Humans have been eating seaweed for ever. Many early communities lived close to the shore because the seas offered a constant and dependable food source. Neolithic communities in Britain for example clustered around coastal lands where rich and diverse foodstuffs were readily available. The farmers of those times would certainly have supplemented their shellfish and seafood diets with some of the local seaweeds.
Sprinkling a little on your food (about a teaspoonful twice a day) will provide both salt and vital trace minerals. It is also a good source of protein and a rich source of iodine and iron, iodine is important for the proper functioning of thyroid and iron is important for blood cell function.
There are many different types with different benefits but most contain iron, calcium, vitamin A, E, K, B-complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12) & folic acid. Essential fatty acids, nucleic acids like RNA and DNA, phyto-chemicals as carotenoids. Rich in fiber and natural polysaccharides. This unique mixture of vitamins, minerals/trace elements, anti-oxidants and phyto-nutrients are rarely found in land plants.
Typical Nutritive Value of Seaweeds : Per 100 gm.
- Vitamin A : 2 I.U.
- Niacin : 5.7 mg.
- Calcium : 1,093 mg.
- Iron : 100 mg.
- Phosphorus : 240 gm.
- Fat : 1.1 gm.
- Carbohydrates : 40.2 gm.
- Protein : 7.5 gm
Here on the left is Sea Palm, and on the right Spring Nori, both wild-harvested in Norther California in Spring of '10. Look for both of these on my website www.morganbotanicals.com and here on Local Harvest as well. Both the Spring Nori and Sea Palm that I carry were locally and ethically wild harvested with permission.
Described as "perfectly balanced natural food" certain seaweeds, like certain land plants have been used for centuries by different cultures for medicinal and nutritional purposes from everything from warding off and treating several types of cancer, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, to preventing ulcers, killing bacteria and treating thyroid disorders.
Check out this great recipe for a simple seaweed soup. I like to add chicken and other seasonal veggies as well. This is really delicious and nutritious.
Simple Seaweed Soup
1 oz seaweed
1/4 package of Enoki mushrooms
2 inches green onion (sliced length wise into strips)
2 cups Chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
1 tsp. soy sauce
1. Cut seaweed into bite size pieces. Wash Enoki mushrooms, cut off and discard root. Cut mushroom across into half.
2. Add pepper, soy sauce, salt (if needed), mushroom, seaweed to chicken broth. In small pot, heat to boiling. Garnish with green onion and serve.
So, have you ever given any thought to seaweed? You should.
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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.
Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.
Jessica Morgan, M.H.