Table of Contents
The origin and much of Wakame seaweed’s history is found in Asia, specifically in Japan. Native to cold temperate coastal locations of Japan, Korea, and China, in recent decades wakame has become established in temperate regions around the world, consisting of New Zealand, the United States, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Australia and Mexico.
How is Wakame Farmed?
Wakame growing was first studied at Dalian, northeast China, by Japanese scholar Youshiro Ohtsuki who patented cultivation techniques in 1943. Considering that the mid-1960s wakame seaweed has actually been extensively farmed there at a commercial level, however it can likewise be gathered from the wild. In the Republic of Korea, growing of wakame began in 1964, and was mostly developed, promoted and industrialised throughout the 1970s, at that phase accounting for 30% of seaweed farming production in 2013.
In China, substantial production started in the mid-1980s, primarily in 2 northern provinces which have given that become the primary wakame manufacturers worldwide. Consumption of this macroalgae as a seafood is divided in two categories; the processed midribs are consumed inside China, while the sporophylls and blades are mainly exported to Japan and other Asian nations.
In 1983, wakame farming was deliberately presented into the North Atlantic in the seaside areas of Brittany and at first cultivated at three websites. Wakame growing is likewise being established in Northwest Spain.
Coming closer to house, in 2010, the New Zealand federal government approved commercial harvest and farming of wakame under specific conditions– basically, that it be harvested from a manufactured structure. There is still much work to be done in this space as a few of the New Zealand guidelines are outdated and complicated. The more we learn about wakame, the easier this ought to end up being.
Wakame as an ‘Invasive Types’– aka a ‘weed’!
Surprisingly, wakame has actually been considered a poisonous intrusive seaweed in countries aside from those where it is thought about to be native. It is thought that wakame was first presented to foreign waters through the ballast water of cargo ships from Asia, as the spores (gametophytes) included in the water can endure long-distance journeys.
In New Zealand, wakame remained in reality 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 found throughout our marine environment in New Zealand, from Stewart Island to as far north as Karikari Peninsula. Even though it is an intrusive seaweed, in 2012 the federal government enabled the farming of wakame in Wellington, Marlborough and Banks Peninsula.
Wakame spreads in 2 methods: naturally, through the countless tiny spores released by each fertile organism, and through human activities, a lot of frequently by means of the hull of shipping vessels or marine farming equipment. It is an extremely effective and fertile types, which makes it a major invader. However, its effects are not well understood and can vary depending upon the location.
Is Wakame a Buddy or Enemy?
So as we discover wakame, do we see it as a good friend or opponent? The drawback of wakame is that it is intrusive and can alter the structure of ecosystems, specifically in locations where native seaweeds are missing. By forming a dense canopy, it shades the sub-canopy, and can affect the growth of slower-growing native seaweed species. For example, in New Zealand the native coralline algae which are necessary for paua (edible marine snail) settlement were partly displaced by wakame, resulting in decreased paua amounts.
Moreover, this intrusive seaweed can impact not only the biodiversity of plants, however likewise the fauna communities which are based on these phytogroups. Wakame can grow on reefs which use sanctuaries for fish, and gradually cause habitat loss of fishes that harp on the reefs. Studies carried out in the Nuevo Gulf showed that the removal of wakame from attacked sites resulted in a boost in the biodiversity at those locations.
Research suggests that the wakame seaweed or sea vegetable has the prospective to end up being a problem for marine farms because it increases labour and harvesting costs, due to fish cages, oyster racks, scallop bags and mussel ropes becoming covered. This development can likewise restrict water circulation through cages.
On the other hand, Pacific Harvest is proud to offer a tidy, fairly gathered wild wakame, which is largely healthy and useful for health. The accountable harvesting and appropriate drying of wakame, and subsequent use of it as an astonishingly helpful kitchen area pantry staple, indicates we rid our oceans of a ‘insect’, minimize costs of elimination, and contribute to a circular economy. 
Wakame Nutrition Information
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 outstanding source of iodine, manganese, magnesium, and calcium. This nutrition information is offered 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 really low in carbs. A typical serving measuring 2 tablespoons provides less than 1 gram of carbohydrates. But even a more substantial 1/2 cup (100-gram) serving provides only about 9 grams of carbs. The majority of the carbohydrate is starch. There is less than 1 gram of fiber and less than 1 gram of sugar in a serving of wakame.
The approximated glycemic load of wakame is no 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 content of your favorite soup, salad or meal, depending on just how much you utilize. A little serving has less than 1 gram of protein, however the bigger 100-gram serving supplies 3 grams of protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
Wakame is an excellent source of iodine, offering about 42 micrograms per gram of seaweed. A 2-tablespoon serving would offer 420 micrograms of iodine, or nearly 3 times the recommended day-to-day intake for adults.2 Other minerals in wakame include manganese, magnesium, and calcium.
Wakame also offers vitamins. Each 2-tablespoon serving of wakame offers 5% of your suggested daily consumption of folate. It also offers 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.
What research states?
Wakame is high in vitamins, minerals and other crucial nutrients. It is a low-calorie, low-cholesterol, low-fat food containing a reasonable quantity of fucoxanthin, a marine carotenoid with anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties. The majority of its health benefits come from the abundant supply of minerals and vitamins in its fragile green leaves, which benefit one’s health.
Just like other seaweeds, wakame is low in carbs. In 100 grams of raw wakame seaweed, 9.14 grams of carbohydrates exist, primarily from starch and fibre. In addition, wakame is a non-starchy vegetable that can also suit the ketogenic diet plan. According to research study, Wakame’s glycemic index (GI) is low at just 4 in 100 grams serving, making it suitable for people 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 mainly healthy poly-unsaturated fat (0.218 grams).
Research reveals that the protein content of wakame is reasonably high compared to other seaweeds (3.03 grams per 100 grams). For that reason, wakame can increase the protein content of your favourite soup, salad or meal, depending on how much you use.
Information shows that wakame is high in numerous 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 pointed out above, it includes a small quantity of pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. Both potassium and magnesium contribute to lowering your high blood pressure. In addition, potassium counters the impacts of high sodium in the blood with urination and helps launch tension in the blood vessels.
Health Benefits of Wakame Seaweed
Rich in Antioxidant
Research study suggests that anti-oxidants boost the immune system, keep neurons and keep the capillary healthy. In addition, they neutralise totally free radicals that trigger oxidative cell damage and protect the body against macular degeneration and illness like heart problem and cancer.
Wakame seaweed is high in anti-oxidants such as fucoxanthin, the main carotenoid in brown algae. Research studies show that it has 13.5 times the antioxidant potential of vitamin E. In terms of cellular membrane defense, fucoxanthin goes beyond vitamin A. While the body doesn’t constantly soak up fucoxanthin well, eating it together with fat can help.
Wakame contains a range of valuable phytochemicals, including flavonoids, folate and beta-carotene, together with antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K. Based on research studies, they also safeguard the cells in your body from totally free radical damage. Nevertheless, these benefits still need more research due to the fact that there is insufficient human research study to support these assertions. But, at the same time, specialists believe that eating wakame has no side effects and you can extract fucoxanthin quickly from wakame.
Skin and Hair Care
Wakame uses numerous essential elements, including vitamin C, needed for the function of various body functions. Wakame supplies 3 mg of vitamin C in 100 g. In addition, studies show that wakame seaweeds assist produce collagen, an aspect of skin tissue used for making and fixing harmed skin and organ tissues. The antioxidants in wakame aid revitalize, moisturise, and smoothen the skin. In addition, it helps thicken hair and nails by adding to keratin synthesis.
Routine intake of wakame avoids early signs of ageing, such as scars, blemishes, wrinkles, and age spots, due to sufficient quantities 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 known as totally free radicals. Wakame is likewise rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce total inflammation. These inflammations can cause chronic diseases like heart problem, diabetes, and gastrointestinal problems. In addition, wakame contains polyphenols, which act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents that lower the threat of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and swelling.
Assists in Weight-loss
According to the study, fucoxanthin, a carotenoid discovered in wakame, assist in controlling fat deposition and triglycerides. The substance likewise helps people reduce weight. Fucoxanthin likewise helps reduce white adipose (fatty) tissue efficiently. Nevertheless, most of research on wakame and weight reduction is animal-based. However, research studies reveal that fucoxanthin increases fat oxidation in obese mice, particularly hazardous belly fat. Fucoxanthin is recognised for its fat-burning capabilities considering that it prevents fat development in cells and accelerates fat oxidation.
Controls Thyroid Hormonal Agents
Thyroid hormones aid in development, metabolic process, protein synthesis, and cell repair work, regulate metabolism and are needed for brain advancement during pregnancy and infancy.
Iodine is essential for thyroid gland function. Wakame is a good source of iodine, with an average of about 42 micrograms per gram. Research study suggests that iodine consumption for adults need to be 150 micrograms per day. In addition, several studies prove that routine intake of wakame seaweeds favorably associates with healthy thyroid function. However, research studies also show that excessive usage might have hazardous impacts.
Bear in mind that insufficient iodine can elevate TSH (Thyroid Promoting Hormonal agent), resulting in goitre or an enlarged thyroid gland. It’s typically the initial sign of hypothyroidism. As per research, a shortage in this important micronutrient can cause hypothyroidism, a disorder in which your thyroid can not produce adequate thyroid hormone to support typical function. Moreover, iodine deficiency shows signs like weight gain, fatigue, loss of hair, and dry, split skin. Nevertheless, people with hypo or hyperthyroidism should consult a medical professional before consuming wakame or seaweed.
Reduces the Threat of Diabetes
Fucoxanthin applies an anti-diabetic effect in overweight people. An animal research study discovered that wakame lipids minimize hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, or hyperleptinemia. Even in people, wakame’s fucoxanthin has shown an anti-diabetic effect. Nevertheless, it needs more human research study.
A research study found that eating wakame can assist balance blood sugar and insulin levels because it contains 107 mg of magnesium. Research likewise shows that routine consumption of wakame might assist avoid prediabetes. Furthermore, research suggests that the dietary lipids in wakame assistance address insulin resistance caused by a high-fat diet. So if you’re searching for a diabetic-friendly food, wakame is an outstanding alternative to consist of.
Wakame has plentiful fucoidan, a bioactive sulfated polysaccharide. Based on research, fucoidan deals many helpful properties, including antioxidant and antiviral residential or commercial properties. Wakame’s a lot of well-known health advantages are suppressing cancer cell development and expansion. In addition, scientists discovered that fucoidan from wakame had anti-cancer residential or commercial properties. Fucoidan’s sulphate material is responsible for its anti-cancer residential or commercial properties.
Wakame can also help control the inflammatory reaction in cancer patients. Hence, it is an active ingredient in some anti-inflammatory medications. Nevertheless, some research studies reveal inconsistent results. For instance, as per a research study, increased seaweed usage leads to a greater danger of thyroid cancer, potentially due to excessive iodine. Nevertheless, it requires more research to see how wakame affects human cancer cell production.
Decrease Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol plays a role in numerous elements of health, from hormonal agent generation to fat absorption. In contrast, excess cholesterol levels can clog arteries and minimize blood flow, increasing cardiovascular disease and stroke chances. However, wakame can help lower cholesterol and increase heart health.
According to a research study, the fucoxanthin in wakame causes the liver to produce more DHA, a sort of fat that decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol. In spite of these appealing results, restricted to animal studies, extra research study needs learning how wakame can impact human cholesterol levels.
Enhances the Bones
Wakame likewise consists of a considerable amount of vitamin K, which benefits bone health, bone metabolism, and total wellness. It also assists keep calcium in the bone matrix by raising protein levels. According to research, increased vitamin K usage assists reduce fractures and bone loss.
Wakame likewise acts as an anti-inflammatory due to omega-3 and polyphenols, avoiding joint swelling and keeping you healthy and active far into aging.
Wakame includes a reasonable quantity of carbohydrates (9.14 g), proteins (3.03 g), and iron (2.18 mg), which assists enhance energy. In addition, the high magnesium material (107 mg) of wakame aids in converting dietary carbs into energy. As a result, magnesium can help efficiently move energy and produce and make use of protein, which is needed for each physical function related to development and repair work. For that reason, getting appropriate magnesium through wakame can assist in preserving energy levels and avoid tiredness.
Reduce High Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure affects the heart and blood arteries, compromising heart muscle and increasing the risk of heart problem. According to specific studies, including wakame in your diet can help lower high blood pressure and improve heart health.
According to animal research studies, wakame extracts can substantially decrease angiotensin I-converting enzyme activity (ACE), linked to high blood pressure development. Furthermore, wakame also reduces systolic high blood pressure when given up single or several doses. Nevertheless, further human research study is needed to identify how wakame impacts blood pressure in the broader population.
Ways to Use Wakame
There are plenty of wakame dish options with a number of various ideas for integrating this into your diet. Here are a couple of wonderful and healthy methods to integrate this special ingredient into your diet.
Japanese Wakame Salad
Serves: 2 portions
Preparation Time: 5mins
- Dried seaweed (Wakame type): 28g (1 tablespoon)
- Shallots, carefully sliced: 1
- Soy sauce: 1 1/2 tablespoon
- Rice vinegar: 1 tablespoon
- Mirin (sweet rice white wine): 1 tablespoon
- Sesame seed oil: 1 tablespoon
- Cayenne pepper: 1 pinch
- Ginger Root, grated: 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds [optional]: 1/2 tablespoon
Approach of Preparation
- Rinse the seaweed and soak it in a minimum of 5 times its volume of water in a container. Permit resting for 10 minutes, or until rehydrated and tender.
- In a salad meal, include the remaining ingredients (omitting the sesame seeds).
- Squeeze the seaweed gently to get rid of additional water. Include it to the salad bowl.
- Toss, taste, and adjust seasoning as required. Serve with sesame seeds as a garnish.
Nutritional Value per Serving
- Calories: 120 kcal
- Carbohydrate: 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 portions
- Preparation Time: 30 mins
- Soaking: 10min
- Wakame, cut into bite-size pieces: About 2 cups
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut 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 thirty minutes. 2 or 3 rinses later, drain. Cut into small pieces if necessary.
- Include the chicken, garlic, tamari, and 2 tablespoons of oil to a big 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, constantly stirring, until 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, scraping off any foam on the surface. Further, you should cook for thirty minutes at low heat. Serve it immediately, and top with sesame seeds.
Nutritional Value per Serving
- Calories: 110 kcal
- Carbohydrate: 5.3 g
- Protein: 11.4 g
- Fat: 5.2 g
- Cholesterol: 18.9 mg
- Fiber: 1.5 g
- Sodium: 497 mg
- Potassium: 423.9 mg
- Calcium: 44.3 mg
- Iron: 1.5 mg
- Vitamin C: 0.7 mg
Prior to adding dried wakame seaweed to the soup, rehydrate it in water. Adding dried wakame seaweed directly to the soup can increase the saltiness. 
Characteristic of wakame seaweed
The fresh wakame, not dried, has high concentrations of water, hydrates, and proteins. The dried seaweed has the same nutrients however more concentrated. It also has very couple of calories and fats with a high satiating impact due to its high water material.
The wakame likewise has natural pigments really useful for the skin and body. For example, it has a high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory impact. Moreover, it has neuroprotective and speeding up properties of metabolism.
By way of summary, the most impressive properties of Wakame undaria are:.
- It contains water, hydrates and proteins, and a few 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)
Before we begin comparing some typical seaweeds, let’s answer this concern: Is seaweed a veggie?
Technically, seaweed is a form of algae, but seaweeds are often described as “sea vegetables” and typically treated as veggies for culinary purposes.
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 primary varieties of seaweed frequently utilized as food: wakame, nori and kombu seaweed. However, these are certainly not the only edible seaweeds.
Other consumable choices, include
- kelp (offered as fresh or dried kelp, as a supplement or in kelp powder form)
- ogo seaweed (generally used in dried kind for poke recipes)
- dulse seaweed (commonly utilized as fresh, raw dulse or dulse flakes)
While wakame is consumed fresh or dried, nori is primarily available in dried form. What is nori? It’s the most typical papery seaweed covering for sushi rolls, and unlike wakame, it is never soaked before serving.
Nori is best eaten wrapped around other items (like sushi) or toasted.
Kombu belongs to the kelp family, and like wakame, it’s a brown seaweed. Kombu is commonly used to make dashi, a delicious broth traditional to Japan and used to make miso soup.
Kombu and wakame have numerous overlapping health benefits and a similar flavor profile, however wakame is slightly sweeter. Both kombu and wakame are commonly used in seaweed salads and soups.
Kelp belongs to the brown algae class (Phaeophyceae), and kombu is a specific range of kelp that’s incredibly common in Japanese, Chinese and Korean food. It can be used in salads, soups and shakes, and there’s likewise kelp sushi.
As with “land vegetables,” sea vegetables also have distinct specific health advantages along with numerous overlapping advantages. In general, wakame, nori, kombu and kelp are all distinctly various yet share resemblances in their flavor profiles, uses and possible health benefits. 
Where to Purchase Wakame
A lot of Asian markets will have wakame, however other supermarkets might have wakame in the international aisle, or in a section dedicated to sushi, where the sushi rice, soy sauce, and nori are equipped. Another option is to discover it online. Wakame is most frequently found in little bags in its dried type, but the dry salt-preserved kind will remain in the refrigerated area, probably in an Asian market rather than the common supermarket. 
Negative Effects of Seaweed
The seaweed advantages and negative effects go together. A benefit to a single person may be a negative effects to another.
The high-fiber content in seaweed can assist digestion, however it can likewise cause digestive discomfort. Each gram of fiber adds up, and a number of servings of seaweed each day can easily press you over the suggested day-to-day allowance of fiber. Excessive fiber can cause bloating, gas and irregularity.
People with health problems associated with the thyroid ought to be specifically mindful of overconsuming seaweed because of its high iodine content. According to a March 2014 study published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, excess iodine consumption does not have significant effects in the typical individual. However, people with particular danger elements connected to thyroid diseases– such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism– may discover that too much iodine can impact their thyroid function and thyroid medications.
One side effect of consuming seaweed is associated with the environment rather than the actual food. The majority of the world’s seaweed is grown in China, however Korea and Japan are also major producers of seaweed. There is issue that seaweed grown on Japanese coasts is contaminated by radioactivity arising from the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. A January 2014 research study released in the Journal of Plant Research discovered polluted samples of algae. However, researchers do not encourage limiting your seaweed intake due to possible radioactive direct exposure.
Another adverse effects related to the environment is heavy metal exposure. According to a February 2018 study published in Scientific Reports, red seaweed consists of substantially greater levels of copper, nickel and other metals compared to brown seaweed. Though scientists found heavy metals like lead and mercury, they report the risk level is low. However, they recommend the regular monitoring of metals in seaweed.
When it comes to seaweed and seafood, inspecting the source of your items will assist avoid contamination. The health dangers are low, however getting to know where your food comes from is part of being a notified, health-conscious consumer. 
The correct amount of wakame consumption may differ from one individual to another. For the very best suggestions, you must speak with a nutritional expert, a dietitian or another health specialist.
Typically, most people who often eat wakame eat small amounts at a time, especially if the wakame is mixed in a soup or in sushi rolls. Be cautious not to consume excessive wakame, as it might result in negative effects, as mentioned above. 
The Bottom Line
Wakame is a highly nutritious, edible seaweed that can add a variety of minerals and vitamins to your diet for a low variety of calories.
It’s likewise been related to various health advantages, consisting of lower cholesterol levels, decreased high blood pressure, boosted weight loss and minimized blood sugar.
Best of all, there are many different ways to enjoy this yummy seaweed as part of a well balanced diet plan, making it simple to benefit from its unique health-promoting homes.