Seaweed.

26 06 2009

The Japanese have been using seaweed or sea vegetables in their diet and food preparation for centuries. In Japan, the consummation of seaweed is as normal as the usage of apples or carrots in the west. Commonly, what we find strange to eat simply seems that way because we have not eaten that food since childhood. This is fine, as long as you keep your diet varied. You need not try everything that other nations try, but perhaps we should all make an exception for seaweed.

Seaweed is so easily found in the wild and if you don’t live by the sea, you can just as easily purchase it, often in Asian supermarkets. It is rarely expensive and with so many varieties of seaweed, we could just as easily think of it like fruit; if you are not consuming it, you are missing out on a huge variety of tastes and textures.

Onto the health part. Seaweed is so different in every way from vegetables or fruit. For a start, it grows in the sea. So, we can logically assume that it also has many nutrients which one can’t get a hold of so easily in fruit or vegetables. This is a safe assumption to make.

Seaweeds are low fat, incredibly rich in minerals, they contain a similar concentration and variation of minerals to which humans have in their blood and have the ability to bind with toxins and heavy metals, eliminating these nasties from the body.

Seaweeds are all very energizing because they contain an abundance of various minerals. These minerals are used by the body for it’s various functions but also these minerals alkalize the body. An alkaline body is a healthy body but most people have an acidic body. So everybody can stand to add seaweed to their diets.

Go to your nearest Asian food store and pick two or three different varieties of seaweed. They will come dried, and sometimes roasted. If you can’t get a particular seaweed which you would like to try raw, buy it roasted. You will still reap tremendous benefit from it. Store it in an airtight container because you don’t want the seaweed absorbing moisture from the air, which will make the seaweed soft and will reduce it’s shelf life.

Here’s a run down of some of the various seaweeds you can buy:

Nori

  • A very useful seaweed to have. It will often come in flat sheets and so, many people use nori to make vegetable wraps. It has a mild flavor and so it may be a good way to begin to include seaweed in your life.
  • Nori contains approximately 48% protein (a handy figure to know for when you get that “where do you get your protein” question) and an abundance of carotene, vitamins C, D, B1. B2 and B3.
  • In nori there are also high amounts of calcium, iron, iodine and phosphorous, and little fat.

Dulse

  • Found in the North Atlantic. It also has a mild flavor, which can be described as spicy and nutty.
  • Dulce, similar to Nori, contains an abundance of protein, as well as iron. Many women, due to menstruation, are lacking in iron. Therefore, including Dulse in your diet is highly recommended.
  • Aside from it’s iron and protein, Dulse is rich in dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, as well as vitamins A, B2, B6 and E.
  • It has been concluded by a nutritional researcher, Paul Pitchford, that Dulse can lower cholesterol, remove toxins and ease the herpes virus.

Kelp

  • A large algae which contains over 70 minerals and trace elements.
  • It has been shown to increase energy levels, boost metabolism, fight against heart disease and cancer, improve a poor digestive system and suppress appetite.
  • It is often used ground up and used as a seasoning. It’s taste is rather strong and so this method would be my recommendation.

Agar agar

  • A tasteless, odorless and clear seaweed which is often used when one would use gelatin as a vegan alternative.
  • Agar agar acts as a mild laxative, and can add bulk to those on a low calorie diet.
  • It contains iodine, calcium, iron, phosphorous and many vitamins.

seaweed-salad-inbowl

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: