Wrap Your Food in Seaweed and Lose Weight Obesity has not been the problem for Japanese people that it is for the huge number in the United States. (Nearly 65% of the US population is considered overweight.) Not a problem in Japan up till now that is. As Western style diet spreads into Asia, so too are the problems of obesity. Japanese cuisine has long featured rice and seaweed as mainstays for recipes, and the benefits of seaweed in a person’s diet are only now being understood. Japanese chemists have discovered that a popular source of flavor in soups and salads throughout Asia is also a possible weight reduction asset. And that savory addition is Brown Seaweed. Brown seaweed contains a compound, with an unpronounceable name, called Fucoxanthin. So far their tests have only been done on the mice population but the results have shown great promise in aiding weight loss. The seaweed compound seems to head for abdominal fat and shift it on its way out of the body. Great news if this is proven correct. Either way, the Japanese have been eating rice and Sushi for centuries and the obesity problem is rearing its ugly head only recently. Therefore anyone who needs to do something about their weight might want to have a look at recipes revolving around seaweed. Personally I found the very thought of eating seaweed repulsive. Of course, I hadn’t tried it but had seen it on the beach or wrapped around my legs when I went for a swim. Oh Yuk. But come the night of an official company opening and the very modern Personal Assistant to the Chairman just had to order the stuff. And surprise, surprise. Tuna and rice, wrapped in dark green seaweed, was actually fantastic. No one could get near the plate as I followed the waiter around grabbing as much as possible. I know. How absolutely uncouth. But my point is, we often make up our minds about something from what we are told, smell or see without ever really finding out the truth. Since then I have tried lots of different seaweed sushi. Some I don’t like at all, but some are absolutely delicious. What are the names, I hear you ask. Well, I’ll be back soon to write more about seaweed and sushi. In the meantime, have a look at the blog Fabulous and Flavors in Japan. English recipes and a page named “o-bento” which means lunch box.