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7 of the Healthiest Sea Vegetables

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.

KelpKelp

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.

DulseDulse

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.

NoriNori

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.

KombuKombu

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.

HijikiHijiki

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.

WakameWakame

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.

ArameArame

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.

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Dulse: A Healthy Choice

Increased metabolism, vitamins and minerals, healing and enhancing of the liver, and digestive system healing. These are some of the many benefits of dulse, a red seaweed that also serves as a well-known snack food.

DulseWhat is Dulse?

Dulse grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and has even been an important source of fiber for centuries in Iceland. It is also a clinically proven antioxidant and plant-based source of iodine and potassium. In sun-dried form, dulse is commonly eaten as flakes or powder. Red or purple in color, the plant has the binomial name Palmaria palmata. It grows either attached to rocks or by a “holdfast.” The plant has a short stipe and variable fronds, also having a rather leathery texture.

Compared with other vegetables, dulse is a good source of minerals and vitamins and contains all trace elements needed by humans, featuring a high protein content. From June to September, it is commonly found and can be hand-picked when the tide is out. It grows within the intertidal zone from the mid tide portion and into deeper water at depths of 20 m or more. After being picked by hand, the plant is brought to drying fields and put through a shaker to remove shells, small snails, etc. and then spread to dry. In some countries it is used as fodder for animals.

Dulse is the only species of palmaria found on the coast of Atlantic Europe. It can be found from Portugal to the Baltic coasts as well as on the coasts of Iceland and the Fanoe Islands. Palmaria palmate also grows on the shores of Arctic Canada, Arctic Russia, Japan, Korea, and Alaska. In the northeast United States as well as Iceland, Ireland, and Atlantic Canada, Palmaria palmate is commonly used as food and medicine and can be found in many health food stores or fish markets. It can also be ordered directly from local distributors. In cooking, it is used as a flavor-enhancer.

How to Incorporate Dulse in Your Daily DietEating Dulse

There are different ways to eat it. It can be eaten directly off the rocks before sun-drying, it can be eaten sun-dried either as ground into flakes or a powder. In Iceland it is traditionally eaten with butter. A versatile food and enhancer, it can be pan fried into chips, baked, or simply microwaved. It can also be of used in soups, sandwiches and salads, or even added to bread or pizza dough. When finely diced, dulse can be used to enhance flavor in meat dishes such as chili, in place of sodium salt. Because it contains iodine, it is good for the prevention of goiter.

Loaded with numerous valuable vitamins and minerals, including potassium and iron, a 3.5-ounce serving of the fresh seaweed provides about 33 mg of iron and 1,720 mg of potassium, offering over 100 percent of the daily values set by the FDA based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day. Iron is good for red blood cells and helps muscle cells carry oxygen throughout the body and is necessary for proper chemical reactions. Potassium holds an important role as it is essential for proper contraction of muscles and helps your heart maintain a steady beat.

Dulse flakes are crunchy and have a nutty, slightly salty taste. These flakes are rich in iodine, which is an element that is severely lacking in most people’s diet today. Your body cannot naturally make iodine but it needs it to function. Iodine can be found all over oceans, soil, rocks, and within seaweed. The body needs iodine for the development of important thyroid hormones. Your thyroid is a gland that is located near your neck, and is in charge of metabolic processes such as growth and the use of energy. The rate of iodine deficiency has increased 400 percent over the last 40 years. An iodine deficiency can lead to the following:

• Infertility in women
• Links to breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease
• Leading cause of preventable intellectual disability or mental retardation in children
• Weight gain, lack of energy, depression, cardiovascular disease
• Goiter (hyperthyroidism)

The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iodine is 150-290 micrograms for adults. It only takes one gram of dulse flakes to provide that daily amount.

Dulse is a Phenomenal Source of Protien

Protein content is important because not only do proteins help in the creation of new cells, but they also serve a significant role in your body’s maintenance and repair. A serving of only 3.5 ounces of fresh Palmaria palmata offers 21.5 grams worth of protein, around 43 percent of the FDA’s set daily value. In June 1999, an article that was published in “The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry” noted that the seaweed may be a potential source of protein in the human diet. Vitamin B-12 is another key benefit of the plant. This vitamin plays a key role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood.

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