Seaweed is an amazing superfood straight from the sea! Also known as marine algae, it’s loaded with important minerals and trace elements. Sea veggies are often classified into three groups: red algae, green algae and brown algae. Brown algae includes kombu, kelp, wakame, and arame, and are among the highest in iodine. Red algae includes dulse and nori, and green algae is best known as spirulina.
What makes them so super?
All types of seaweed are excellent sources of highly bioavailable minerals like iodine, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, vanadium, manganese, iron and calcium, as well as vitamin C and B vitamins. Unlike soil-grown vegetables which are subject to variations in nutrient content, sea vegetables are exposed to an abundant amount of minerals on a consistent basis, making them true mineral powerhouses.
Seaweed also contains special polysaccharides called fucoidans, which are responsible for their anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
If you eat sushi, you’re probably familiar with nori, the seaweed you’ll find wrapped around raw fish and white rice. You might also enjoy wakami or kombu in your Miso soup. These are the most common types of seaweed, but there are plenty of other types you can include in your diet, including kelp, dulse, irish moss, hijiki and arame.
How To Eat Them
You might be thinking, how can I get more seaweed into my diet?
One great way is to use kelp and dulce flakes in place of your table salt. They make great seasoning for salmon and meats, roasted vegetables, and salads. You can also add strips of kombu or wakame to a pot of simmering beans or virtually any broth-based soup. Seaweed salad is a super easy way to add sea veggies into your diet, as well!
Below are a few of my favorite ways to incorporate seaweed into my diet:
As a Salad
//foodconfidence.com/2012/05/21/recipe-redux-asian-seaweed-salad/">Seaweed salads like the one below are a simple and refreshing way to enjoy seaweed. You can soften up dried wakame or arame, and toss them with your favorite ingredients. I love carrots, apples, radishes, and cucumbers for a delicious and super nutritious salad.
As a Nori Roll
Nori rolls are such a fun and versatile way to eat seaweed. I love these Sunrise //www.eastewart.com/my-favorites/sunrise-nori-wraps-spicy-tahini-drizzle/">Nori Wraps with Spicy Tahini Drizzle from The Spicy RD. I could eat these every day for lunch!
As a Snack
Pre-seasoned, roasted nori snack squares are super popular, and for good reason. They are a quick and easy snack packed full of nutrients. We wrap them in white rice at my house, but I love Rachael’s tasty //avocadoadaynutrition.com/2014/08/toasted-nori-snacks-with-smoked-trout/">smoked trout snack just as much!
In a Smoothie
Spirulina is a great nutrient-rich add-in for any smoothie. Who can resist Krisztina’s gorgeous //deviliciouslyraw.com/2015/06/05/banana-nice-cream-is-the-answer-to-your-healthy-ice-cream-prayers/">Mint Banana Nice Cream smoothie that’s loaded with minerals? Not me!