Superfood Veggies of the Sea
Did you know that only 5% of our oceans have been explored, and even less than that of space?
While we don’t know much about the ocean, or what lives in its deep trenches, we know that sea plants carry nutrients that you would be hard-pressed to find in great quantities on land. While we revere sea moss for all of the wonderful vitamins and minerals it holds within its branches, we also recognize bladderwrack, wakame, hijiki, dulse, and nori as the ocean’s superfoods.
Irish Sea Moss Benefits
Sea Moss (Gracilaria) or (Eucheuma) and Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) are the holy grails of sea vegetables. These red algae pack a mighty punch of vitamins and minerals.
Because of its color, sea moss is a great source of beta-carotene. Beta carotene has been known for improving eyesight, in addition to Zinc, Vitamin C & A, as well as Omega-3. All of which are found in sea moss.
It is the best source of vegan collagen which is can improve function in joints and skin.
The selenium and copper in sea moss have been linked to reducing cognitive decline, and boost metabolism. (1)
Sea Moss also contains choline, and Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9.
Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is a brown seaweed that grows in the cooler waters of the northern Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Bladderwrack has been used in a multitude of ways across cultures for its plentiful sustenance.
The bladderwrack benefits are miles long. Iodine, in which its chemical compounds can be found in your table salt, is prevalent in bladderwrack and other sea plants. Iodine supports thyroid health and hormone balance. (2)
Topically, it can be used to reduce and prevent cellulite through fucoidans, an antioxidant that is found in many other seaweeds. It also can help anti-aging with vitamins A, C, and E.
Lots of skincare brands use bladderwrack extracts in their products for its anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties.
Fucoidan has been shown to prevent cancer. (3) (4)
Bladderwrack also contains iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
Wakame (U. pinnatifida) is an alga, or kelp cultivated originally in Japan.
Its benefits also carry the laundry list of vitamins and minerals that bladderwrack does. It contains Vitamins A, C, E, Iodine, magnesium, and fucoidan, the cancer prevention antioxidant.
It also contains manganese that regulates blood sugar. In conjunction with calcium (that also naturally occurs in wakame), manganese can reduce symptoms associated with Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). (5)
While some journals indicate that manganese can reduce epileptic episodes, most of the scientific journals I’ve read conclude that there aren’t any significant reductions (if any) to seizures. (6) (7)
Additionally, you can utilize Wakame as a source for folate, copper, phosphorus, Vitamin K, and Iron. Wakame is low in calories, and carbs so it’ll make a great addition to your diet no matter what restrictions you may have.
Dulse (Palmaria palmata) is a high fiber, high protein algae. It grows in the cold waters of the northern Atlantic. Dulse contains similar minerals and vitamins that the other sea veggies on this list provide as well as some stand out benefits.
Dulse contains potassium, one of the most necessary minerals needed for your body. It aids in nerve transmitting which allows your muscles to move, and your heart to beat.
Because of its diuretic properties, potassium can reduce water retention. If you are at risk of high blood pressure and stroke, intake in Dulse will introduce the potassium needed for your body to regulate your blood pressure. (8)
Also, if you’re feeling down, a little dulse would perk you right up. Tryptophan, a chemical in potassium, helps regulate mood. (9)Vitamin B6 and B12 are also in Dulse. B12 is usually hard to source for people on a plant-based diet as most sources for B12 derive from animal byproducts. Look no further for a plant alternative that encourages cell production and DNA, and will prevent anemia. (10)
Hijiki (Sargassum fusiforme) is a sea vegetable that grows along the rocks on the coasts of Japan, Korea, and China. As you can guess, it shares the same health benefits as the others in this article.
Hijiki also contains vitamin K. Vitamin K improves bone health. It also heals wounds more quickly because of its blood clotting properties. Vitamin K works with Vitamin D to deliver calcium to your bones. (11)
Hijiki is fiber-rich, so it improves digestive health. This seaweed also delivers iron which can raise energy levels. (12)
You do have to be careful with Hijiki because it contains high levels of inorganic arsenic. However, in moderation, the arsenic shouldn’t cause any issues. (13)
If you’re a sushi lover like I am, you know about Nori. It is possibly one of the most accessible seaweeds on this list. It’s also one of the most nutrient-rich.
Zinc, Niacin, Folate, and Taurine are just some of the exclusive properties that nori holds.(14) (15)
Taurine can increase endurance. (16)
As most of us know, folate is key to the development of a fetus and its placenta. It has also been cited to reduce depression. (17)
Chlorophyll, also found in Dulse, is a natural purifier that can help eliminate waste in your body and blood. It also provides more oxygen to your cells which can improve energy and stamina.
All these seaweeds and veggies provide most of your daily doses of vitamins and minerals needed for your body to function at peak performance. They can be easily incorporated into your diet and more than likely follow your dietary restrictions.
|Bladderwrack||Wakame||Nori||Hijiki||Dulse||Sea Moss / Irish Moss|
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