The Quick and Easy Guide to Improving Your Health on the Body Ecology Program Part IV: All About Ocean Vegetables

Did you know that seaweed tastes good and is good for you? Ocean or sea vegetables has amazing healing properties and can help you feel your best!

Are you ready to improve your health and digestion, boost your metabolism and feel more relaxed and energetic than ever?

Then you need to think about eating sea vegetables!

Sea vegetables, along with fermented foods and drinks, are one of the most misunderstood and yet, healthiest foods to include in your diet. In fact, ocean or sea vegetables are a staple of the Body Ecology diet because they have such amazing powers to nourish and heal your body.

This fourth installment to our Quick and Easy Guide series will teach you all about ocean or sea vegetables, so that you can begin including them in your healthy Body Ecology program today!

You might think you are unfamiliar with sea vegetables, but if you have ever eaten sushi, then you have tasted an ocean vegetable!

Nori, the thin, dark green sheets used to wrap sushi, are just one kind of sea vegetable. Other kinds include kombu, wakame, arame, agar and dulse, just to name a few. Read on to learn why these vegetables of the sea are so nutritious!

Ocean Vegetables and Your Health

Ocean vegetables have many amazing healing benefits. They:1

  • Prevent chronic disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Contain powerful antioxidants
  • Encourage regular elimination
  • Alkalize your blood
  • Fight the growth of cancer cells
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Balance thyroid function
  • Detoxify your body from heavy metals
  • Are anti-inflammatory
  • Control the growth of pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses

Have you read the first three installments of our “Quick and Easy Guide to Improving Your Health on the Body Ecology Program?”

If not, be sure to read Part I: The First 7 Steps to Great Health to learn about the basic Body Ecology principles that are the foundation for a lifetime of wellness.

Then move on to Part II: Putting It All Together, where we answer some of the most common questions about following the Body Ecology system of health and healing.

And continue with Part III: A Day in the Life of Body Ecology, for a sample daily menu plan and recipes to make healthy eating easy and delicious!

Besides these health benefits, sea vegetables contain all 56 minerals and trace elements your body needs to thrive.2

Because of their high mineral content, ocean vegetables are truly a must for nourishing your adrenals to help alleviate adrenal fatigue. Creating energy is the first step to wellness and both your adrenals and your thyroid have been given the important role of creating energy. When an under-active thyroid condition becomes balanced, issues like constipation can also be relieved. Since one symptom of hypothyroidism is constipation, nourishing your thyroid with mineral-rich ocean veggies can help with this truly epidemic problem.

Ocean Vegetables: A Primer

Not only are sea vegetables vital for your health, but also they are versatile and tasty in your kitchen!

Alkaline-forming sea vegetables combine well with any grain OR protein and all other vegetables, whether raw, cooked, or cultured.

At Body Ecology we’re really into balance. When we cook salty-tasting sea vegetables we like to combine them with lots of sweet-tasting carrots and onions.

Your local health food store probably sells a wonderful diversity of sea vegetables. You’ll find them in a variety of colors…green, black and even red. At least one or two of these should easily become a favorite food:

  • Dulse. Try this delicious sea vegetable as a high iron snack that’s packed with antioxidants.
  • Nori is easy to eat each day by making “roll-ups” with a range of delicious fillings. We often squeeze out the juice of our cultured veggies and roll them up into a “nori cone.” Quinoa salad is great inside these nori cones as well.
  • Kombu makes a delicious medicinal broth. The popular kombu dashi stock used to make miso soup is made by simmering a strip of the kombu in water for 30 minutes to release the minerals. Then miso paste is added to this stock. It can be made ahead and stored in your refrigerator for several days. It’s a great broth for anyone who does not feel well. This mineral-rich stock can be used in many ways even to cook your BE grain-like seed.
  • Agar. Use Agar to make sweet or savory gelatin-like dishes or aspics. It also lubricates your digestive tract and is a mild laxative.
  • Hijiki has a mild, salty, fishy flavor and must be soaked first and chopped before cooking it. It usually takes longer to cook than other ocean vegetables. It is especially high in magnesium. One of our favorite recipes combines sautéed onions and carrots with hijiki – flavored with sea salt and Dijon mustard.
  • Arame’s finely shredded strands and sweet, nutty flavor make it ideal for many uses. Try cooking it with onions and carrots like the hijiki. Leftovers can be added to eggs while you are scrambling them. Arame should also be soaked in water until soft (and chopped finely if you prefer to minimize the black veggie look). We love to add it soaked and chopped but still raw to salads, then add it to one of our favorite salad dressing.
  • Wakame has a pretty green color and delicate flavor. Add it to soups and salads generously because it boosts heart health. Wakame has a skinny tough spine that you will want to cut off after soaking it until soft. Then chop the wakame to the desired size for your recipe. Our Cucumber Wakame Salad recipe in the Body Ecology Diet book is often served at our workshops. It’s a great, cooling summer salad as well. In Japan and in Japanese restaurants wakame is generously added to miso soup.

You can (and should) enjoy sea vegetables with every meal. Even though they seem to be humble seaweed, sea vegetables pack tons of nutrition into every bite, even more than conventional vegetables!

The Body Ecology Diet book has more information on these nutritional super-stars. The book also has easy and delectable recipes that make the most of their unique taste. In this day and age, when genetically modified foods are creeping slowly into our food supply, it is encouraging to know that the vegetables from the ocean are the oldest and most original of all foods.

Learn more about ocean vegetables in The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. This book is packed with information and recipes for ocean vegetables.

Buy now and get a bonus with your book!

If you don’t have time to cook sea vegetables at each meal and still want all the benefits, try Body Ecology’s potent Ocean Plant Extract. Extracted from the sea vegetable Laminaria Japonica, this amazing supplement is great for heavy metal cleansing, thyroid function, detoxification, and boosting your immunity. The brown color of this ocean plant helps reduce abdominal fat and helps control excess sugar in the blood. It takes 50 pounds of Laminaria Japonica to make 1 pound of our Ocean Plant Extract.

Whether you want to balance your thyroid function, detox your body or ward off cancer, ocean vegetables can help you feel your best. Better yet, they taste delicious! Try some today and see for yourself!


  1. Bassett, Clark, “Effects of kelp supplementation on thyroid function in euthyroid subjects,”
    Endocr Pract. 2003 Sep-Oct; 9(5):363-9.
  2. Schoenhals, Kim, “Under the sea: superior nutrition from the ocean’s depths,” Better Nutrition, May 2004. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKA/is_5_66/ai_n5992779.
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