Wednesday, February 20, 2013

3 Easy Ways To Get More Seaweed In Your Diet

Your first question might be “Why would I want to get more seaweed in my diet?”  Please allow me to enlighten you!  Sea vegetables are among the healthiest foods on the planet, super rich in minerals that you’d be hard pressed to find in land based vegetables.  They’re an excellent source of folic acid, magnesium, iron, calcium, riboflavin and B vitamins.  They’re also a fantastic source of iodine, which is crucial for proper thyroid function.  Your thyroid regulates your metabolism, which is to say, it pretty much affects every aspect of how your body functions and your overall health and wellness.

In Korea, new mothers eat seaweed soup called miyukguk for a month after the birth of their babies.  Bringing a pot of miyukguk over is my favorite gift for new moms!

There are many different types of seaweed.  They’re a staple in most Asian diets, but here in the United States we mostly only encounter seaweed in the form of nori, the thin sheets of seaweed used to wrap rice and raw fish into sushi rolls.  Here are 3 of my favorite types of seaweed and easy ways to incorporate it into your regular diet.

SeaSnaxI’ve been spotting roasted seaweed snacks in more and more grocery stores as of late.  They even carry them at Trader Joe’s now!  These little roasted sheets of nori are crispy and salty and a great replacement for potato chips or other salty snacks.  Kids love ‘em, and so do adults.  You can throw these into your lunch with a little cooked rice, avocado, veggies and/or cooked fish, and make your own little sushi hand rolls.  You can also crumble them over a salad or bowl of rice.  My favorite brand is SeaSnax, because they use sustainably harvested seaweed and roast it in olive oil instead of unhealthier corn or canola oils.


Dulse flakes sprinkled on saladI love dulse because it’s so easy to use.  I sprinkle it on my salads, add it to my smoothies, stir it into my soups, or just grab a bit and eat it straight.  These flakes have a nice salty, ocean flavor, but if you don’t love the seaweed flavor, just use less and you won’t even notice it.  In the meantime, your body will thank you for the extra boost of nutrition.  I buy the dulse flakes that come straight from the Maine coast.


Miso with WakameWakame is the seaweed you see floating in your miso soup at the Japanese restaurant.  You buy it dried and rehydrate it at home.  Wakame makes a great ingredient in cucumber seaweed salad.  Or try your hand at making simple miso soup.  Simply boil water, add rehydrated wakame, any vegetables you fancy and cook until the veggies are done and the wakame is softened.  Take off heat and stir in some miso paste until it’s flavorful enough for you.  Easy and super healthy.

Now that you know how easy it is to add seaweed to your diet, I hope you'll pick some up the next time you're at the health food store.  Your body will thank you!

For those of you already eating seaweed, please post with more ideas and recipes!

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