Natural Food Energy | Seaweed, or Sea Vegetables | Surprising Health Benefits Of Seaweed and Nutrients facts. Seaweed is a marine algae, the oldest form of life on the planet, and it contains a host of health-giving properties, particularly minerals.
Seaweed, or Sea Vegetables
Seaweed is a marine algae, the oldest form of life on the planet, and it contains a host of health-giving properties, particularly minerals. These gifts from the ocean could help to soothe away stress and put an end to insomnia by promoting peaceful sleep.
Seaweed, or sea vegetables, can be found both in saltwater and in fresh water lakes and seas. Best known for their use in Japanese cuisine, they offer an unrivaled range of nutrients that promote emotional health and keep the brain alert.
They contain a wide range of minerals: magnesium helps to relieve stress-related symptoms such as heart palpitations; calcium helps to stabilize moods, and iron provides energy to the many people – especially young women – whose iron stores are low.
The wide range of sea vegetables now available is rich in iodine, which supports metabolic and thyroid function.
A slightly underactive thyroid, which is fairly common, especially among women, often causes depression and lethargy before any other signs lead to a diagnosis.
Seaweed is among the foods credited with helping Japanese women to keep their legendary composure through life’s changes. It contains phytonutrients called lignans, which work as a gentle form of hormone- replacement therapy.
Eaten regularly, seaweed could help to reduce stress-inducing symptoms of the perimenopause, such as hot flushes.
The plentiful nutrients found in sea vegetables could relieve sleeplessness. The calming effects of magnesium, in particular, may counteract insomnia, as well as ease anxiety.
Along with calcium, it can also prevent the leg cramps and restlessness that keep many women awake at night after the menopause.
Filled with mucilaginous gels that alkalinize the blood, seaweed can treat rheumatic complaints. It also helps to clear liver stagnation, treating PMS, headaches and skin problems.
Agar-agar: Rich in trace minerals, agar-agar is used to soothe the digestive tract and relieve constipation. Its high fiber content helps to lower cholesterol and suppress the appetite, making it an ideal food for dieters. Its main culinary function is as a gelling agent.
Kombu: Laden with protein and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine and iron, kombu improves the nutritional value of any meal. A substance in kombu called fucoidan has been found to make cancer cells self destruct, and is now available as a nutritional supplement. Owing to kombu’s excellent nutrient profile and cleansing abilities, it can offer relief in a range of health conditions from rheumatism, arthritis and high blood pressure to an under-active thyroid.
Nori: Used in sushi-making, this “fishy”-tasting seaweed has been cultivated in Japan for over a thousand years. An excellent source of protein, nori helps with growth and tissue repair, and its calcium and iron content nourishes the bones and blood. Particularly high in beta-carotene, nori may help to promote skin health, boost the immune system and slow down eye disease. It also contains vitamin Bl2, which is rarely found in the plant world, making it an ideal food for strict vegetarians.
Wakame: Traditionally added to miso soup, wakame is mild in flavor. It’s an excellent source of potassium and may improve heart health by keeping high blood pressure in check. It’s also an outstanding source of calcium, needed for bone maintenance, and magnesium for relieving stress and muscle tension. In Japan, wakame is used as a blood purifier and is also valued for its nourishing effect on the hair and skin.
Dulse: Full of potassium, which helps to relieve fluid retention, dulse is also the most iron-rich of the edible seaweeds, making it an excellent food for combating anemia. Like most sea vegetables, it’s high in iodine, which is needed to regulate the thyroid gland.
Hijiki: High in minerals, hijiki is thought to play a contributory role to the thick, shiny hair enjoyed by many Japanese people. It’s a superb bone builder, containing more calcium than any other sea vegetable, and it may help to prevent osteoporosis.
Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, E, K, beta-carotene, folic acid; calcium, COPPER, IODINE, IRON, MAGNESIUM, MANGANESE, PHOSPHORUS, POTASSIUM, SELENIUM, SODIUM, ZINC; LIGNANS; OMEGA-3 ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS; COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATE, FIBRE; PROTEIN
18 Surprising Health Benefits Of Seaweed
- BLOOD-SUGAR BALANCING
- GOOD FOR THE BRAIN
- GOOD FOR HAIR, TEETH, AND NAILS
- GOOD FOR THE SKIN
- GOOD FOR THE EYES
- GOOD FOR THE HEART
- GOOD FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
- GOOD FOR THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM
- GOOD FOR THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
- GOOD FOR THE HORMONAL SYSTEM
- 2 tbsp wakame
- 625ml / 20 fl oz/ 2 ½ cups warm water
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g /7oz / 1 cup brown rice
Rinse the wakame, and soak in the warm water for 5 minutes. Squeeze dry and chop. Save the water and heat 1 tablespoon in a pan. Simmer the onion gently for 2 minutes, stirring. Add all the other ingredients and the remaining water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 35 minutes. Serve.
- 450g /1lb laver, or rehydrated cooked nori, chopped
- 225g / 8oz/1 ¾ cups rolled oats
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp oil
- 4S0g / 1lb Portobello mushrooms
Mix together the laver, oatmeal, and pepper in a bowl. Using your hands, shape into 12 balls and flatten slightly to make cakes. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and fry the cakes for 2-3 minutes. Brush the mushrooms with the remaining oil and grill until brown. Serve with the laver cakes.
Wakame Noodle Broth
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped
- 1l / 35fl oz/ 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp miso
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 8 strips wakame, chopped
- 50g /1 ¾ oz dried noodles
Put all the ingredients (except the noodles) in a large pan, and bring to the boil, stirring until the miso has dissolved. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the noodles and cook for a further few minutes until they are cooked through. Serve immediately.
Real Fruit Jelly
- 400g / 14oz soft fruit, chopped (such as peaches, strawberries, grapes)
- 600ml /21fl oz/2⅓ cups white grape juice
- 4 tbsp agar-agar flakes
Place the chopped fruit in a large heatproof glass bowl and set aside. Put the grape juice and agar-agar in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes while stirring, until the agar-agar has dissolved. Pour the liquid over the fruit and leave to cool. Once set, store in the fridge.
- 4 tbsp chopped dulse
- 2 tbsp wakame
- 2.5cm / 1 in piece root ginger, finely chopped
- 115g / 4oz firm tofu, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp miso
Pour 1.2 l /44 fl oz / 5 cups water into a pan and add the seaweeds, ginger, and tofu. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the miso, heat for 2 minutes and serve.
Cannellini Kopi Bu Beanpot
- 200g / 7oz/ 1 cup dried cannellini beans
- 1 strip dried kombu
- ½ leek, trimmed and chopped
- ½ red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 200g / 7oz spinach, chopped
Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water. Next day, drain, place in a pan and cover with 11/35 fl oz / 4 cups water. Add the kombu, then bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours until the beans are soft. Add the leek, red pepper and spinach, and cook for a further 15 minutes. Mix well and serve.
Kohbu Tomato Stock
- 1 strip dried kombu
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes
Soak the kombu and tomatoes in 11/35fl oz/4 cups water for 30 minutes, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the kombu and tomatoes. Use the liquid for any recipe that calls for stock. The kombu can be reused to make more stock or added to beans or casseroles during cooking to enhance the flavor.
Nori Potato Fritters
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 eggs
- 5 tbsp nori flakes
- 1 tbsp ground mustard seeds
- Olive oil, for shallow frying
Using your hands, squeeze as much of the juice from the grated potatoes as possible, then put them in a bowl and mix them with the onion, eggs, nori and mustard seeds. Warm the oil in a frying pan, adding the mixture when the oil is hot. Flatten each fritter with a fork and cook on both sides for a few minutes until golden.
- 3 tbsp dulse, rinsed
- 2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
- ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 spring onion, trimmed and chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Soak the dulse in water for about 3 minutes, then drain and cut it into pieces with scissors. Put it in a large bowl along with the salad leaves, cucumber, and spring onion. Add the sesame oil and rice vinegar, toss well and serve sprinkled with the sesame seeds.
Scrambled Eggs With Hijiki
- 2 heaped tbsp hijiki
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1 tsp ground mustard seeds
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Salt and ground black pepper
Soak the hijiki in water for 15 minutes, then drain and sauté in the oil in a frying pan for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the hijiki and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs have thickened but are still soft.