With an appearance like black tea or small dry twigs hijiki is a kind of seaweed which is found along the coastlines of Korea, Japan and China. A well known staple food in most Asian countries, hijiki has this marvelous quality of restoring all of its nutritional values even when dried. This widely available seaweed has marvelous health benefits when it comes to children. Being rich in all the essential minerals in the form of magnesium, calcium and iron as well as dietary fiber, hijiki is known for triggering hair growth among children, improving digestion and strengthening the bones.
Must Know Health Benefits of Hijiki for Children:
Hormone Support: If your child is in his/her early growth stage then he/she must be experiencing severe hormonal changes in their body. This kind of drastic hormonal change is likely to cause discomfort to your son/daughter. The amount of iodine present in hijiki often facilitates hormonal balance through the interaction with the thyroid gland. So if your teenager is feeling awkward and getting emotionally stressed, hijiki might be the solution!
Boosts Digestion: Being a green leafy vegetable, hijiki is filled with various dietary fibers. Thus the regular consumption of this seaweed ensures that your teenager’s digestive system is both healthy and smooth. If you are worried about the bizarre eating habits of your teenage son or daughter, then you must make sure that he/she gets a daily dosage of hijiki as it stimulates the peristalsis which moves through the digestive track of your teenager. Then it not only helps in nutrient absorption and also fights constipation. The high amount of fiber present in this particular seaweed will help your child get rid of all the excess cholesterol he/she accumulated from the consumption of fast food.
Provides Natural Energy: Your teenager requires a lot of natural energy to adopt to the changing needs of his/her body functions. Hijiki has high iron level, almost 5 times the amount found in chicken liver. Iron as an important component of the red blood cell will provide your child with the energy boost which he/she needs in the growing stages of his/her life. Also if your child is going through those awkward vegan diet phases and planning to go meatless, then the regular consumption of hijiki will help in maintaining the desired energy level.
Supports Bone Development: In the growing stages of your child, calcium rich food alternatives like milk are essential. However, most teenagers, as we know are quite fussy about having their regular glass of milk. Also at the same time milk has other side effects and can act adversely impact the digestive system of your son/daughter.
But you need not worry as hijki is in fact is a better solution. Hijiki contains more calcium than milk and thus it will boost the bone development of your teenage son/daughter during his/her growth phase. It is also known to suppress the tendencies of osteoporosis and is considered as a dietary alternative filled with minerals.
Induces Better Sleeping Habits: Do you want your teenage son/daughter to sleep a bit early, at night? Of course you do! If you are worried about their late hours your teenager spends in front their laptops or tablets, then slipping in hijiki in their dinner might be a good alternative. The high level of magnesium present in hijiki induces better sleep and it helps your teenager’s growing brain cells to relax and get well nourished so that he/she can wake-up fresh the next morning.
Preparing Hijiki for your Child:
Hijiki is mostly prepared in the form of home-cooked food. A very suitable way of having is mixing it well with the traditional vegetables and fish. The good news is that it can also be easily mixed with foods which are cooked in oil, marinated in fish/soya oil, boiled and also steamed. However, it should be remembered that hijiki does not go well as a wrap and for that reason, it should be avoided.
Precautions & Warnings:
You must be wondering that why we have specifically mentioned “teenagers” and not toddlers or infants while discussing the health benefits of hijiki. The fact is that, though hijiki is a very nutritious vegetable, it comes with various levels of side effects. Despite being seaweed rich in minerals, hijiki comes with a very high level of inorganic arsenic, which is considered to be very toxic to humans. When exposed to a high level of inorganic arsenic, it causes liver damage and gastrointestinal disorders.
However, it is also being found out that it would require a very high amount of hijki to be consumed in order to pose any kind of threat to a human health. But still it is advised that toddlers and young children are not fed with hijiki. Moreover, the consumption of iodine rich food like hijiki can trigger the chances of hypothyroid among young children. On the other hand a more matured digestive system of a teenager or a young adult can definitely extract the benefits of this vegetable.
In a nutshell, hijiki is an extremely beneficial vegetable for your teenage child but you should also consult the doctor before you introduce the same in his/her diet.