Sea vegetables are a group of plants that grow in the ocean. You may hear them referred to as seaweed. Sea vegetables have been part of the diet of many native cultures in Asia and the Americas for thousands of years. These awesome veggies contain molecules that slow cancer growth, encourage cancer cell death and protect cells against radiation damage. They also stimulate the immune system, including the powerful natural killer (NK) cells, a type of white blood cell that is essential in rejecting tumors and virally infected cells.
Seaweed offers a broad range of minerals including all of the 56 essential and trace minerals so important for our health. It also is a good source of folic acid, iodine, magnesium, calcium and some of the B vitamins. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.
The main sea vegetables used in the kitchen are nori (laver), kombu (kelp), wakame (alleria), arame, hijiki, agar-agar and dulse. Sea veggies can be used in soups and salads, to make sushi, shaken onto grains and beans in granulated form, and turned into delicious side dishes. Add a piece of kombu to beans or grains when cooking to up the mineral content and aid in digestibility.
If you are interested in learning more about how to simply add sea vegetables to your diet, let us know in the comments below! We may offer a webinar with instruction on making veggie sushi, seaweed salad and more!