Here at VOYA we love our seaweed and when new research on its benefits is revealed, we enjoy sharing the news! The most recent new study published in the Irish Medical Journal, has brought to light some more of the benefits of seaweed. The research shows that iodine intake can be improved in people who are exposed to larger amounts of seaweed in their lives. Fantastic news!
Iodine intake is particularly important for young children and expecting mothers because of its contribution to brain development. As we grow older, Iodine also plays an important role in healthy thyroid activity.
What the Study Said
The study, Iodine Status over Two Decades: Influence of Seaweed Exposure, which was covered in the Irish Times, looked at iodine deficiency in Irish schoolchildren and women over a 20-year period.
Samples were taken from subjects living in the coastal areas of Carna, Co Galway, Dublin City, Galway City and Belfast City. Subjects from the inland areas of Dungannon, Co Tyrone, and Mullingar, Co Westmeath were also part of the study.
The results showed that 45.6 percent of schoolchildren subjects and 43 percent of adult subjects living in Carna had an iodine intake above the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation, thanks to the benefits of seaweed.
In contrast, only 2.3 percent of schoolchildren and 16 percent of adult subjects tested in inland and low seaweed-abundant coastal areas met the standard.
Professor P. Smyth one of the authors of the study is quoted in the Irish Times as saying:
“The benefits are associated with not just being near the sea, but being able to take a good lungful of air near a seaweed-rich beach”.
To ensure that everyone has a sufficient intake of iodine, The World Health Organistation and UNICEF both recommend universal salt iodization as a global strategy. Ireland does not currently have such a scheme.
Benefits of Iodine
When your body has the correct amount of iodine in its system, it’s able to carry out a number of important functions efficiently. This includes, maintaining energy levels, healthy hair and fingernail growth, the ability to enjoy a regular sleep pattern and weight regulation.
Because iodine is so crucial to a number of important bodily functions, the symptoms of iodine deficiency can be quite noticeable.
This can include depression, abnormal weight gain, decreased fertility, coarse skin, constipation and fatigue.
Sources of Iodine
Along with sesame seeds, soybeans and spinach and fish, seaweed is a good source of iodine. This is because seaweed, particularly brown kelp seaweed, is able to absorb iodine from saltwater. When seaweed is consumed, the benefits of the iodine is passed onto the human body. There are some great Irish companies that supply eatable seaweed including; Wild Irish Seaweed. Check out their delicious Dilisk.
Benefits of Seaweed Baths
For those that prefer not to incorporate seaweed into their diet, a VOYA seaweed bath can deliver a number of benefits through the absorption of nutrients from the water and inhaling the vapour of a hot seaweed bath.
Seaweed contains algal polyphenols and carotenoids which are antioxidants that help your body tackle unstable forms of oxygen known as free radicals that can damage cells.
For these benefits of seaweeed to be realised you need access to organic seaweed sourced and hand harvested from unspoiled waters. This philosophy is also applied to the seaweed that is found in VOYA’s Lazy Days home seaweed bath treatment. You can create a luxurious spa treatment in your own home, just add water.