We all know the benefits of the seaside…. fresh air, sandy toes and salty kisses! Do you know the benefits of seaweed?
Yes! That green, black, brown or sometimes pink slimy stuff does have health benefits! However we are not suggesting you rush out and harvest your own … not quite yet. Mind you, we would encourage reading the following and considering including seaweed in your diet.
The power of seaweed has been recognised for thousands of years, especially on the Asian Continent. However comprehensive scientific studies and evidence are fairly recent (Reference 1). It is a fact that sea plants contain 10 to 20 times the minerals of land plants thus making seaweed an excellent food and medicine.
What can seaweed do for me? Some of the proven benefits of seaweeds are:
- anti-inflammatory – including the ability to soften hardened masses in the body;
- detoxification, cleansing of the lymphatic system, lowering cholesterol and fats in the blood, weight loss;
- rejuvenate the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, moisten dry areas, transform phlegm, alleviate liver stagnancy due to the fact that marine plants contain soothing mucilaginous gels such as algin, carrageenan and agar
- improve thyroid function.
So why did I say do not take up seaweed collection at your local beauty spot? The source of the food must be carefully understood before consumption. Whether on land or at sea, pollution can distort the quality, if not destroy the benefits of the plant. In worst case scenario even make it toxic to human consumption. So unless you are an expert it is better to buy your seaweed from the experts and be sure that you are enjoying its benefits safely.
How can I cook it? We have chosen a recipe using Arame, very rich in iodine and also iron and calcium.
Japanese Mushroom Stir-Fry (serves 4)
6 Shitake mushrooms, pre-soaked in hot water (15mins); 1/4tsp salt; 1tbs oil;
1/3 cup pre-soaked + chopped Arame; 1 cup diagonally sliced carrots; 1 cup slivered bamboo shoots;
4oz slithered snow peas; 1/4tsp kelp powder; 2 tbs rice/ umeboshi vinegar
Slice Shitake and set aside. Stir-fry Aramean carrots in oil until crispy. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots, snow peas and salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add kelp powder and vinegar.