Hijiki (Sargassum fusiforme, syn. Hizikia fusiformis) is a brown sea vegetable growing wild on rocky coastlines around Japan, Korea, and China.
Hijiki has been a part of the Japanese diet for centuries. Hijiki is rich in dietary fibre and essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. According to Japanese folklore, hijiki aids health and beauty, and thick, black, lustrous hair is connected to regular consumption of small amounts of hijiki. Hijiki has been sold in United Kingdom natural products stores for 30 years and hijiki’s culinary uses have been adopted in North America.
It’s also extremely high in fiber – about 40% of it in dried form is fiber.
Hijiki is not commonly seen on the menus of Japanese restaurants since it’s used mostly for homely home cooking. It comes in dried form, as do most other seaweeds.
In 1867 the word “hijiki” first appeared in an English-language publicatio.
Starting in the 1960s, the word “hijiki” started to be used widely in the United States, and the product (imported in dried form from Japan) became widely available at natural food stores and Asian-American grocery stores, due to the influence of the macrobiotic movement, and in the 1970s with the growing number of Japanese restaurants.
One of the great brown seaweeds (sea vegetables), hijiki is known as the bearer of beauty and health in Japan as it nourishes the hair and helps reduce dryness and split ends. They used to be popular in Japanese homes but they are now being used all over the world in various dishes. They are typically sold in pre-cooked form, which means you only need to soak them for seven to ten minutes.
When cultivated its’ usually dull green or brown and will appear in the form of small buds resembling black tea or small dry twigs when harvested.
A staple food in many Asian cultural dishes, hijiki is also highly versatile because it dries rapidly while maintaining most of its nutritional content.
The seaweed is highly popular in Japan because it’s widely available and easy to prepare. Its health benefits are also widely recognized.
High Energy Food
Hijiki contains a high amount of iron, which helps create RBCs. This in turn leads to better oxygen transportation and the oxygenation of cells, tissues and even organs. Hijiki is one of the best sources of iron, making it a high energy food that not only improves blood flow, but also treats conditions like anemia.
Though iodine’s importance in diet is rarely addressed, it still remains crucial in keeping bodily functions on track. Iodine facilitates hormonal balance in the body through its interaction with the thyroid gland. This is one of the most crucial aspects of the endocrine system. While consuming too much iodine is certainly detrimental, most people don’t get enough. Hijiki can be a good source of this vital dietary component.
Being the ultimate green leafy vegetable, seaweeds like hijiki are packed with dietary fiber. Regular consumption would thus ensure that the digestive process is both smooth and healthy.
It’s known to stimulate peristalsis, the mechanism that moves matter through the digestive track. This not only helps maximize nutrient absorption, but also reduces constipation. The high fiber content in hijiki helps eliminate excess cholesterol from the body’s cardiovascular system, which balances insulin and glucose levels in the body.
Hijiki is a rich source of the essential mineral calcium. Calcium is one of the best foods to promote bone health. It helps prevent conditions like osteoporosis and arthritic conditions like joint pains. Hijiki can help you retain strong bones and is good for maintaining the bone structure.
One of the inevitable parts of getting old is losing our strength and having to be more concerned about the durability of our bones.
However, if you have a proper influx of minerals through your diet, than you can significantly prevent the painful and debilitating condition of osteoporosis. Hijiki contains far more calcium than milk, which is often considered one of the best dietary sources. Hijiki can definitely help keep you strong and active for many years.
Hijiki is full of essential minerals and nutrients. One of the important constituents is magnesium. Magnesium has been known to trigger certain relaxation and stress releasing hormones, which makes it an effective remedy for sleep disorders or insomnia. It can be the best late night snack for you, filling you up while providing the needed magnesium levels for proper sleep.
As already discussed, hijiki is a green veggie that is crammed with dietary fiber. The presence of dietary fiber can help solve an array of problems including indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Dietary fiber also helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol from the body. This is what makes hijiki an ideal food to lower your cholesterol naturally.
Since hijiki has the ability to decrease LDL cholesterol from your body, it automatically promotes heart health. Not only does hijiki help lower the risk of diabetes and lower cholesterol levels, but it’s also good for the heart.