Sea vegetables have various health benefits. They are detoxifying and beneficial to the thyroid gland, are used to cleanse the lymphatic system, to stimulate stagnant liver and to alkalize the blood. Sea vegetables (seaweeds) can be purchased in a health food store or online. The following are eight most common types of sea vegetables:
1. Agar Agar
Low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and high in folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin E, vitamin K, zinc, and copper, agar agar is typically used as a gelatinous thickener for sauces and desserts.
Arame tastes sweet and mild, and is great in salads. Arame is rich in iron, calcium, and iodine.
Iron-rich dulse is very salty and, if flaked, can be used as a salt substitute in practically any dish. Its strips can also be eaten raw.
The calcium and iron-rich hijiki quadruples in size when rehydrated. It’s flavor is the mildest of all seaweeds. Try Hijiki Dojo Burgers.
Kelp is rich in carotene, iodine and chromium. It is great in soups and stews.
Kombu is rich in iodine, dietary fiber, iron, and potassium. A form of kelp, kombu is used to support the thyroid, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and prevent a sudden rise of the blood sugar level. Try simple nutritious kombu broth as a drink or as a soup base.
Nori is thin dark sheets used to make sushi. Nori is a great source of vitamins A, B2, C and minerals like potassium and magnesium. It is also rich in fiber and healthy fatty acids.
Wakame is thin, deep green and is used in making seaweed salad and miso soup. It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, and Manganese.