Dive into sea vegetables for health.
Seaworthy nutrients. Seaweed is an especially rich source of iodine, which is required for proper thyroid function. Because iodine levels in vegetables and the soil in which they are grown varies greatly, seaweed can be an important source of this crucial nutrient. Just two tablespoons can contain an entire day's worth of iodine.
Most sea vegetables have significant amounts of the coagulant vitamin K and non-heme (plant-based) iron, which is required for energy transport in the blood. (Note: if you are taking a blood thinner, you need to be careful about fluctuations in vitamin K intake.) These vegetables from the sea also contain measurable amounts of carotenoids and flavonoids often associated with "super-foods," such as blueberries, green tea, and chocolate. Consumption of these phytonutrients may reduce the risk for heart disease and some cancers. Certain seaweed, especially those that are brown, like kombu, contain the unique compound fucoidan, a starch-like molecule with strong antioxidant properties.
Sea vegetables In the kitchen. Sea vegetables are popular as a dietary supplement--in pill or powder form--but there's no reason to take a pill when you can easily eat the whole-food version, which is always better for you. A simple start is to add them to soup or sprinkle the flakes on Asian dishes.
There are many kinds of seaweed--typically available in dried form--with an enormous variety of tastes and textures. Look for sea vegetables in supermarkets, Asian markets, and online.
--Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD
SIMPLE SEAWEED RICE 1/4 onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 21/4 c water 2 Tbsp dried wakame 2 Tbsp dulse flakes 1 c long grain brown rice 2 Tbsp rice vinegar 2 tsp soy sauce, optional 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds 1. In a medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in two tablespoons water at medium heat for two minutes. 2. Stir in wakame, dulse, rice, remaining water, vinegar and soy sauce, if using. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes or until rice is done. 3. Garnish with sesame seeds. Makes 4 servings Nutrition Information Per Serving: 230 calories, 6 grams (g) fat, 1 g sat fat, 39 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 3 g fiber, 32 mg sodium Recipe courtesy Maria Clementi, Culinary Educator, Healdsburg, CA Vegetables from the Sea While there are hundreds of varieties of sweaweed, you might want to start with those that are more readily available, such as these below. COMMON SEAWEED DESCRIPTION CULINARY USE VARIETIES Wakame A kelp variety that Common is miso soup; looks like a stringy serve tossed with noodle and has a sesame oil over lettuce. chewy texture. Kombu This kelp is high in Common is soup broth or glumatic acid, which with sashimi in Japanese is responsible for cuisine; add when cooking umami, the savory beans to reduce taste associated with gas-producing properties. Asian foods. Nori A dark purple algae Well-known for it use that turns green when in wrapping sushi, it is toasted. produced in square, dry, toasted sheets and makes a great crispy snack. Dulse Most often found as Can be baked and eaten shreded, dried flakes, like chips or added to this red algae is foods like soup and even especially high in homemade bread. calcium and is staple high-fiber food of Northern Europe.
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|Date:||May 1, 2014|
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