Do you enjoy sushi? If so, then you might already be familiar with nori, which is used for sushi rolls and cones. Nori is just one of themany tasty sea vegetables that help combat mineral deficiencies!
At first some of you might think, "Yuck, seaweed?"
At Body Ecology we prefer to call them sea vegetables, but the consumption of seaweed enjoys a very long history throughout the world, and for good reason: they're delicious and incredibly healthy for you!
Sea vegetables are a staple of Japanese cuisine, and in Chinese ancient times, sea vegetables were considered a delicacy suitable for honored guests and royalty.
Although gaining more popularity in our own Western culture today, many regions and countries located near water have long used seaweeds since ancient times.
Benefits of Sea Vegetables Include:1,2
- Prevent aging and chronic disease
- Prevent cellular mutations that cause cancer
- Relieve menopausal symptoms
- Prevent birth defects
- Alkalize your blood
- Lower cholesterol
- Balance thyroid function
- Detoxify your body from heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and carcinogens.
- Have anti-inflammatory effects
- Control the growth of pathogenic viruses, candida, and pathogenic bacteria
- Fight constipation
- Lower your blood pressure and reduce tension
- Improve your heart health
- Contain powerful antioxidants
And if you are a baby boomer looking for the secrets to remaining "TRUessence," sea veggies should high on your list of the most anti-aging of foods. In fact, all the health problems mentioned above are common complaints aging...and sea vegetables help with all of them!
Sea vegetables are a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, and offer the broadest range of minerals ofany food. There are thousands of varieties of sea vegetables, although not all of them are enjoyed as foods. They come in a variety of colors, usually green, brown, and red.
Here are some of the more popular ones that you should have no trouble finding online, in your local health food store, or any Asian market:
- Nori - Sushi anyone? This may be the one seaweed you're familiar with because of its use in sushi rolls. Even though it's usually dark green, or black in color, Nori is the Japanese term for various edible seaweed species of red algae.
It's made by shredding the sea vegetables and making them into what resembles sheets of paper. Japan, Korea, and China are the world's largest producers of nori, which grows very rapidly, and can be harvested within 45 days of its seeding.
- Kombu - Great for Soup. Kombu is an edible large seaweed that actually belongs to a family of brown algae. Over 90 percent of it is cultivated and harvested in Japan.
It's used extensively in Japanese cooking, particularly for dashi, which is a soup stock used to make miso soup.
How to Use: You can add strips of kombu to flavor any soup, or even to flavor your Body Ecology grain-like seeds by adding strips of kombu in the water and simmering for 30 minutes to release all the minerals.
- Wakame - Future Fat Burner? Wakame is closely related to Kombu. In addition to many mentioned benefits, recently, researchers in Japan found a compound in wakame that appears to show promise in the fight against obesity.
It is also one of the highest vegetarian sources of an Omega-3 fatty acid or your Omega # concentrate in the store, if you are ready with it) based on its nutrient to calorie ratio.
How to Use: With its pretty green color and delicate flavor, wakame is great in soups and salads.
- Hijiki - Natural Beauty Aid. This brown sea vegetable grows wild around the coasts of Japan, Korea and China and has been used abundantly for centuries.
Packed with fiber and minerals, according to Japanese folklore, hijiki is also a natural health and beauty aid. They attribute their lustrous, thick, dark hair to regular consumption of hijiki!
How to Use: Hijiki must be soaked and chopped before you cook it, and takes much longer than other sea vegetables to prepare. Just be sure to simmer it for at least 45 minutes to an hour until it's really tender. Often times we like to chop it rather finely because to a newcomer it looks a little like black worms. This sea veggie may not be the very first one you want to introduce to your pickiest eaters. Not only is it quite black (we're not used to black food in the US, and it is also a bit salty and fishy. However, it's easy to change the taste. Cook it with lots of sweet onions and carrots, plus some chopped red pepper. Then add a large dollop of whole grain mustard and wheat free, low sodium tamari (from San-J) to taste. Tamari is a fermented soy product.
Here's another simple recipe:
Sauté onions and carrots in unrefined coconut oil, add hijiki, cover with filtered water, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. You can even add small chunks of butternut squash to create a delicious stew. When chilled, this makes a delicious topping for salads, or filling for nori wraps!
- Dulse - Easy Snack. Dulse is grown on the northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and has been an important source of fiber in Iceland for centuries. It's also common in Northern Ireland, and in Canada. In Iceland, the tradition is to eat it with butter, although it's delicious in soups, and as a salad topping too.
How to Use: You can eat dulse right out of the package as a quick snack that's packed with protein and iron. Carry it with you and eat it when you need some energy or brain food. You can also purchase packages of dulse flakes and sprinkle it on salads and on the four Body Ecology grain-like seeds: millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
By the way, most people mispronounce dulse. It rhymes with pulse.
- Arame - The Sweet One. Arame is also a brown algae that is very popular in Japanese cuisine, and is known for it mild, almost sweet flavor. It's usually found in finely shredded strands that have a crispy texture.
If you're not used to eating seaweeds, arame can be a good place to start because of its's mild, almost sweet flavor.
How to Use: Soak arame until it softens. After that you can chop it and toss it into a salad without even cooking it. If you want to serve it as a delicious hot dish, it's great with sautéed sweet onions and carrots. (English peas are tasty with arame as well). This arame, onion, carrot dish can be chilled and added to a leafy green salad. We also love to serve it hot as a topping for your Body Ecology grain-like seeds.
- Agar - Perfect for Sweet Desserts! Agar is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin. As you know, digestive heath is our specialty at Body Ecology, so we love recipes based around agar. It lubricates your digestive tract, and has mild laxative properties.
How to Use: Agar is mostly used in sweet puddings and aspics and it's easy to work with. The Body Ecology Diet book has recipes for several savory dishes that use agar, like vanilla pudding, sweet carrot gelatin salad, and jellied butternut squash.
NOTE that this autum Body Ecology will be introducing a wonderful new non-caloric sweetener that has been used in Japan for over ten years. The Japanese Ministry of Health has not only approved it for diabetes and obesity, they actually recommend it. It also has GRAS approval here in the US. Body Ecology will be introducing it with some delicious recipes that use agar. So stay tuned to our newsletter for the launch of this incredible product!
Want the health benefits of seaweeds without having to prepare them? Ocean Plant Extract with Laminaria Japonica is perfect for you! It's rich in minerals that help support your thyroid, cleanse toxins, and ward off disease.
Learn More About Ocean Plant Extract & Order Now!
Ocean Plant Extract is made from Laminaria Japonica, which is a common species of kelp that inhabits very cold waters in the northern hemisphere and temperate ones in the southern hemisphere. Laminaria Japonica nourishes your thyroid function balancing and has cardiovascular benefits. But in particular, it is known for its ability to detoxify your body from heavy metals and free radicals.
Sea Vegetables - Nature's Precious Gift
Hopefully we've convinced you to try these underappreciated, amazing gifts that the oceans have to offer us. Sea vegetables are a must if you are trying to restore your vitality and health, improve thyroid function or overcome mineral deficiencies created by years of eating unhealthy, toxin-laden, processed foods.
Sea veggies are the oldest vegetables on our planet. They are the least untouched or altered by man. They are a must if you truly want to alkalize your body, nourish you thyroid and adrenals and even slow down aging.
Sea vegetables are a Body Ecology staple that we hope you'll enjoy every day as part of your commitment to healthy living!
- The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Sea Vegetables
- "Under the Sea: Superior Nutrition From the Ocean's Depths", Schoenhals, Kim. From Better Nutrition, May 2004
- Brown Seaweed Contains Promising Fat Fighter, Weight Reducer