_We all know what seaweed is; and that is it abundant along many beaches and rock platforms. However it is not a commonly eaten food other than the nori you might eat wrapped around your sushi roll. This is a shame because seaweeds or sea vegetables, have 10– 20 x more bio-available vitamins and minerals than land vegetables. They are amazing for us nutritionally and they are very tasty!
Sea vegetables have all of the minerals found in human blood including potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. Such minerals make sea vegetables an alkaline food source so they are healing, calming and nourishing for our bodies.
_Sea vegetables most notably, are a great source of iodine. Iodine is a mineral that is extremely deficient in the soils of around 50 countries around the world including Australia, and hence in our foods grown here. Iodine is an essential nutrient for the health of our thyroid. Under-active thyroids may benefit from more iodine in the diet which will help boost metabolism and hence control weight. Iodine and the amino acid tyrosine are required to create thyroid hormones.
Iodine is also very important for our hormonal health with deficiency being associated with breast, ovarian and uterine cysts/fibroids, infertility, prostate disorders and adrenal exhaustion.
Iodine helps to keep you alert and makes you smarter. It has been suggested that iodine deficiency can reduce your IQ by 15 points. The effects of iodine deficiency are serious in the developing fetus, baby and young children, including stunted growth, diminished intelligence and retardation.
In some cases too much iodine can cause thyroid problems too, however you would have to be eating an awful lot of seaweed. It is suggested that 25-35g of sea vegetables per week is ideal for topping up iodine levels. This may be one or two larger serves or a small amount daily. Sea vegetables are quite light and dehydrated when purchased. Some need to be re-hydrated to eat and some not.
Kelp (kombu), arame, hijiki and wakame will need soaking in water to hydrate and soften them to eat. Then they can used whole or sliced in soups and salads. Dulse, nori and kerengo are types that can be eaten as is, as they are softer.
Recipe ideas using seaweeds