As far as superfoods go, seaweed is one of those that's gone pretty unnoticed until recently. Most people only know it as the green stuff that holds their sushi together, or the stuff floating around their miso soup that isn't tofu.

Despite this sea vegetable being low on the radar, it's definitely a food worth adding to your diet. Here are some health benefits that prove we should be taking another look at seaweed.

1. Iodine

Seaweed is full of many vitamins and minerals, but probably one of the most important ones is iodine—a mineral that helps your thyroid function properly. Despite the prominence of salt in processed foods and fast-food meals, most Americans are low in iodine.

Your thyroid's job is to produce and regulate your hormones. If it is not functioning correctly, symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and problems with weight loss or weight gain

2. Dietary Fiber

Seaweed aids in digestive health and detoxifying. Alginate, a natural absorbent, binds to pollutants and toxins in your body and helps release them through your stool. And if talking about your poop makes you uncomfortable, it's time to get real

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Not all fats are created equally. Commonly found in fish, fish oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts, omega-3's help balance cholesterol levels, improve mood and cognitive ability, reduce inflammation, stabilize blood sugar levels, and much more.

4. Antioxidants

You don't have to limit yourself to eating blueberries for antioxidants (although, who could turn down blueberry anything?).

The antioxidants can help your skin and hair glow, protecting them from the effects of environmental pollutants and toxins. Enough seaweed and you'll be looking as gorgeous as an açaí bowl.

5. Anti-Inflammatory

Seaweed is so full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, that it helps to reduce inflammation in the body. While acute inflammation is a natural and healthy bodily response, chronic inflammation is known to cause and/or worsen diseases such as obesity, depression, arthritis, and celiac disease.

How to Add More Seaweed to Your Diet

beer, tea
Ashleigh Monaco

Whether your buying seaweed to use at home, or if you're going out to eat, most dishes involving seaweed can be fairly pricey (I'm looking at you, sushi).

If you do get your hands on some (they can be found in most health food grocery stores like Whole Foods) they can be used in a variety of ways. You can add strips to soups and salads, bake it into bread, or make your own homemade sushi. And if you just want to get straight to the seaweed, try roasted seaweed snacks.