Sea vegetables may not be a common food in Western countries but they are increasingly popular. They have been consumed for thousands of years by coastal people and are a real superfood you may want to add to your dishes once in a while.
Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables
One of the main benefits of sea vegetables is their high iodine content. Iodine is necessary for thyroide function and to prevent goitre.
Sea vegetables may have health benefits for a number of conditions including arthritis, colds, chronic fatigue, allergies and tumors. Nori is known in Japan as a treatment for radiation poisoning.
Wakame contains high amounts of an omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid. It also has high levels of iodine, calcium, thiamine, and niacin.
Studies have shown that compounds present in wakame or fucus can help burn fat tissue.
Sea vegetables should be eaten in moderation, like any other food. Indeed, an excess of iodine is suspected to be the cause of higher cancer risks in Japanese who consume a lot of sea vegetables as well as in post-menopausal women.
Buying and Storing Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables are bought in their dried form and need to be soaked in water. Prefer organic sea vegetables, as they will not have been spread with pesticides or grown in polluted waters.
Dried sea vegetables can be stored in airtight container and will keep for a long time.
Preparing Sea Vegetables
Nori can be eaten in its dry form together with rice. This is actually the main algae used in sushi. You can also use nori as a wrap for salad ingredients such as lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, avocado and shrimps or tuna.
Nori can also be cut into strips or flaked and mixed to warm rice, salads, soups or dressings.
Wakame and other algae need to be soaked in water and sometimes cooked. They can then be added to salads, soups, and other dishes.
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