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The warty sea cucumber can be found from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California.

Are sea cucumbers edible?

Yes, the sea cucumber is eaten in many places around the world, particularly throughout Asia. It is a prized Japanese culinary tradition used often in soups and stews, and served as dishes in many Chinese celebration meals.

Sea cucumbers are not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but can also be a great food source.


Step 1: Fill your cooking pot 3/4 full of water. Place the pot on the stove and bring water to a boil.

Step 2: Add the sea cucumber and five to 10 ginger slices to the boiling water.

Step 3: Boil cucumber until it expands to two or three times its original size. Boil until the cucumber is soft.

Step 4: Remove it from the water. Slice and add to your favorite stews, stir-frys or soups.

Health Benefits

Cancer Prevention Potential

Eating sea cucumber may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. This is because sea cucumbers contain high amounts of compounds known as triterpene glycosides, which have antitumor activity. According to a study by Chinese scientists published in August 2005 in “Cancer Biology & Therapy,” sea cucumbers also contain a compound known as philinopside E, or PE. PE inhibits the formation of blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors. This suppresses the growth and proliferation of such tumors in your body.

Anticoagulant Activity

Blood clotting helps prevent excessive bleeding when you are injured. However, clots can also form inside your blood vessels even when you have no obvious physical injury. This can lead to potentially fatal conditions such as pulmonary embolism – – where the blood clots accumulate in lungs – – and restrict the flow of blood. Sea cucumbers contain a compound known as chondroitin sulfate. A study by Brazilian scientists published in September 1996 in the “Journal of Biological Chemistry” found that chondroitin sulfate has anticoagulant activity.

Anti-Inflammatory Activity

Sea cucumbers have potent anti-inflammatory effects, which may help alleviate pain in patients with conditions such as arthritis. A study by Malaysian scientists that was published in October 2011 in “Marine Drugs” found that sea cucumber supplements reduced inflammation in both male and female rats. This sea animal contains compounds such as mucopolysaccharides, chondroitin and glucosamine, which can help relieve arthritis disorders. Such compounds help in the regulation of the balance of certain lipids known as prostaglandins. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis usually have high concentrations of certain prostaglandins, according to a study published in 2008 in the “American College of Rheumatology.”

Wound Healing

Eating sea cucumber or its extracts may have therapeutic effects such as speeding up wound healing. It does so by facilitating the formation of new tissues within a short time — a property that is believed to stem from the ability of a sea cucumber to regenerate its own body tissues quickly when it is injured. According to the October 2011 “Marine Drugs” study, this is believed to be facilitated by certain fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, present in sea cucumber.

Originally posted: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-sea-cucumber-5710.html