Chinese salad usually refers to Chuka Salada Kuki Wakame in Chinese culture. As the name suggests, wakame stem is the stem/trunk part of the seaweed "Wakame". The texture of wakame is very chewy and will make you feel satisfied when you eat it. Additionally, seaweed contains minerals and therefore can compensate for mineral deficiencies during dietary restrictions. Another feature of this dish is the variety of cooking methods, including stir-frying, boiling, mixing, etc. If you're on a diet or worried about calories, try adding wakame stems as an ingredient.
In addition to a mixture of seaweed, seaweed stems (Kuki wakame) and seaweed sprouts (Mekabu), there are a few ingredients. They include artificially dyed agar (algae gelatin), MSG, and high fructose corn syrup. Many restaurants actually buy pre-made, finished products.
Chinese Salad Calories
The calories in a serving will vary depending on the type of wakame you use, with a 100g serving of Chinese salad containing around 15kcal.
How much carbs are in Wakame stems?
A 100-gram serving of Chinese salad contains 5.5 grams of carbohydrates, of which 0.4 grams is sugar. It also contains 1.1 grams of protein and 0.3 grams of fat.
In comparison, this food has a lower carbohydrate content, so it can be said to be a food suitable for people who want to limit their carbohydrate intake. It also contains nutrients such as minerals and dietary fiber, so it's best to have it as a side dish or when you're feeling hungry.
Nutrients contained in wakame stems
Although each 100 grams of wakame stems contains less than 10 grams of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, it is also rich in other beneficial nutrients.
Here, we will explain the effects of water-soluble dietary fiber, calcium, and fucoidan contained in wakame on the body.
water soluble dietary fiber
Wakame stems contain water-soluble dietary fiber and are easily soluble in water. Water-soluble dietary fiber is expected to regulate the intestinal environment.
Soluble dietary fiber is a nutrient that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. By consuming water-soluble dietary fiber, you can increase the number of beneficial bacteria and maintain the intestinal environment. If you eat meat frequently and your intestinal environment is disturbed, you can try actively eating wakame stems to increase the number of beneficial bacteria.
When many people need to take in calcium, the first thing they think of is milk and small fish. In fact, wakame stems also contain calcium. Raw wakame is said to have the same calcium content as milk.
The calcium contained in wakame stems is known for its ability to strengthen bones.
Snacks made from bite-sized wakame stems are also commercially available, so why not try them not just as a side dish but also at snack time, just like with milk?
Wakame stems have a thick consistency. This stickiness is a substance called "fucoidan". Fucoidan is known to have the effect of activating NK cells.
NK cells are a type of lymphocyte, and in addition to improving immunity, they are expected to have many health benefits, such as stabilizing blood pressure and suppressing increases in blood sugar levels. NK cells can also fight viruses such as Helicobacter pylori and influenza, so be sure to actively ingest fucoidan to activate them.
Health Benefits of Wakame Seaweed
- Nutritious: Wakame is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D, E, K and B-complex vitamins, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iodine and iron. These nutrients are essential for overall health and well-being.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Wakame contains a variety of antioxidants such as fucoxanthin, flavonoids, and polyphenols, which help fight oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
- Supports Thyroid Health: Wakame is an excellent source of iodine, a mineral necessary for thyroid function and thyroid hormone production. Getting enough iodine helps maintain thyroid health and regulates metabolism.
- Promotes heart health: Wakame contains compounds such as fucoidan and omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and prevent blood clots from forming, thereby supporting heart health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Helps Digestive Health: Wakame is rich in dietary fiber, which supports digestive health by supporting regular bowel movements, preventing constipation and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
- Supports bone health: Wakame is a good source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, which are essential for maintaining bone health and preventing diseases like osteoporosis.
- May Help with Weight Management: Wakame is low in calories and fat but high in fiber, which helps promote feelings of fullness, reduce appetite, and support weight management.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Some compounds found in wakame, such as fucoxanthin and fucoidan, have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body and relieve inflammatory symptoms such as arthritis.
It is crucial to include wakame as part of a balanced diet rather than relying solely on it to meet nutritional needs. Additionally, people with thyroid disease or iodine sensitivity should consult a healthcare professional before adding wakame to their diet.
Things to note when eating wakame
Wakame stems are a food that can easily absorb nutrients such as dietary fiber and calcium. If you know how to get the best out of wakame, you'll be able to create better menus. Let’s take a look at the key points to consider when eating wakame stems, as explained below.
Choose a low-salt type
Some wakame stems are sold in "raw" form, but many wakame stems are also sold in salted form. Salted foods must be properly salted before cooking.
When you're tired, you tend to seek out salty foods, but consuming too much salt can cause damage to your body, including increased blood pressure and osteoporosis.
Wakame is sold as a snack and seasoned, and it is difficult to adjust the salt content yourself, so choose a low-salt type. Choosing a low-salt type will help prevent the risk of too much salt.
Decide in advance how much to eat
Even wakame made with vinegar is a delicious treat. The wakame stems used as snacks are also added with sourness to bring out the delicious taste of the wakame stems.
The sour taste brings out the deliciousness of wakame, helps digestion, and also increases appetite. Be careful not to eat too much of the sour-flavored wakame stems.
If you don't have the confidence to control yourself, decide how much you want to eat before you start eating.
Eat with fermented foods
Eating wakame and fermented foods together can further improve the intestinal environment.
Wakame stems contain dietary fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut, and fermented foods also contain good bacteria. If you eat dietary fiber that feeds good bacteria, you can expect a synergistic effect, so be sure to mix them.