Over kale? The next trendy, green health food could be seaweed
March 1, 2014
By Laura Van Wert
If you’re like us, you’re always looking for new foods that offer great health benefits and lots of flavor.
This week, we bring you seaweed, those greens from the ocean that make your miso soup oh-so good. Cooking with seaweed is great when you tire of spinach, kale or other greens, are looking for natural flavoring or need another food that offers rich nutrients.
Types of seaweed
There are several different kinds of edible green, brown and red seaweed — kombu, wakame, nori, duluse, arame, hiziki, agar agar and sea palm fronds — and they all have different benefits.
Wakame is what’s traditionally used to wrap sushi, while arame contains nutrients that nourish hair and balance hormones. Others, such as kombu, add rich flavor; and agar agar is high in fiber and calcium.
Why it’s good for you
Seaweed is rich in iodine, an important nutrient that keeps your thyroid functioning properly and isn’t found in many other foods. Iodine, as was mentioned about arame, helps balance hormones and regulates estrogen and estradiol levels.
A diet rich with seaweed could improve heart health. Kyoto University research shows that some brown seaweed consumption lowers blood pressure and reduced the risk of stroke in animals.
It’s low in calories for the amount of good, salty flavor and amount per serving. Ten pieces of nori seaweed clock in at 22 calories. Wakame, in particular, is a fat burner and aids in insulin resistance.
Seaweed is great stewed in soups, cooked in salads or baked for crispy chips.