Remember when kale became a “thing?” Salads, smoothies, side dishes – they were all suddenly incomplete without lettuce’s forgotten sibling. Everywhere you looked, people were turning up their noses at spinach in the name of the newest superfood.
Well, kale is old news. According to a new report, 2016 is all about seaweed – kale’s hip, ocean-dwelling, long-lost cousin. Alongside the kale chips and veggie snacks, seaweed is popping up all over health food stores in the form of snack bars, chips and juices.
That’s great news for you, and believe it or not, great news for your boobs.
So, what’s in it for your boobs?
Researchers first noticed a link between iodine consumption and breast health in southeast Asia, where the traditional diet is rich in seaweed. Japanese women have breast cancer rates roughly one-third of those found in American women, a difference that diminishes in Japanese women who immigrate to the US, where they consume considerably less seaweed or other forms of iodine in their diet. Further research from a study in 2004 found that 50% of women who experienced breast tenderness experienced improvement after iodine supplementation. In the study, women receiving doses of 3,000 or 6,000 mcg iodine had a significant decrease in breast pain, tenderness and nodularity.
That’s not to say that just consuming seaweed will fulfill all your iodine intake needs, especially for women with a fibrocystic breast condition (FBC). However, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, one whole sheet, or 1 g of seaweed, can have 16 to 2,984 micrograms (mcg) of iodine per serving. That’s a good amount of iodine straight from the source!
So, hooray for seaweed! Super weird? Maybe. Super food? For sure.
Already a seaweed convert? Thinking about adding it to your diet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.