When we think of food from the sea, our first thought is fish, but the ocean is a wonderful source of veggies too!
Seaweeds, a staple in Asian diets, are the healthiest foods on the planet, and now they are readily available at various specialty food stores. With a little know-how, you’ll soon be dishing up ocean veggies as a super-nutrient treat.
The latest scientific studies found that algae, which is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, can reduce our rate of fat absorption by 75 percent—that is good news for our waistlines.
Some of the most popular edible seaweeds include kombu, nori, wakame, and arame. They each have a distinct taste and texture as well as different nutritional properties. Once your palate gets accustomed to them, they will be a great nutritional addition to your healthy lifestyle.
This seaweed is used to make dashi, a broth that has been dubbed “the chicken stock of Japan.” It has a full, savory flavor.
Kombu is a rich source of iodine, which is necessary to produce the two key thyroid hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones control our metabolism. Kombu is also being looked at for cardiovascular benefits as research is suggesting that it helps stop blood clots from forming.
An algae superstar, nori is one of the richest sources of protein. One sheet of nori packs in as much fiber as a cup of spinach and more omega-3 fatty acids than a cup of avocado, with a lot fewer calories.
Nori also contains Vitamin C (a potent antioxidant); B12, which helps cognitive function; and taurine, a compound that helps control cholesterol. It comes in papery sheets that have a mild oceany flavor. It is perhaps the most popular and readily available in the United States.
This variety is a perfect food for women, as it addresses a lot of common female concerns. It’s chock full of calcium and magnesium that help prevent osteoporosis. It acts as a diuretic to reduce bloating and has a pigment called fucoxanthin, which is known to improve insulin resistance. Fucoxanthin, in a 2010 animal study, was found to burn fatty tissue.
With a salty-sweet taste, wakame leaves resemble pappardelle pasta.
It is packed with potassium, which athletes often use for preventing muscle cramps. Research is showing that it has antiviral properties too, as well as an anti-obesity effect. In a 2010 study, mice given arame powder experienced less weight gain on a high-fat diet. Arame has long, sweet-tasting strands that are good with salads and stir-fried vegetables.
So for something a little different, dish up some ocean veggies!
Eco18 is a collective of creative-writing individuals from different backgrounds with a common goal—to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle. Their combined expertise, humor, and opinions explore green and sustainable in a practical, fun way.
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