In the standard North American diet there is one superfood that has just been plain omitted- Seaweed. What!? No you read correctly. Seaweed is one of those foods that we just don’t think about, let alone even consider a food. First let me explain why seaweed is just so super.
Seaweed, sea vegetables and algae come packed with trace minerals that although needed in small, trace amounts are critical to sustaining health. These are the minerals that are often listed at the bottom of your multi-vitamin bottle, and not often understood. Take my word for it, your metabolism, digestion, absorption and physical appearance would not be the same without them. Why rely on a pill to get these, when they are perfectly balanced in nature?
Secondly they are super packed with iron and protein. No! It can’t be! These are vegetables not meat you say? Well it’s true. Sea veggies contain up to 28% protein and four times the iron of spinach.
And if that wasn’t enough for you, seaweeds contain a perfect form of iodine that is needed to support thyroid function. For anyone that isn’t aware of why the thyroid is important here are just a few “minor” roles it plays; hormone balance, mood stabilization, and weight management. Iodine is an essential mineral, meaning our bodies cannot create it and we must obtain it through our diets.
So how do you incorporate sea weeds, algae and sea vegetables into your diet? Here are a few easy ways:
Add spirulina to your smoothies – This dark blue-green algae can be found in a powder form. It will turn your shakes a bright green color. Start with a small amount and work your way up to a desired taste.
Sprinkle soups and casseroles with dulse – Dulse can be found in dried flakes ranging from brown to purple in color. It will add a saltiness to your foods so be sure to adjust your recipes accordingly.
Eat sushi rolls – Avoid poor quality fish and added preservatives by making your own at home. Nori seaweed sheets can be found in most grocery stores. It will take a little practice but soon enough you will be rolling like the pros.
Enjoy chopped seaweed in your salads – A variety of dried seaweeds and vegetables can be found in health food stores. You can chop them up dried or rehydrate them in warm water depending on your preference
Try kelp noodles in place of your pasta – These sea vegetables do not contain protein like the others, but they offer a nutritious and practically calorie free option to your starchy pasta dishes. They are a raw food and ready to eat the way they are.
These items are getting easier to find now that their health benefits have been revealed. Check your health food aisles and specialty stores, and don’t be afraid to try new things, you just might be surprised how tasty healthy can be!