Super Sea Vegetables: Detoxifying, energy boosting, immune supporting superfoods!
This group of superfoods provide the body with important trace minerals, essential fats, antioxidant pigments like chlorophyll and phycocyanin, soluble fiber, and amino acids. They help boost energy levels, support detoxification, balances mood and mental clarity, and enhances immune system functioning.
Types of sea vegetables range from large, multi-cellular seaweeds like kelp, nori, dulse, arame, and wakame, to single-celled blue-green algae like spirulina and chlorella.
Naturally low-calorie, these nutrient-dense superfoods provide a wide array of essential nutrients that support every system in the body. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Blue-green algae contains up to 70% protein, and is also a source of Phenylethylamine (PEA), also known as "the molecule of love". A chemical our brain naturally makes when we are in a happy or elated state, PEA is great for elevating mood and enhancing focus, memory, and concentration.
Soak dry seaweed like arame, hijiki, dulse, and wakame and use in salads or soups. Nori sheets now come in raw, toasted, and with different seasonings; use as a wrap, or cut into bite size pieces for soups and salads.
Often used as a salt replacement due to its sodium content, seaweeds however are much more nutrient-dense then typical table salt, providing an average of 56 minerals. Seaweed granules/flakes are available in shakers for convenient use.
Noodles made from kelp and wakame are now available. These delicious noodles are gluten-free, vegan, raw, low-calorie, and high in soluble fiber.
Kelp is unique in that it is just as common in its whole food form as an ingredient as it is in capsule form as a supplement for iodine, specifically useful for thyroid function.
Fresh sea asparagus is crunchy, salty, and delicious in your favourite salad.
Blue-green algae is available in powders, capsules, and fresh frozen liquids, these nutritional powerhouses are a very versatile ingredient. Use the powders and/or liquids in your favourite smoothie recipe, add to raw food desserts, or salad dressings. One of my favourite blue-green algae products is the fresh-frozen Brain-On from E3 Live, it is the regular AFA algae with extra PEA!
Find out how you can benefit from added sea vegetables to you diet:
Shawna Barker BSc., RHN is a nutritionist, college instructor, and raw food educator.