There is nothing better than a summer spent out on the water; whether lakeside, lazing down a river, or sailing on the ocean. I bet you don’t give a thought to the many different types of algae and marine plants that inhabit these waters, namely Seaweed. Seaweeds provide food for marine life as well as a place for them to dwell, but did you know that humans can also benefit from seaweed? Yup, read on.
These low-calorie, low-fat sea vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. The minerals found in various seaweeds are considered to be in “chelated” form, so it’s easier for our bodies to absorb these minerals into our system. Seaweeds also contain the trace elements Chromium, Iodine and Copper. So there are many edible types that are trending now.
Dulse – Dulse is a red seaweed, and when used fresh, it can be sauteed with garlic, butter and your favorite spices; or you can make a salty snack by roasting it in the oven with olive oil; or crush the chips and sprinkle on soups. It has almost four times more Iron than spinach and as much Fiber as oat bran.
Kelp – Usually purchased in dry form. You can add to soups. This popular seaweed also comes in granular form so that you can use in place of salt. In addition to vitamins & minerals, Kelp also contains Folic Acid and Carotenoids; and like Dulse, it also has almost four times more Iron than spinach.
Kombu – Most popular in Japan, this brown seaweed is a rich source of Iodine. It is a staple in the Japanese diet and is used extensively in making Dashi which is soup stock. It can be purchased dried or fresh. It is also considered one of the “lower” sodium seaweeds.
Nori – If you love sushi, then you’ve tasted Nori! (This paper-thin, dark green seaweed is the outer wrap.) Nori comes in sheets and if you toast them, they can be used in a variety of ways including mixing into omelets and soups. I’ve also seen Nori sold as a chip-like snack. One sheet of Nori is packed with the same amount of Omege-3s as two avocados.
Seaweed health benefits are enormous, so if you’re making it a goal this summer to try new, healthy foods, then consider this vegetable from the sea!
DISCLAIMER: Unlike drugs, seaweed supplements & products are NOT regulated and most have NOT been tested to see how they interact with other medicines and supplements. Some seaweeds also contain large amounts of sodium. Do your research and consult with your health professional if you have any type of medical issue or allergies before making seaweed a part of your diet.