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Remember when seaweed was the slimy stuff that skeeved you out when it brushed against your leg while you swam? Well, it still is. But it’s also a low-calorie, mineral-filled snack you can roast, munch on in chip form, or add to smoothies.
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“The calcium in seaweed helps muscles contract, aids in cell communication, and contributes to nervous system function,” says Jennifer Fitzgibbon, R.D., of the Stony Brook Cancer Center. “Both kelp and wakame, a seaweed served in soups and salads, contain 60mg of calcium [6% of your daily needs].”
Seaweed is also a solid source of iron, which can help you ramp up for an intense gym session. “Iron helps produce energy needed for daily activities and nourishes the circulatory system, which improves blood flow,” Fitzgibbon adds.