Sea cucumbers are a delicacy in Asian cultures. They’re not veggies, but marine animals that live on sea floors throughout the globe. The largest population of sea cucumbers is in the Pacific Ocean.
They’re similar to large worms or caterpillars and their body is tubular and soft. Divers gather them and they’re farmed in big artificial ponds as well.
They’re not just a culinary treat, but also a powerful ingredient in folk medicine that’s claimed to possess the power to help out with numerous health issues.
How Are Sea Cucumbers Included in the Diet of People?
Sea cucumbers are used fresh or dried in a variety of dishes, although the dried option is the most common. The dried sea cucumber is rehydrated and added to foods like stir-fries, stews, and soups.
It’s also consumed pickled, fried, or raw. Their texture is slippery and the taste is bland so they’re usually combined with other ingredients like spices, meats, and seafood.
Traditional Chinese medicine promotes it as a potent healer of arthritis, cancer, impotence, and frequent urination. There are different cosmetics, oils, creams, and tinctures that contain the sea cucumber extract that is regularly used in TCM.
Because of the high demand, plenty of sea cucumber species are overfished and many are faced with possible extinction. This is why it’s best to purchase farmed sea cucumbers or one from sustainable fishermen.
The Best Health Benefits of Sea Cucumbers
Sea cucumbers supply you with vitamins A, B2, and B3, calcium, antioxidants, magnesium, and protein. They’re low in fat and calories and are great for weight loss.
- May help against cancer
Sea cucumbers have anti-cancer substances.
In a test-tube study, it was found that a substance in it had a toxic influence on five cancer cells, including skin, prostate, and breast.
In a different study, another triterpene from sea cucumbers helped lower the growth of cancerous cells.
- Betters the health of the liver and heart
Several animal studies have found sea cucumbers helpful for the health of the heart and liver.
Lab mice with hypertension experienced a major decline in the rates after being given sea cucumber extract.
Moreover, in another study, the lab mice that had a high sea cucumber diet experienced a significant drop in their total cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins.
- They have antimicrobial characteristics
The black sea cucumber extract, studies have found, impedes the growth of bacteria, including S. aureus, S. typhi, and E.coli, all of which are associated with diseases.
It may also be of aid for the treatment of Candida albicans.
Another study with lab mice found that black sea cucumbers helped fight off sepsis, a life-threatening condition that’s linked with bad bacteria.