The Power of Seaweeds
For thousands of years seaweeds (sea vegetables) have been praised for their ability to prevent disease, prolong life and impart beauty and health for longer and happier lives. Sea vegetables are classified by colours; reds, browns, greens, blue-greens, and yellow-greens. Their specific colour is related to the spectrum of light available to the plants for photosynthesis. The temperature, depth, tides, light exposure, pigmentation, and seashores all create different environments that that correspond to the distribution of nutrients and variety among sea plants.
These amazing and powerful sea vegetables (plants) contain ten to twenty times the minerals of land plants as well as an abundance of vitamins and other elements, making them an excellent source for food and medicine with certain ones actually removing radioactive and toxic metal wastes from the body. Who wouldn’t want to include these in their day to day meals!
Properties of Seaweeds
Most seaweeds have a number of properties in common; each one however has a distinct nutrient profile. Generally, seaweeds are cooling in nature, salty flavour; soften hardened areas and masses in body; moisten dryness; diuretic; transforms phlegm, remove residues of radiation in body; build yin fluids and improve water metabolism; act as lymphatic cleansers; alkalize the blood; helps liver stagnancy (activate liver qi), and beneficial to thyroid. Seaweeds contain soothing, mucilaginous gels like algin, carrageenan and agar which rejuvenate the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. They are also useful in weight-loss programs and for lowering cholesterol and fat in the blood. Seaweeds are also useful in treating of cancer and fibroid tumors.
Common seaweeds Available
Hijiki and Arame: Benefits the thyroid, excellent source of calcium, iron and iodine. These brown branches grow like a bush up to six feet high and contain ten times the calcium of milk (Awesome for all the Veggie lovers out there! J). Arame contains one to five hundred times more iodine than shellfish. When consumed daily, Hijiki, Arame, or any other member of the Kelp family can promote the growth of glossy hair, and prevent its loss. They also provide a clear complexion and soft, wrinkle-free skin. I LOVE this!!
Dulse: Is exceptionally rich in manganese and concentrated in iodine; this seaweed prevents scurvy; induces sweating and is a remedy for sickness. Traditionally used in soups as it is a good substitute for salt. Dulse (along with most seaweeds) are exceptionally beneficial to replenish lost minerals-Electrolytes – when doing intense or long duration exercises.
Kombu and Kelp: The kelps have a yellow-brown pigmentation and are the longest and largest of all sea plants; they prefer to live in cool climates J
Very cooling thermal nature; salty flavour; softens hardened areas and masses in the body; increases yin fluids; benefits kidneys; diuretic (often used as an ingredient in weight-loss supplements); natural fungicide; anti-coagulant effect on blood; relieves hormone imbalances and especially affects the thyroid. Kelp is an amazing substitute for salt because of its high mineral content; Kombu and Kelp are excellent additions to beans as the minerals help to balance the proteins and oils in them and increase digestibility.
Sea plants have powerful healing properties and are a great addition to our foods for cooking. I highly recommend trying the different seaweeds in soups and recipes. I love to ‘snack’ on dried Kelp and Nori sheets; just make sure you are getting your seaweeds from a good source such as west coast, and are free of heavy metal toxins. J