Seaweeds are rich in a myriad of minerals, many of which we are epidemically deficient in. The most notable is iodine which is vital for thyroid health. When our thyroid goes, our entire endocrine system takes a tumble — domino style.
Like the land variety, sea vegetables like kombu, kelp, arame and nori) are rich in chlorophyll, which helps nourish our red blood cells, and has cancer preventative benefits.
One of the things I love about whole foods is that they’re packaged with their very own optimal co-factors. For example, sea vegetables are an incredible source of iron, and also vitamin C which helps support iron absorption. Plus, they’re even a great fat-burning food if you’re wanting to lose weight.
As a great source of plant-based protein, and high in B vitamins, sea vegetables are basically the little, slightly ocean-tasting engine you need in your diet.
There’s different varieties of seaweed
You’ll usually find an assortment of sea vegetables at your local health food store or some larger supermarkets in the Asian food section. It comes in different varieties and forms: dried in large whole pieces/strands, ground into flakes or powder, or transformed into noodles.
It’s best to opt for organic or cultivated varieties so that you’re getting a truly healthy food option. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has a full report on farmed seafood as a resource. The Ocean Wise program also has some information about farmed and wild seaweed.
New to sea vegetables? Start easy.
Some of us are familiar with nori, the seaweed commonly used in sushi. It’s the most mild tasting along with arame. Another great one to ease into is wakame which is nice when added to soups. Kombu and kelp are stronger tasting and work well added to stews. They are especially helpful when cooking beans to help reduce the gassiness. Some people also enjoy dulse with apples, sort of a sea-veggie-loving version of prosciutto and melon (now I know you’re sold!).
Make your own roasted sesame seaweed snack:
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 12 (8-inch) nori sheet
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250°C (480°F).
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
- Brush sesame oil on 6 of your nori sheets and then sprinkle each with sesame seeds and sea salt.
- Place a second piece of nori over top.
- Place nori “sandwiches” on your baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until crisp.
- Allow nori to cool and cut each sheet into 6 pieces.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Next, learn why seaweed should be the star of your skincare routine.