Bladderwrack Benefits | Thyroid Support, Heart Health, Anti-Inflammatory Support
What is Bladderwrack?
Bladderwrack, a brown seaweed common in the Pacific Ocean, is packed with iodine and boasts a wide variety of health benefits. From Thyroid Health to Heart Health, this marine superfood does it all. In addition, Bladderwrack is loaded with essential minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
If you're interested in learning more about marine superfoods, I suggest you check out our article on Sea Moss, another powerful algae that boasts similar benefits.
The most common Bladderwrack health benefits include Thyroid Health, Anti-Inflammatory Support, Digestive Health, and Weight Loss. Below, we go more in depth into each benefit, as well as a few ways to incorporate this amazing seaweed into your diet.
Healthy Thyroid Support
What makes Bladderwrack so great for Thyroid Health is its high iodine concentration. Iodine is essential for the Thyroid to function and regulate hormones in the body. A lack of iodine can lead to under-active Thyroid or even Goiter (abnormal enlargement of the Thyroid gland). Bladderwrack not only supplies the necessary iodine to the Thyroid gland, but also triggers it to produce hormones that regulate body function.
Help Lower Cholesterol, Reduce Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
What really separates Bladderwrack from other marine superfoods is its unique ability to soften the arteries and prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries that lead to high cholesterol, stroke and heart attack). In addition, Bladderwrack is rich in HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol that the body needs to function). This helps to promote lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and healthier levels altogether.
Softer arteries also make it easier for the body to disperse insulin and break down sugars more effectively. This in turn leads to a lower risk of Diabetes.
Help Reduce Inflammation and Pain
An often overlooked of Bladderwrack benefit is its potent anti-inflammatory ability. Research has shown it to be effective in treating gout, arthritis and hemorrhoids. In Arthritis patients, it helps to reduce swelling, pain and skin irritation in the affected areas. In addition, Bladderwrack can be used externally in a topical application. Simply mix a teaspoon with some water to create a paste, then gently apply to joints and muscles for quick relief.
Help Reduce Bloating and Gas
A property common in most seaweeds, is high fiber content. Bladderwrack is no exception, not only is it rich in fiber, it possesses alginic acid which helps to relieve constipation, add bulk to bowels and expel bloating/gas. This helps to aid digestion and remove any polyps that are stuck in the colon. The result is a significant drop in the risk of colon cancer and gastric ulcers.
Helps to Prevent Cancer
Another Bladderwrack benefit is its high concentration of Fucoidan. Research has shown this compound to posses anti-tumor properties. In addition, it helps to regulate cell production, thus inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells.
Helps to Prevent Cataracts and Aid Vision
Bladderwrack is loaded with the antioxidant Beta-carotene. Research has shown Beta-carotene to attack free radical cells in the cornea and eyes. This essentially rejuvenates the eyes, and reverses years of aging and degeneration. Not only does Bladderwrack help to prevent cataracts, it boosts vision in anyone who regularly consumes it.
An extra special Bladderwrack benefit, is its ability to increase the metabolism and suppress appetite. This leads to fat burning and eventually weight loss. It has been used for centuries in the Caribbean as a secret weight loss tool.
Now that we've covered all the Bladderwrack Benefits, let's get to the good stuff--incorporating this superfood into your diet.
How to use Bladderwrack
The Bladderwrack herb or seaweed itself is very hard to come by, however the organic powder is easily accessible.
I suggest using the powder as it is very easy to use and you're able to consume a high dosage if desired. Most people suggest sprinkling 1 teaspoon on salads, soups or foods.
Because of its strong flavor, I recommend adding it to a fruit smoothie. Below is one of my favorite recipes:
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon of Bladderwrack Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 8 oz of Vanilla Almond Milk
- 2 tablespoons of almonds
- 1 cup of ice
Blend till smooth, and enjoy :)
Possible Side Effects of Bladderwrack
- Since Bladderwrack is packed with Iodine, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional to ensure you're not consuming too much iodine.
- Bladderwrack should be avoided in the weeks leading up to, or after surgery, as it may increase bleeding.