For people following vegan, vegetarian, raw or macrobiotic diets one of the biggest challenges is meeting daily nutritional requirements. Since meat and fish are a primary source of these nutrients, if you reduce or eliminate animal products from your diet it is imperative you find other sources to meet your Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). That’s where seaweed can help! For example, one gram of seaweed contains enough iodine to meet your daily RDA. Seaweed can also contain up to 10 times more calcium than milk, and eight times as much as beef. Seaweed is also organic and kosher.
Seaweed, also known as sea vegetables, is a member of the algae family and comes in three varieties: brown, red, and green. Other than needing sunlight, seaweed is self-sufficient – absorbing everything it needs to sustain life directly from the seawater. As a result, seaweed is one of the most nutritionally-dense plants on the earth and an abundant source of minerals and nutrients essential for optimum health including:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamins A and C
The most commonly consumed seaweed are the brown varieties, which includes kelp, wakame, kombu and bladderwrack, followed by red seaweed, which includes nori, dulse and Irish moss, and finally green seaweed, such as sea lettuce.
There are a lot of options to choose from with over 10,000 types of edible seaweed. Here are 3 popular sea vegetables recommended for anyone following a vegan or macrobiotic diet:
Kombu is a brown seaweed that contains abundant levels of iodine and is rich in protein, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, calcium, carotene, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and germanium (a powerful skin healing nutrient). It has a zesty, salty taste and increases digestion, which makes kombu a popular addition to savory foods, such as soups and bean dishes. It can also be used in sauces, marinades and salad dressings, as well as in baked goods, such as biscuits or cookies.
A source of vitamins A, C and K, and iron, wakame is a brown seaweed that is extremely rich in calcium, as well as protein, zinc and magnesium. Wakame is an excellent addition to salads, soups and stews, including miso soup. It imparts a chicken-like flavor when cooked with rice.
Rich in protein, dulse is a red seaweed with a spicy flavor that boasts the highest content of iron of any food source and contains all of the essential amino acids. It is commonly added to soups, stews, on salads, in dressings, but can also be enjoyed raw, dried, toasted, smoked, fried or baked. It can be pan fried to enjoy as “seaweed chips.” Dulse also contains vitamins A, C, D, and E, calcium, iodine, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B1 and B2.
At VitaminSea Seaweed we manufacture and sell several edible seaweed products in a variety of forms, including powder, flakes and whole leaf. All of our seaweed products come from live ocean plants mechanically harvested by us off the coast of Maine with our own licensed harvesters. Try some for yourself to learn more about how seaweed truly is the original super food!