When I was younger the thought of eating the slippery, slimy greenery I saw on the edge of the beach seemed out of the realm of possibilities. As my pallet expanded and I began experimenting with eating sushi, I realized sea weed can be a healthy, tasty addition to my diet.
Just like the vegetables we eat that grow in the earth, seaweed (or sea vegetables as some people call them), are loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. In fact, seaweed is more nutrient dense than any land vegetables. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, iron, and selenium. In addition, sea vegetables are high in lignans, a plant compound called polyphenols that helps protect against cancer. Folate-rich foods can reduce the risk of colon cancer, help prevent birth defects like spina bifida and cardiovascular disease. The iodine in sea vegetables promotes healthy thyroid function. Unlike land plants, seaweed contains preformed omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, so seaweed is a a accessible source of healthy omega-3 essential fats for vegetarians. With a good source of magnesium, sea vegetables have been shown to keep you regular and aid in sleep.
Sea vegetables are easy to add to your life:
Add kombu when cooking beans to reduce their gas producing compounds.
- Enjoy a sushi roll.
- Check out the many sheets of sea weed sold in your local stores.
- Add kombu when cooking beans to reduce their gas producing compounds.
- Seaweed flakes can be sprinkled on salads, rice, soups, or any other dishes.
photo from flickr.