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Marine Minerals: The Incredible Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables

Updated on March 28, 2010
(Photo credit: http://www.guidespot.com/guides/foods_eat_if_you)
(Photo credit: http://www.guidespot.com/guides/foods_eat_if_you)

Want to make each bite of food go the extra mile in delivering much-needed mineral content? Then try eating sea vegetables! Sea vegetables, commonly referred to simply as seaweed, are rich in minerals, vitamins, and other wellness-boosters. Eating seaweed might not sound appetizing, but these vegetables are extremely healthy and can be quite delicious as well.

Marine Minerals

According to Gabriel Cousens' Conscious Eating, sea vegetables contain 10 to 20 times the amount of minerals and vegetables found in any other class of food, including land vegetables.  Sea vegetables are particularly high in iodine.  A 1/4 cup serving of kelp delivers a whopping 276.7% of the recommended daily value for iodine.  Sea vegetables also deliver vitamin K, B-vitamin folate, magnesium, iron, and calcium in addition to B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid, protein, and soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. 

The mineral content of sea vegetables is particularly unique in the form of delivery.  Because the minerals within sea vegetables are collected in special colloidal forms, the bodies of humans and animals alike can access them more readily than minerals in other foods.  The scientific term for this is that sea vegetables' minerals are highly bioavailable.  

Health Benefits

The nutritional richness of sea vegetables translates into very real practical use. As Shep Erhat states in his Sea Vegetable Celebration, "very second of every day your body depends on minerals to generate billions of tiny electric impulses throughout your nervous system. Your heart would stop, your muscles would freeze, and your brain would black out if these minerals were not available in just the right amounts and the right form."

In addition minerals and vitamins, sea vegetables carry lignans. These plant compounds inhibit the growth of blood cells, the process of which causes cancerous tumors. Researchers believe that sea vegetables particularly prevent breast and colon cancers.

Traditional Asian medicine uses sea vegetables to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems as well as cancer.  The salt water greens can prevent some birth defects like spina bifida.  Sea vegetables may reduce inflammation in the body, prevent migraines, help manage asthma, and relieve symptoms of menopause. 

Where to Find Sea Vegetables

While sea vegetables are a regular part of eastern diets, the west has not caught on to this nutritional powerhouse yet. This can make tracking sea vegetables down rather tricky for the health-conscious consumer. Local health and natural food stores are a good bet. Look for either dried seaweed, such as the sheets used to roll sushi or flaked dessicated seaweed, or bags of pliable sea vegetables in refrigerated sections. Wet or dry, sea vegetables should come in tightly sealed packages that don't contain excessive amounts of moisture.

If local shops do not carry sea vegetables, the internet is a good option. Organic and natural web stores such as Eden Foods carry sea vegetables. The mineral benefits of seaweed is also available in capsule form, usually located with vitamins and health supplements in stores.

Recipe: Easy Sea Veggie Salad

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger spice
  • 2 T avocado, mashed
  • soy sauce to taste
  • apple cider vinegar to taste
  • 1 apple, finely diced
  • 3 oz. sea vegetable mix (wet)
  • 1/2 cup kelp noodles
  • 1/2 cup green cabbage, thinly sliced

Remove the sea vegetables and kelp noodles from their respective bags. Rinse them thoroughly with cool tap water to remove excess salt. Soak the sea vegetables in water for 2-3 minutes, then rinse and drain. Remove the vegetables and kelp noodles to a medium/large dish.

In a small bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour over the rinsed sea vegetables and kelp noodles in the large bowl. Add the apple and cabbage and toss until the avocado dressing is well distributed.

Incorporate other greens such as spinach, sprouts, and more as desired.  Makes 1 large salad or 2 small side salads.

Talk back! Have you tried sea vegetables?

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    • theblackedition profile image

      Shane Brown-Daniels 7 years ago from Jamaica

      interesting hub Betheran. Haven't tried sea veges before, but based on this I will! I was wondering though - Are these sea veges ok for hypertensive folk?

    • theblackedition profile image

      Shane Brown-Daniels 7 years ago from Jamaica

      *Betherann

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Interesting hub. I have heard the benefits of these. I'm a little scared of trying them.

    • betherann profile image
      Author

      Beth Morey 7 years ago from Montana

      theblackedition - I'm not sure how healthy sea vegetables are for people with hypertension due to their high salt content. Most of the salt does get washed off, though. Something to consider, for sure!

    • betherann profile image
      Author

      Beth Morey 7 years ago from Montana

      Sandy - I was the same, but I really enjoy adding kelp noodles to stir fries and salads. They lend a great crunch, and they taste like whatever sauce/dressing/spices you use in the dish. Other sea veggie mixes are far stronger in taste, but are mellowed out when you put them into dishes. I don't know that I would like to eat sea vegetables straight up on a regular basis!

    • profile image

      Lola 7 years ago

      Awesome post! Thank you for sharing on where to find these great yummies!

    • profile image

      naturalhealthchat 7 years ago

      Great article! Enjoyed it much. Funny, I am suddenly salivating for some vegetarian sushi and dulse-sprinkled organic popcorn.

    • betherann profile image
      Author

      Beth Morey 7 years ago from Montana

      Thanks, Lola and naturalhealthchat!

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      xceptit@gmail.com 7 years ago

      Good Stuff

      On the roads, maintain more distance with all speeds at all times.

      Joe A. Di Medio

      Inv. CFTS1986

    • InfinityVal profile image

      InfinityVal 7 years ago from NNY

      Sea vegetables helped me normalize an overactive thyroid. I ate kelp by the sheet. For folks a little afraid of trying them out- give dulse a try. Toast it lightly in a pan and use it in place of bacon for a "DLT". Yummy.

    • betherann profile image
      Author

      Beth Morey 7 years ago from Montana

      Thanks for the recommendation, InfinityVal! I love natural remedies.

    All writing copyright of Beth Morey, 2010. Reproduction/reprinting is prohibited, although linking to this hub as an information source is permitted.

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