Saturday, March 24, 2012
The consumption of seaweed has largely been restricted to the island and coastal peoples. They have been eating seaweed dating back to to Neolithic times. Sea vegetables offer perhaps the broadest range of minerals of any food found on earth. Western cultures are only recently beginning to discover the nutritional value of sea vegetables which have remained the foundation of the Japanese diet for centuries. The Japanese have taken sea weed to the next level. It takes center stage in a lot of their cuisine.
I eat sea vegetables because # 1 I love them. I fell in love with seaweed salad years ago when I used to go and have my weekly sushi fix. I haven’t eaten sushi in ages but I still eat a lot of sea vegetables in many forms. The most important health benefit for me to continue to do so is that is one source in how I get my Omega-3’s. Omega-3 fatty acids help control blood clotting and build cell membranes in the brain; adequate intake is associated with lower risk for heart disease and stroke. However, there are many other reasons you should also be eating sea vegetables:
Sea vegetables contain virtually all the nutrients found in the ocean and the very same minerals found in human blood. Ocean vegetables are one of Nature’s richest sources of vegetable protein.
Sea vegetables provide full concentrations of beta-carotene, chlorophyll, enzymes, amino acids, and fiber.
Ounce for ounce, along with herbs, they are higher in vitamins and minerals than any other food.
Sea vegetables are considered the most nutritionally dense plants available in the planet!
Here are the major varieties of seaweed:
Known for: Mild flavor, which is good for beginners. Looks like black spaghetti.
How to use: In salads and sautéed with other vegetables.
Nutritional value: Contains iodine, iron, vitamin A and calcium.
Known for: Red-colored sea vegetable. Available in powdered form or as soft, chewy whole leaves.
How to use: Sprinkle the powdered form into salads and soups. Use leaves in soups or sandwiches.
Nutritional value: Contains vitamins B-6 and B-12, iron and potassium and has less sodium than other seaweeds.
Known for: Jet black color. When dried, it looks like small twigs.
How to use: Add to any vegetable dish.
Nutritional value: Contains about 14 times the calcium of the equivalent amount of milk.
Known for: Color ranges from gray to green. Cut leathery seaweed pieces with a scissors.
How to use: Can be used for stock. Helps to tenderize vegetables and beans.
Nutritional value: Contains potassium, calcium, vitamins A and C.
Known for: Dark green, paperlike seaweed wraps around sushi rolls.
How to use: Shred into rice dishes or stir-fry dishes.
Nutritional value: Contains protein, calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin A.
Known for: Dark green and leaf-like (used in miso soup) or bright green spaghetti-type pieces (used in seaweed salads). Has a subtle sweet flavor.
How to use: Good soup or salad ingredient.
Nutritional value: Contains protein, iron, calcium and other minerals.
KELP NOODLES are a particular favorite of mine. Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and Their unique texture is why I love them! Kelp Noodles are a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat. I make mine with a Raw Asian Marinade with extra ginger and add julienne red pepper, carrots, spiralized squash, and marinated raw mushrooms.
Sea vegetables are “sea-like” in flavor—and range from very mild to very salty. They are mainly sold prepackaged in dry form in sheets, whole leaves or powders at health-food stores and in the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. They also are sold online from companies such as Maine Coast Sea Vegetables www.SeaVeg.com) , Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company (www.Seaweed.net) and Sea Tangle Noodle Company (www.kelpnoodles.com). You can also find them on Amazon.com.
To learn more about the health benefits of seaweed including the ability of seaweeds to protect against the harmful effects of radiation exposure click on the link below:
Just the fact that sea vegetables rid your body of built up metal toxins and protect you against the consequences of exposure to radiation, think recent Fukushima nuclear disaster, you owe it to yourself to check out these amazing vegetables.