Konbu - the secret to Japanese youthfulness and longevity
Konbu has been part of Japanese life for centuries. In fact, it was once used as an elixir to restore youthfulness and bestow longevity.
The people of the Okinawa region live particularly long, and some have suggested that this is because Okinawans eat more konbu than people from any other region.
Konbu is used both to make soup stock and as an ingredient in its own right, and it often features in dishes served at celebrations (this is because the word “konbu” sounds like the latter half of “yorokobu”, the Japanese word for happy!).
How does eating Konbu help you live longer?
And there is scientific basis for the assertion that eating konbu helps you live longer…
• Konbu is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is highly alkaline.
• It’s an exceptional diet food: it has almost no calories, and swells in your stomach by absorbing water, making you feel full more quickly. This makes it a great option if you are concerned about your weight or are in the habit of overeating.
• Konbu is one of nature's best sources of iodine, which is believed to help prevent high blood pressure and aging. Iodine deficiencies are rare in Japan, and this is thought to be because we consume a diet rich in konbu and other seaweeds (incidentally, Japan’s landlocked prefectures have higher rates of iodine deficiency).
• Eating konbu is also an effective way to boost your intake of dietary fiber, which helps keeps your intestines clean, alginic acid, which lowers blood cholesterol, and bone-building calcium.