Samphire health benefits enhancing muscle contraction, promote repair of worn out tissues, improving bowel movements, may help slow down aging process, helps enhance the skin, helps defend the body from pathogens, assist in blood circulation, may aid in weight loss, assist in formation of healthy bones, may help reduce inflammation, increase beneficial bacteria in the gut, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What is Samphire?
Samphire is a succulent green plant of the parsley family. It is also known as sea asparagus and can be found growing around shorelines and salty mudflats. Samphire is of two types – marsh samphire and rocky samphire and their differences lie in their habitat. While marsh samphire grows on salty mudflats, rocky samphire is seen growing on cliffs or rocks. However, the more common of these two is the marsh samphire. Marsh samphire is scientifically known as Salicornia europaea, is perennial and grows in bunches. Presently, samphire is a favorite during summer months for its salty, fresh flavor and bright green leaves. It can be served on its own, with seafood and can even be used as a garnish on other meals.
Nutrition Info (per serving 100g)
Total Fat- 0.7g
Total Carbohydrates- 9.1g
Dietary Fiber- 0.5g 2% RDI
Protein – 3.1g
Potassium – 50mg
Vitamin C- 50% RDI
Calcium- 15% RDI
Iron- 12% RDI
Sodium- 37% RDA
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Samphire
1. May Enhance Muscle Contraction
Muscle contractions contribute to movement, the stability of joints as well as good posture, with samphire being a great source of nutrients that are beneficial to the muscles. Samphire contains sodium, an important nutrient that gives the muscles the ability to contract, even though we typically get sodium from a range of other foods. The dietary sodium in samphire assists nerve cells in sending electrical signals so that the muscles can contract hence, an absence of sodium will prevent the nerve cells from establishing a communication with muscle fibers. This may eventually result in muscle twitching hence, a healthy diet should include samphire as it possibly can put an end to muscle weakness. That’s not to exclude the presence of potassium, which exerts a balancing effect on sodium and also promotes normal contractile processes of muscles and blood vessels.
2. May Promote Repair Of Worn Out Tissues
Recovery from tissue damage is more of a repair process than a regenerative one and so, to effectively recover from damage to the cells, the human body utilizes proteins. Protein is responsible for the building and repair of structures that may have undergone one form of damage or the other. The dietary protein in samphire may be able to build and maintain muscle, burn calories and improve satiety. Since protein is utilized in many vital processes, it is important that it should continuously be replaced, therefore, eating samphire may help replenish any lost protein in the body, even though its overall amount may be small, every little bit helps.
3. May Improve Bowel Movements
Dietary fiber allows for easy passage of stool without causing any form of discomfort or constipation. When there is irregular bowel movement, the stool becomes hardened and it becomes difficult to pass out feces. Eating fiber rich foods like samphire may increase nutrient uptake as there is a reduction of inflammation in the gut. Samphire may also utilize dietary fiber to lower the risk of cancer in the colon, as well as its bulking properties to attract and hold water. This in turn ensures that stool is passed easily and in a timely manner.
4. May Help Slow The Aging Process And Brighten The Skin
Vitamin C is a natural scavenger of free radicals that actively cause cellular damage. The Vitamin C in samphire may slow the ageing process in two ways. First, it possibly reduces the defined lines that form when there is a reduction in the level of collagen production by the body (what we know as wrinkles). It does this by increasing collagen production so the elasticity of the skin is restored and it is able to bounce back to its original form when stretched. Secondly, Vitamin C reduces the size of large pores on the skin, having a natural astringent property on skin.
5. Help Defend The Body From Pathogens
The white blood cells are the body’s first line of defense which stop harmful disease-causing invaders before they are able to cause infection. Samphire has a good amount of Vitamin C which enhances the rapid production of white blood cells thus, safeguarding the body during flu season or when likely to be compromised.
6. Samphire May Assist In Blood Circulation
Iron is important for metabolism and the production of red blood cells which further promotes growth and maintains health. The moderate amount of dietary iron in samphire may assist iron in the transportation of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and a reduction in the risk of diseases such as anemia.
7. May Aid Weight Loss
Foods low in calorie and fats are desirable for those attempting to lose weight. Samphire is a natural food which contains a very low calorie and fat count, and is designed to assist with metabolism of fat and help with slow and steady weight loss over a period of time.
8. Assist In Formation Of Healthy Bones
Calcium helps build bones and keeps them healthy, however, it is not produced in the body, thus, it is necessary to add calcium in the diet since the body loses calcium to various activities. One important benefit of samphire to diet may be the high calcium content. The dietary calcium in samphire may improve the longevity of the bone and it achieves this by increasing the deposition of calcium in bones so that they can remain strong. Another benefit of the dietary calcium in samphire may be to assist in blood clotting and to support sodium and potassium in their roles on blood vessel and muscle contraction.
9. May Help In Reducing Inflammation
Inflammation is typically an immune response to injury, damage to the tissues and in some cases, may be a sign of an underlying chronic disease. In order to curb inflammation, one herbal plant to try out is Samphire, as it is valuable not only for its taste but for its anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically, it relieves swelling and inflammation and tackles rheumatism and skin disorders that have an inflammatory component to them. Its vitamin C content may play a role as well, so if you prefer to consume it, there is not harm in doing so as you will elicit the response in any manner.
10. May Increase Beneficial Bacteria In The Gut
Beneficial bacteria (otherwise known as the probiotic bacteria) play important roles in the digestion and absorption of food. Regular consumption of samphire may be one of the best ways to boost beneficial bacteria naturally since it is rich in dietary fiber. Ensuring we consume enough of this dietary fiber helps ensures that these good bacteria are constantly nourished, allowing them to neutralize any damage from harmful microbes and improve the performance of the immune system. These bacteria may also increase the digestion of food and inhibit conditions that allow for growth of harmful bacteria.
11. May Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
The frequency of cardiovascular disease seems to be going up year after year, with a significant amount of new cases having been traced to a deficiency of dietary potassium. Potassium is known to counter the effects of excess sodium in order to normalize blood pressure by reducing the tensions in the walls of blood vessels. Regular samphire intake is one way to get enough potassium and it may help lower systolic blood pressure (especially in people with pre-existing high blood pressure), lower bad cholesterol level, regulate heartbeat and help keep cardiovascular diseases in check.
Samphire’s growth and sales have seen a massive rise in popularity. Its attractive bright green leaves and easy preparation techniques make it a favorite for many persons. However, the health benefits associated with intake of this herbal plant contributes to its popularity and make it worth trying out, so what are you waiting for? Visit your health food store and get yourself some!