Health Benefits of Seaweed Salad

Medically Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on July 12, 2023
2 min read

Seaweed salad is a Japanese dish. It has many health benefits and is growing in popularity in Western countries. It’s filled with nutrients like fiber and vitamins, and minerals like iron. 

The most common type of seaweed used in seaweed salad is wakame. It may boost your immune system to fight off viruses like those that cause cold sores. 

Seaweed is also a good way to get the mineral iodine, which helps your body make thyroid hormones. 

Another benefit of eating seaweed salad is that all of the minerals and vitamins are loaded inside. Some minerals in different varieties of seaweed are: 

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc 

On top of that, the vitamins found in these leafy sea vegetables include: 

Wakame is the most common kind of seaweed used, but there are a variety of seaweed types included. Some of the possible health perks are:

Good source of B12. Nori seaweed is the best source of this vitamin, and it’s a good option for vegetarians. 

Filled with vitamin K. Some raw seaweed is a good source of this vitamin, which is important for blood clotting. 

Anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. Seaweed may help lower inflammation. In Japan, low rates of cancer have been linked to seaweed in the diet. 

Heart health. Seaweed has nutrients that may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Weight control. It’s low in calories and fat. It also has fiber, which can help you stay full longer. 

Eating too much seaweed can cause problems because of its high levels of certain vitamins and minerals. Currently, there’s limited regulation on the disclosure of how much minerals, heavy metals, or iodine is in seaweed products. There’s also not much guidance on safe portion sizes. 

Getting too much iodine and vitamin K can be bad for you if you have certain health conditions. If you get too much vitamin K, it can interfere with medications for kidney problems. Too much iodine may harm your thyroid. If you're concerned about how much iodine you’re getting, you can wash or blanch seaweed to remove some of this mineral. 

When it comes to eating seaweed salad, like all foods, balance and moderation are important. 

The traditional Japanese seaweed salad looks different from what you’ll find in an American sushi restaurant. The common Japanese dish includes different sea vegetables, and it’s dressed in a rice vinegar dressing. 

This is a simple dish to make at home. Common ingredients for it include: 

  • Mixed dry seaweed
  • Rice vinegar
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Ginger juice
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Scallion

If you’re buying seaweed salad from a store, check the ingredient label. It's better to see less additives and more whole food ingredients.