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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Edible Seaweed

Jun 6, 2010

Seaweed is a nutritious food that can be used in the preparation of many different dishes. The Japanese, for example, consume seven different types of seaweed that they refer to by very specific names.

Types of Seaweed

Nori is a popular type of seaweed. It has a meaty and sweet flavor and can be found in many types of sushi. If you frequent sushi restaurants, you may have eaten Nori. It is often found wrapped around rice, as in the case of California rolls. It can also be found in miso soup and salads.

Another type of seaweed is Hijiki. When dried, it resembles black noodles. It can be used in stews, casseroles, tea, salad, salad dressings and even in burgers when well chopped.

Dulse is one form of seaweed that you will find in Ireland, Canada and in the Northern part of Europe. It has a hand-like shape. Its flavor is salty and a bit spicy. It can be chewy. Dulse is used in soups, salads, and stir-fried dishes.

Sea lettuce is seaweed that looks like lettuce and contains a strong odor. It is fragile and tears into pieces easily. Sea lettuce is often used in salads and soups.

Another type of seaweed is Kombu. It has a bacon-like taste when roasted and is full of nutrients.

Wakame has a darker green or brown color. It works very well in soups, stews and casseroles. Some people also put it in rice while it is cooking.

The Nutrients

Each type of seaweed is rich in its own unique set of nutrients:

  • Nori seaweed has the highest amount of protein compared to the other types.
  • Wakame has the highest amount of calcium.
  • Sea Lettuce is very high in iron.
  • Hijiki is high in calcium and fiber.
  • Dulse is very high in vitamins B6 and B12.

All seaweed types contains iodine. Almost all types contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K. You will also find sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc in seaweed.

Health Benefits

The fiber in seaweed is helpful for the digestive system. It aids in its regular functioning. Some people incorporate seaweed into their weight maintenance plans because seaweed makes you feel full and satiated.

Seaweed has a high iodine content. Iodine is needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid. Iodine toxicity has been observed in cases where too much seaweed has been eaten. As with all foods, you will want to integrate this food into your diet with moderation.

Although more scientific research is needed, seaweed has also been used in some parts of the world to cure arthritis, skin conditions, tuberculosis, colds and the flu. It has even been considered in alternative medicine as a treatment for cancer.

All in all, edible seaweed is a delicious and nutritious food. It comes in many varities and can be used in salads, soups, casseroles, rice, salad dressings, burgers, tea, stews and more. When used in moderation it is a healthy addition to your diet.

 

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