What is kombu? Are you interested in finding out all about this seaweed and the benefits it provides? You are in the right place, because we will be telling you all about kombu, its nutritional value, and the benefits it offers. Keep reading!
What Is Kombu?
It is a consumable sea vegetable belonging to a group of brown seaweeds. It’s most commonly used in making a Japanese soup that has a delicate flavor of umami. It is one of the most common seaweed found in Japan and is widely used in Korea and Japan.
Kombu Nutrition Facts:
Kombu is found in various categories, and all of them have different tastes. This seaweed is also actually quite good for your body. Let’s find out about its nutritional value!
Carbohydrates are the primary calories provided in kombu. Keep in mind, the calories found in kombu are quite low, so there won’t be a significant increase if you consume it. The carbohydrate is in the form of starch and fiber found in each serving.
The fats found in the kombu are just a few traces. Did you know that in a 1/4 cup serving of kombu, you’ll discover zero grams of fat? Shocking, isn’t it? Kombu is used and is served in dishes whose fat is comparatively low, such as dashi, a Japanese broth.
It can be used to only slightly boost the protein of your meal, especially your soups. If you eat approximately 1/4 cup of kombu, it’ll provide you with 1 gram of protein.
The seaweed, kombu, is the perfect source of iodine. In fact, when compared to other known seaweeds, kombu has the highest concentration of iodine in it. But of course, it does vary according to the different varieties. Apart from a high content of iodine, kombu also has zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, and even calcium. How healthy!
Further nutritional benefits in Kombu are the provision of vitamins it provides. Approximately two tablespoons of Kombu includes 5% of the daily intake of folate that’s recommended. It also contains 8% Vitamin K which makes up your daily recommended intake. Not just this, but it also has a small concentration of riboflavin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B5.
Kombu Health Benefits:
Now what are some of the health benefits that can be a possible result from adding this seaweed to your diet? Read on to find out more!
Helps in improving digestion and in gas reduction:
The seaweed kombu is rich in amino acids, which assist in the breaking down of heavy starches found in various foods such as beans. This makes it so easy to digest all these high in starch foods. It also has glutamic acid, which provides a savory flavor and includes fiber, helpful for indigestion.
It also helps reduce the gas-producing of various beans. For all the people who have been struggling for years with intestinal gas problems, it’s because of the lack of enzymes that help break down the raffinose sugars found in various beans. The bacteria present inside our gut love these sugary items and end up releasing carbon dioxide and hydrogen, and in the end, the gas. This causes the stomach to bloat too. The digestive enzymes inside the kombu make it easier for you if you consume these various legumes.
Helps in potentially preventing cancer
Various sea vegetables provide cancer-preventing benefits. Inflammation and chronic oxidative stress are responsible for the development of cancer. But by consuming kombu and other sea vegetables, your anti-inflammatory compound intake will increase, and hence these are also known as cancer-fighting foods.
Helps in balancing estrogen levels
The consumption of various sea vegetables may affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, involving estrogen secretion. Did you know that too much estrogen puts women at risk of breast cancer? It comes into the picture by lowering down and balancing estrogen levels.
Aids in warding off anemia
We all know how vital iron is and how it plays a role in producing hemoglobin, making our cells, skin, hair, and nails healthy. It balances out your body’s iron, which results in curing anemia caused by iron deficiency. So for all the women breastfeeding, pregnant, or menstruating are at high risk of iron deficiency, and people who have had surgery or are vegan and have ulcerative cells. The iron content in it helps prevent this deficiency.
Kombu helps in improving thyroid function
The concentration of iodine in this, compared to other seaweeds, is the highest, categorizing it in the list of iodine-rich foods. Iodine plays a significant role in the production of hormones and also makes sure the thyroid functions run smoothly. It’s therefore helpful for those people who suffer from hypothyroidism.
It helps to combat rheumatoid arthritis
The seaweed kombu contains a healthy amount of fucoidan found in the brown seaweed and algae.Did you know that fucoidan treatment can easily damage the inflamed cells causing arthritis, ensuring the bad cells don’t survive? It’s a possible treatment for symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Common questions about kombu:
You may be still missing basic information about this seaweed, but no worries! I will answer your questions below.
What does kombu taste like?
So many people believe that kombu tastes similar to a mushroom and has a slightly salty edge. The seaweed kombu contains glutamic acids and is the basis of umami. It tastes sour, salty, sweet, bitter, and umami.
Can the kombu found on beaches be consumed?
People popularly harvest fresh seaweed today, even on various US coasts. You might consider eating the seaweed from beaches, but we don’t advise it because you can’t be certain about the pollutants and contaminants to which the seaweed has been exposed.
What is the white powder on kombu? Should it be washed?
The white powder found on the Kombu is called mannitol, and you should probably avoid washing it off. It has the distinctive characteristic and flavor of Kombu. If you do not prefer it, it’s ideal to wipe it off with a wet towel.
Conclusion on kombu:
This is an edible seaweed that provides quite a few health benefits, such as improvising digestion and even cancer prevention.
It’s a delicious addition that can easily be added to various stews, soups and it makes a nutritional bundle that anyone and everyone can consume. It’s an excellent vegan alternative too. How perfect!
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