Edible seaweed is a super food that is nutritious, packed with minerals and a completely natural product. In coastal cultures around the world, seaweed has been part of the traditional diet for generations, contributing to increased life chances and better heart health.
Research shows edible seaweeds are good for digestion and are also high in nutrients but low in calories, while anyone who has ever enjoyed a seaweed wrap at a spa can testify to the product’s detox properties that help us inside and out.
So why not introduce edible seaweed to your diet? You can take as a supplement, as a vegetable, wrapped around sushi or even try adding it to homemade breads.
Here are 7 Edible Seaweeds that are hard to resist but easy to make part of your daily diet.
Used extensively in sushi, nori is probably the seaweed most of us are likely to have eaten. Nori contains the highest protein of all seaweeds and is also rich in calcium, iodine, iron, copper, zinc and vitamins A, B, C, E and K.
How to eat nori: its sweet flavor makes nori the ideal addition to soups, salads and breads, while it can be lightly fried to make a vegetable side dish.
A brown marine plant, kelp is rich in minerals and proteins. It contains vitamins A, B, E, D and K, is packed with vitamin C and also sodium alginate (algin), an element that can remove radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body. Kelp boasts some remarkable qualities – it aids digestion, helps purify the blood, provides relief from arthritis symptoms while its natural iodine promotes thyroid health.
How to eat kelp: Use kelp instead of salt when cooking
A form of brown kelp, wakame has been grown for hundreds of years in Korea and Japan. It’s high in protein, calcium, carotenes, iron and vitamin C. Wakame is also high in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, making it ideal for a diet geared to improving heart health. In Asia, this edible seaweed is associated with hair growth and improved skin tone.
How to eat wakame: Usually found dried or salted, wakame can be used in soups and salads. Its fronds are sweet but will expand during cooking.
Grown in the Atlantic and Pacific, this red colored edible seaweed is another good source of minerals and vitamins, being rich in iron, protein and vitamin A. Dulse also contains 300 times more iodine and 50 times more iron than wheat, while it is also believed to have a purifying effect on the body.
How to eat dulse: Sun-dried dulse is a traditional snack in Ireland and Iceland. It can also be pan fried or baked, used in soups and salads, or added as a flavor enhancer.
High in fiber and in protein, hijiki is a remarkably versatile edible seaweed. Hijiki is rich in minerals, contains vitamin A, carotenes and calcium – in fact, hijiki has the most calcium of any sea green. It usually comes dried and should be soaked then rinsed before us. Japanese folklore claims consuming hijiki is an aid to health and beauty, and it is used to boost sex drive.
How to eat hijiki: usually sold dried, hijiki is soaked, then steamed and added to other dishes such as vegetables or fish, or soup.
6 Sea Lettuce
An edible seaweed with a strong seafood flavor and smell, sea lettuce provides a remarkable amount of roughage. It is also extremely high in iron and contains vitamins A, B1 and C, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
How to eat sea lettuce: once dried out, sea lettuce has a delicate texture that can be crumbled into soups and salads, or eaten as a snack.
One of the most popular seaweeds in Japan, kombu is a good source of glutamic acid and fiber. It also contains iodine, the mineral that is essential for growth and development.
How to eat kombu: this seaweed is most often used to make the dashi or soup stock but is also found in teas and can be chopped finely to add to fish dishes.
If you’re lucky enough to live on the coast you may already include some of these edible seaweeds in your diet but most of us have had to wait for innovative ways of adding these mineral-laden vegetables to our diets have been discovered.
The availability of global foods now makes it easy for us to be a little more adventurous when it comes to our diet, so why not try out a delicacy in the shape of these incredible 7 Edible Seaweeds that have been tempting others’ palates for generations?
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