Sea Vegetables - Benefits From the Sea
Sea vegetables are really red, blue, green and black algae colonies. I know that doesn’t sound too appetizing, but stay with me a moment.
Everyone knows that we should eat our vegetables for all their health benefits. But have you thought about eating sea vegetables (seaweed) as well?
Scientists have discovered a wealth of health benefits to eating them.
In China, they have been used as a food source as far back as 800 BC. Modern cultures with easy access consume these nutritional powerhouses fresh or dried. Or, they can be used as a seasoning, side dish, or condiment.
These nutritious algae colonies are rich in iron, carotene, iodine, enzymes, protein, vitamins, amino acids and minerals.
Various types include kelp, kombu, hijiki, ori, arame, agar-agar, wakame,and dulse.
All types are high in nutrition. They contain:
You can find these nutritional powerhouses at your health food store or The Raw Food World has a good choice of products to try.
Arame – Arame has a mild flavor and comes dried in strands and packaged. It can be reconstituted quickly with water.
Hijiki - Hijiki comes in a dried form and, when cooked it expands and rehydrates.
Kelp - Kelp is available dried and sold whole or powdered. It can be sprinkled on foods or even take as a supplement.
Kombu - Kombu comes in a dried form and can be used for soup stock and stews oradded vegetables to help them keep from sticking. If added to a pot of beans, kombu helps them become more digestible due to the high mineral content.
Wakame & Alaria - Wakame and alaria are similiar, but Alaria requires more cooking time than wakame.
Agar-Agar – Agar-agar is often used as a gel or thickener in cooking.
Nori - Nori is most often used as the wrapping for sushi.
If you don’t like the taste (some of it can be somewhat “fishy”), there are supplements available in capsules that allow you to get all the benefits without the taste. Look for supplements labeled sea vegetables, or individual sea vegetable supplements such as kelp.
Here are some sea vegetables to try. They can be sprinkled on salads or added to vegetables and soups.