Minimize Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol contributes in multiple aspects of health, from hormonal agent generation to fat absorption. In contrast, excess cholesterol levels can obstruct arteries and reduce blood circulation, increasing cardiac arrest and stroke possibilities. However, wakame can assist lower cholesterol and increase heart health.
According to a research study, the fucoxanthin in wakame induces the liver to produce more DHA, a sort of fatty acid that reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol. Despite these appealing results, limited to animal studies, additional research needs discovering how wakame can affect human cholesterol levels.
Strengthens the Bones
Calcium keeps the strength and integrity of our bones. The high calcium content (150 mg) in 100g of wakame help bone growth and repair work.
Wakame likewise contains a considerable amount of vitamin K, which benefits bone health, bone metabolism, and general health. It also helps retain calcium in the bone matrix by raising protein levels. According to research, increased vitamin K usage helps minimise fractures and bone loss.
Wakame likewise serves as an anti-inflammatory due to omega-3 and polyphenols, avoiding joint inflammation and keeping you healthy and active far into aging.
Wakame includes a sensible amount of carbohydrates (9.14 g), proteins (3.03 g), and iron (2.18 mg), which assists improve energy. In addition, the high magnesium material (107 mg) of wakame help in converting dietary carbohydrates into energy. As a result, magnesium can assist successfully transfer energy and produce and make use of protein, which is required for every bodily function associated with advancement and repair. For that reason, getting sufficient magnesium through wakame can assist in keeping energy levels and prevent tiredness.
Minimize High Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure impacts the heart and blood arteries, damaging heart muscle and increasing the danger of cardiovascular disease. According to specific research studies, consisting of wakame in your diet plan can assist lower high blood pressure and improve heart health.
According to animal studies, wakame extracts can substantially reduce angiotensin I-converting enzyme activity (ACE), connected to hypertension advancement. Furthermore, wakame likewise lowers systolic high blood pressure when given up single or several doses. However, further human research study is needed to identify how wakame affects blood pressure in the wider population.
Ways to Utilize Wakame
There are a lot of wakame recipe alternatives with a number of various ideas for including this into your diet plan. Here are a few delightful and healthy methods to include this unique component into your diet plan.
Japanese Wakame Salad
Serves: 2 servings
Preparation Time: 5mins
- Dried seaweed (Wakame type): 28g (1 tbsp)
- Shallots, carefully chopped: 1
- Soy sauce: 1 1/2 tablespoon
- Rice vinegar: 1 tablespoon
- Mirin (sweet rice white wine): 1 tbsp
- Sesame seed oil: 1 tablespoon
- Cayenne pepper: 1 pinch
- Ginger Root, grated: 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds [optional]: 1/2 tbsp
Technique of Preparation
- Wash the seaweed and soak it in a minimum of 5 times its volume of water in a container. Allow resting for 10 minutes, or until rehydrated and tender.
- In a salad meal, include the staying active ingredients (leaving out the sesame seeds).
- Squeeze the seaweed gently to remove extra water. Add it to the salad bowl.
- Toss, taste, and adjust flavoring as needed. Serve with sesame seeds as a garnish.
Nutritional Value per Serving
- Calories: 120 kcal
- Carb: 14 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Fat: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Fiber: 5 g
- Sodium: 1390 mg
- Calcium: 11%
- Iron: 6%
- Vitamin C: 9%
- Serves: 8 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 mins
- Soaking: 10min
- Wakame, cut into bite-size pieces: About 2 cups
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite-size strips: 1 cup
- Garlic, grated: 6 cloves
- Reduced-sodium tamari: 2 tablespoons
- Toasted sesame oil, divided: 3 teaspoons
- Low-sodium chicken broth: 8 cups
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Method of Preparation
- Soak wakame seaweed in a big container of cold water for about 30 minutes. 2 or three rinses later on, drain. Cut into small pieces if essential.
- Add the chicken, garlic, tamari, and two tablespoons of oil to a large mixing container. Permit marinating at space temperature level for 15 minutes.
- In a heavy pan over medium-high flame, heat one teaspoon of oil. Cook, continuously stirring, till the chicken is no longer pink on the outside or about 1 minute. Cook for 3 minutes more, stirring regularly more with the drained pipes wakame.
- Include broth; give a boil over high heat, removing any foam on the surface. Even more, you need to cook for thirty minutes at low heat. Serve it instantly, and top with sesame seeds.
Nutritional Worth per Serving
- Calories: 110 kcal
- Carbohydrate: 5.3 g
- Protein: 11.4 g
- Fat: 5.2 g
- Cholesterol: 18.9 mg
- Fibre: 1.5 g
- Sodium: 497 mg
- Potassium: 423.9 mg
- Calcium: 44.3 mg
- Iron: 1.5 mg
- Vitamin C: 0.7 mg
Before including dried wakame seaweed to the soup, rehydrate it in water. Including dried wakame seaweed straight to the soup can increase the saltiness. 
Residence of wakame seaweed
The fresh wakame, not dried, has high concentrations of water, hydrates, and proteins. The dried seaweed has the same nutrients but more concentrated. It likewise has very few calories and fats with a high satiating effect due to its high water content.
This kind of algae has a high material of calcium, magnesium, and iron. It also offers iodine, different vitamins of group A, B and C and, particularly, folic acid.
The wakame likewise has natural pigments really beneficial for the skin and body. For instance, it has a high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory result. Moreover, it has neuroprotective and accelerating residential or commercial properties of metabolism.
By way of summary, the most amazing residential or commercial properties of Wakame undaria are:.
- It includes water, hydrates and proteins, and a couple of calories
- High content of calcium, magnesium, iron, folic acid, and iodine
- Vitamins of group A, B, and C
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- Metabolic process accelerator 
Wakame vs. Nori (Plus Other Seaweed)
Prior to we begin comparing some common seaweeds, let’s answer this concern: Is seaweed a vegetable?
Technically, seaweed is a kind of algae, however seaweeds are often described as “sea vegetables” and often treated as vegetables for culinary functions.
What eats seaweed? In addition to people, seaweed (in its natural environment) is commonly consumed by sea urchins, sea snails and plant-eating fish, such as the rabbit fish and parrot fish.
There are three main ranges of seaweed frequently utilized as food: wakame, nori and kombu seaweed. However, these are definitely not the only edible seaweeds.
Other consumable options, consist of
- kelp (offered as fresh or dried kelp, as a supplement or in kelp powder kind)
- ogo seaweed (generally used in dried kind for poke dishes)
- dulse seaweed (frequently utilized as fresh, raw dulse or dulse flakes)
While wakame is eaten fresh or dried, nori is generally readily available in dried form. What is nori? It’s the most common papery seaweed covering for sushi rolls, and unlike wakame, it is never ever soaked prior to serving.
Nori is best eaten wrapped around other items (like sushi) or toasted.
Kombu belongs to the kelp household, and like wakame, it’s a brown seaweed. Kombu is frequently used to make dashi, a flavorful broth traditional to Japan and used to make miso soup.
Kombu and wakame have many overlapping health benefits and a comparable taste profile, however wakame is a little sweeter. Both kombu and wakame are commonly utilized in seaweed salads and soups.
Kelp belongs to the brown algae class (Phaeophyceae), and kombu is a specific range of kelp that’s very typical in Japanese, Chinese and Korean food. It can be utilized in salads, soups and smoothies, and there’s likewise kelp sushi.
Just like “land vegetables,” sea vegetables likewise have unique private health advantages in addition to numerous overlapping advantages. In general, wakame, nori, kombu and kelp are all definitely different yet share similarities in their taste profiles, uses and potential health advantages. 
Where to Purchase Wakame
Many Asian markets will have wakame, but other grocery stores might have wakame in the worldwide aisle, or in a section devoted to sushi, where the sushi rice, soy sauce, and nori are equipped. Another option is to discover it online. Wakame is most typically discovered in small bags in its dried form, however the dry salt-preserved kind will remain in the refrigerated area, most likely in an Asian market rather than the common supermarket. 
Side Effects of Seaweed
The seaweed advantages and side effects go together. An advantage to a single person may be an adverse effects to another.
The high-fiber material in seaweed can assist food digestion, but it can likewise cause digestion pain. Each gram of fiber adds up, and numerous portions of seaweed daily can easily push you over the advised daily allowance of fiber. Excessive fiber can cause bloating, gas and irregularity.
Individuals with health problems related to the thyroid needs to be specifically careful of overconsuming seaweed because of its high iodine material. According to a March 2014 research study published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, excess iodine consumption does not have significant repercussions in the average person. Nevertheless, individuals with particular threat elements connected to thyroid diseases– such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism– may discover that too much iodine can affect their thyroid function and thyroid medications.
One adverse effects of consuming seaweed is connected to the environment rather than the real food. The majority of the world’s seaweed is grown in China, but Korea and Japan are also major manufacturers of seaweed. There is concern that seaweed grown on Japanese coasts is polluted by radioactivity arising from the Fukushima nuclear mishap in 2011. A January 2014 research study released in the Journal of Plant Research study discovered polluted samples of algae. However, researchers do not recommend restricting your seaweed consumption due to potential radioactive exposure.
Another negative effects related to the environment is heavy metal exposure. According to a February 2018 study published in Scientific Reports, red seaweed contains considerably higher levels of copper, nickel and other metals compared to brown seaweed. Though researchers discovered heavy metals like lead and mercury, they report the threat level is low. However, they suggest the routine security of metals in seaweed.
When it pertains to seaweed and seafood, checking the source of your products will assist prevent contamination. The health dangers are low, but getting to know where your food originates from becomes part of being an informed, health-conscious customer. 
The right amount of wakame consumption may vary from one person to another. For the best guidance, you need to seek advice from a nutritional expert, a dietitian or another health specialist.
Usually, many people who regularly consume wakame consume percentages at a time, especially if the wakame is mixed in a soup or in sushi rolls. Be cautious not to eat excessive wakame, as it may lead to negative effects, as mentioned above. 
The Bottom Line
Wakame is an extremely nutritious, edible seaweed that can add a variety of minerals and vitamins to your diet for a low number of calories.
It’s likewise been associated with various health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels, decreased blood pressure, enhanced weight loss and minimized blood sugar.
Most importantly, there are various ways to enjoy this delicious seaweed as part of a balanced diet, making it simple to benefit from its unique health-promoting properties.