Seaweeds, although referred to as “weeds,” are actually sea vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and other compounds that benefit our physical health-inside and out.
According to naturopath Linda Rector-Page, author of the twenty-year-old reference book Healthy Healing, sea greens are some of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. In addition to their detoxifying attributes, seaweeds have important antioxidant and cell protective qualities; they can also strengthen bones, support weight management, deter cellulite build-up, soften the skin, help heal scars, and promote thyroid health and balance.
If the thought of noshing on kelp makes you queasy, rest assured. There is a host of creative ways to add sea veggies and algae to your diet without diving in at the proverbial deep end. You can soak granulated kelp or hijiki flakes (found at health foods stores and Japanese markets) and then sprinkle them on other greens and vegetables.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens suggests soaking seaweeds to make a nutritional broth for soups or using spirulina and chlorella in conjunction with sea salt, olive or sesame oil, and herbs for a rich salad dressing. Ann Gentry proprietor of Real Food Daily in Santa Monica, California, and the author of the cookbook by the same name, advocates adding a three-inch piece of kombu to every pot of beans to make them easier to digest. Another source of sea veggie recipes is Cousen’s book Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine (North Atlantic Books, 2003).
Ann Gentry proprietor of Real Food Daily in Santa Monica, California, and the author of the
cookbook by the same name, advocates adding a three-inch piece of
kombu to every pot of beans to make them easier to digest.