Sea vegetables are unique food sources loaded with life-giving nutrients including vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are essential for healthy living and overall wellness. Intake of these food sources offers special health benefits that are not available from other types of foods. Edible seaweeds do not receive the same attention as land vegetables. One reason could be the limited availability of these sea vegetables that are difficult to extract from our oceans. Only people who are used to eating seaweeds as well as people who have learned the health benefits of these foods choose to include this type of vegetables into their diet. Land areas used to grow fruits and vegetables have suffered extensive pollution because of overuse of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other plant growing chemicals. This is far less of a problem when harvesting vegetables from our oceans.
There are thousands of different types of seaweeds available globally but all of them are not suitable for human consumption.
The following are some of the more well-known and the healthiest sea vegetables.
Kelp grows in ocean water that is rich in nutrients. This brown algae is packed with minerals, vitamins and iodine. It is considered helpful in maintaining good digestive health. It keeps the pancreas and prostate in a healthy condition. It can be used as a condiment in powder form or as a substitute for salt. It can be added to meals and even works as a natural tenderizer. It is important to understand that kelp can mean different things to different people. It is used as a general term to refer to some species of brown algae.
There is no need to cook it dulse. Its flakes are used as a condiment and can be sprinkled on top of salads, soups and veggies. Taste of corn and potato dishes can be enhanced with the help of this seaweed. It has a salty and smoky flavor. People who have been advised to reduce intake of salt in their diet can use this nutritious alternative. For centuries it has been a good source of fiber in some European countries. It can turn simple soups and salads into tasty and delicious treats. It can be eaten as a quick snack right out of package. Full of iron and protein, this seaweed provides instant energy.
Nori is used extensively in sushi rolls and most people are familiar with this seaweed. This type of seaweed grows rapidly and can be harvested within a few days of seeding. This seaweed is shredded and turned into a form that looks like sheets of paper. Individuals looking for healthy seaweeds should note that the term “nori” is used for a variety of edible seaweed species in red algae category.
Kombu is related to brown algae group of seaweeds. It is popularly used in soups and can enhance the flavor. It is an absolute staple in the popular Japanese soup stock known as dashi. Kombu is a tremendous source of glutamic acid as well as iodine.
Hijiki can be simmered for 30-60 minutes. When it is soaked then it can expand almost four times. Among various healthy sea vegetables, it has the highest concentration of minerals, proteins and calcium. It is added as flavors in many types of toasted foods. It can also be added to tofu and noodle dishes.
Wakame is a good source of the omega fatty acids. It is related closely to the Kombu category of seaweeds and has a delicate flavor and pleasing green color, making it great for salads and soups. It is soaked and rinsed before adding it to the soup and is one of the traditional ingredients used in miso soup.
Individuals not used to eating seaweeds can start with this sweet brown kelp. It has a crispy texture and is available in fine shredded strands. It should be soaked in water until soft and then it can be added to salads or other dishes. Arame will greatly increase the nutritional value of any dish it is used in. It has sweet mild taste. It should be soaked, left to simmer for 5-10 minutes and then added cold to rice, salad or freshly chopped veggies.
These are some well-known healthy sea vegetables. These vegetables from the sea are known to prevent chronic diseases and aging and contain many other nutritional benefits, such as controlling cholesterol levels. Because of the presence of many types of minerals in seaweeds, it is recommended for people suffering from mental deficiencies. Individuals who want to lead a healthy life should incorporate these foods into their diet. It is important to obtain required minerals and vitamins from natural raw food as much as possible. All types of minerals needed for a healthy body can be found in these foods. These seaweeds have been a part of the human diet for millions of people in many countries. It is possible to meet body’s nutritional needs naturally with the help of edible and healthy seaweeds.