Seaweed is a famous delicacy in some parts of the Asia and also a well-known source of important food hydrocolloids, such as agar, alginates, and carrageenan. In addition to the food value of seaweed, several health benefits have also been reported to be present in this valuable food source. It is presumed that the unique features of the marine environment, where the seaweeds are grown, are mainly responsible for most of its properties. Among the functional effects of the seaweed, nutritional and health-related benefits have been widely studied. Compared to the terrestrial plants and animal-based foods, seaweed is rich in some health-promoting molecules and materials such as, dietary fiber, ω-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. In this chapter, the nutritive value of seaweed and the functional effects of its soluble fiber are discussed with a special reference to the digestive health promotion of human.
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