Benefits of Wakame during Pregnancy
Wakame is the perfect food for women during pregnancy. Start eating this early in your pregnancy or even while planning, to build levels of folic acid that are critical in the early development of the fetus. In addition, iron found in wakame balances mom’s energy, while the calcium and magnesium provide extra nutrients to baby without absorbing them from mommy’s bones.
What is Wakame:
Wakame is an edible brown seaweed or kelp common in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines.
Wakame has many health benefits. It is a good source of the following:
1. Magnesium. This mineral is critical in the contraction and relaxation of muscles, function of certain enzymes in the body, production and transport of energy, and the production of protein.
2. Iodine. Iodine is needed for strong metabolism of cells – the process of converting food into energy. It also maintains the balance of the thyroid gland and is needed for the production of thyroid hormones.
3. Calcium. Wakame easily allows for the absorption of calcium into the human body. Each 100 grams of raw wakame contains 150 milligrams of calcium. Calcium is needed for strong healthy bones and the prevention of osteoporosis.
4. Iron. We need iron because it is essential for the production of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia.
- Vitamins A, C, E, and K. These vitamins are all amazing for skin health and repair as well as immunology.
- Vitamin D. Promotes the absorption of calcium for healthy bones and enhances the nerve, muscle, and immune systems.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). We need riboflavin to use the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the foods we eat. Riboflavin helps us use these nutrients for energy in our bodies for growth and is also necessary for red blood cell production. Riboflavin functions as an antioxidant and works in the body with other vitamins such as niacin, folate, and vitaminB6.
6. Folate. Helps the body make new cells and is especially important for pregnant women.
7. Lignans. Thought to play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer.
Making Wakame takes only 1 minute of hands-on prep time and can be eaten as a snack or added to any number of meals. To rehydrate, soak the wakame in lukewarm water for 10 minutes. It will swell and become a rich, glossy green. Drain the water, then plunge the seaweed briefly into boiling water. Rinse immediately with cold water to intensify the color. Trim away any rough stems, then coarsely chop the wakame.
Eat as a mid-day savory snack, add to a salad, or top your dinner off with this healthy and easy edition to your weekly meals! Although most varieties of edible seaweed are deemed safe to consume during pregnancy, always check with your health care provider before altering your diet during pregnancy.