Hijiki Seaweed

Everyone loves trying out new food items and experimenting with different flavors. With the rising trend of eating seaweeds, you need to give it a shot! You should especially try one variety seaweed, in particular, the hijiki seaweed.

Hijiki seaweed is a brown or dull green seaweed collected from the wild. This seaweed offers multiple benefits, which you’ll be finding out in this article. Keep reading!

What is hijiki seaweed?

Hijiki Seaweed, scientifically known as Sargassum fusiforme, is a type that’s cultivated and brought from the wild. It’s green or brown and can easily be found on the coastline of Japan, Korea, and China. It’s a staple in quite a few dishes.

Hijiki is considered the most all-purpose and versatile form of seaweed that dries out pretty quickly and still maintains its nutritional value from all the other seaweeds. After the hijiki is dried, you can easily export it to different parts of the world, and you can then add it to make yummy soups and in various dishes!

Did you know that the hijiki seaweed comes in two forms: a small bud-like form that looks like dry black tea or a dried twig-like form. It’s black in color and increases thrice up to five times in its size when cooked. Since it’s so readily available, hijiki is known to be one of the healthiest forms of seaweed and is incorporated in multiple Japanese food items. Let’s find out its constituents. Keep reading!

Nutritional value of hijiki seaweed:

Even though hijiki seaweed is a yummy addition to different food items, it isn’t just limited to its yummy taste. It is actually pretty functional and provides multiple benefits. Like the other sea vegetables, hijiki is rich in minerals that are really important for the body. It also includes various dietary fiber, and it is rich in iodine, vitamin K, calcium, iron, and magnesium, making it an excellent and healthy item to consume. But what other benefits does this seaweed have?

Benefits of hijiki seaweed

The multiple health benefits of hijiki include its ability to improvise our digestive system, helping people suffering from various sleep disorders, improvising metabolism, strengthening muscles and bones, and so on. It may sound like highly exotic food, but you have probably had this fantastic seaweed if you have dined in a Japanese or Korean restaurant. Want to know how beneficial it is? Let’s find out!

Hijiki improves the digestive system:

Hijiki seaweed is a leafy green sea vegetable, and like various other vegetables, it contains dietary fiber that can assist in smooth running and a healthy digestive system. The dietary fiber present in the hijiki helps the motion through the digestive tract and maximizes the intake of nutrients, and reduces constipation on its way. Read More.

Hijiki assists in balancing hormones:

Iodine is a crucial part of our diet that helps us remain healthy and keep various processes inside our body on track. Hence, iodine plays a significant role in the balancing and the manipulation of hormones inside our bodies.

It comes in direct contact with the thyroid gland and helps it in the smooth running of the endocrine system. Consuming iodine excessively is indeed harmful, but so many people actually do not even get enough. Hijiki seaweed is the perfect dietary addition if you’re looking to increase iodine. Read More.

Hijiki boosts energy levels:

Hijiki seaweed contains significant levels of iron. Some seaweeds have been tested to have even more iron than a chicken liver. This means one can quickly help prevent anemia easily with the help of hijiki, by incorporating it into our diet.

Having a consistent level of iron inside the body results in the increase of red blood cells. It can increase oxygenation and end up boosting energy levels, which is exactly what you need. 

Hijiki helps induce sleep:

Did you know that magnesium is great to use as a sleep aid? This is mainly because it helps stimulate the production of hormones that help people relax and induces sleep. Hijiki seaweed contains a high concentration of magnesium, making it a practical for those people who do not get enough sleep. Try it as a late-night snack to induce sleep. Magnesium will help you achieve the night of rest you need!

Hijiki maintains cholesterol levels

This seaweed isn’t just a low-calorie food, but it contains a high concentration of dietary fiber, making it eligible to cancel out any cholesterol from our cardiovascular system. Hijiki seaweed also assists in maintaining insulin levels and balancing out the glucose inside our bodies. Balancing cholesterol is very important and having a healthy system helps us to stay healthy and fit.

Hijiki improves bone health

With age comes an inevitable part that is losing strength and increasing concerns regarding the bones health. Having a good influx of minerals and necessary vitamins is essential to lead a healthy and steady life, and preventing osteoporosis.

The calcium concentration is higher than in dairy milk, making it a great dietary resource. Hijiki seaweed is an excellent alternative to help keep you strong and healthy!

Culinary usage of hijiki

This seaweed is used in multiple ways in the kitchen, you can quickly reconstitute it by boiling water, and it can be ready easily for many dishes. You can use hijiki in different soups, stews, and even stir fry.

You can also incorporate hijiki in the making of various sauces and as a salad seasoning. It has a mild taste and does not overpower any other ingredient; sounds pretty good!

Can you eat too much hijiki?

Even with healthy vegetables, too much consumption isn’t safe. Sometimes, consuming too much of it can cause harmful effects to your body. Although it is a bundle of multiple benefits and includes minerals and vitamins, hijiki also has inorganic arsenic. Therefore, making sure to eat this seaweed in a moderate amount, because the arsenic levels are not harmful if consumption is not excessive.

Takeaway:

So what are you waiting for? Either dine in at a Japanese restaurant nearby and try out this nutritious seaweed or grab it from the local store and find out fun recipes and incorporate it in them. Give it a try and reap the multiple benefits it provides!

More seaweed recipes and articles: 

Japanese Hijiki Fried Rice (Trader Joe’s Copycat)

Nori Seaweed

Kombu Seaweed

Bladderwrack Benefits

What is Sea Moss?

Sea Moss Gel

What is Agar?

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3 Comments

  1. Dear Michelle Blackwood,
    I have a package of Wel-Pac HIJIKI from JFC International Inc. which has no notice or warning of contained arsenic. My Japanese friend who lives in Japan says she eats Hijiki only once a month because of the possible cancer consequences. I just did a search on U-tube and found very few sources of information, but these make me take notice and NOT eat Hijiki.

    Food Safety Authority of Ireland: “Recent sample results from around the world have shown that hijiki seaweed is generally high in inorganic arsenic.* In light of this, the FSAI advises consumers to limit their consumption of hijiki seaweed or choose alternative types of seaweed, where possible.” Last reviewed 2015 .

    “Samples of hijiki taken under the [Hong Kong] Food Surveillance Programme of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) in November 2004 found that the arsenic levels of the samples exceeded the statutory limits (1.4 ppm (parts per million) of arsenic expressed in As 2O 3) under the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination*) Regulations made under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance ((Cap.132) . Offenders upon conviction are liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for 6 months. All the products in question have been withdrawn from the market”
    Updated 2017

    *from Hong Kong article: ”In general, inorganic arsenic is more toxic than the organic form. Exposure to high levels of inorganic arsenic has been linked with gastrointestinal effects, anaemia and liver damage. In 2010, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that arsenic in drinking-water causes cancers of the urinary bladder, lung and skin in humans and has classified arsenic as Group 1 agent, i.e. carcinogenic to humans.”

    The three “health” sites that appeared under my search topic have little or no warning about the arsenic in hijiki (“poisons in HIJIKI” produces lots more). I commend you for having the most but I think you are doing a significant dis-service in your promotion of this product. We have an overwhelming load of poisons in our environment without being encouraged to eat more of them.

    1. Thank you, Donald, for your feedback, I embrace facts so I’m putting the information out there and if someone decides to eat it or not it is their choice. I have eaten hijiki but I rarely eat it now. However, Foods with the highest levels of arsenic (in all forms) are actually found in seafood, poultry, mushrooms, rice, and all rice products and fruit juices. All the websites that include all these ingredients are also doing a disservice and that will be every single food website. I appreciate your feedback. I have over 2000 articles and recipes on my website, of which 2 is about hijiki (0.1% of my posts). By the way, hijiki is one of the top seaweeds eaten in Japan.

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