Dr Nadine’s Nuggets ~ Sea/Ocean Vegetables
Hello Dear Friends, and Welcome to a new edition of NADINE’S NUGGETS ~ morsels of information from various arenas including Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Herbology, Personal Training and Nutrition.
This issue offers information about Sea/Ocean Vegetables and features a few possible applications. Enjoy the read, be creative and share your experiences and recipes for all to enjoy.
Sea vegetables and marine super foods like spirulina and chlorella can be viewed as a medicine chest of Premium Nutrition. Ounce for ounce sea vegetables are higher in essential nutrients than any other food group. They are vigorous sources of Proteins Enzymes, Antioxidants and Amino-acids with whole cell availability. In addition, sea plants offer your body the basic building blocks for acid/alkaline balance, help regulate body-fluid osmosis, strengthen nerves synapses, assist in digestive and circulatory activity and help reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. Whew!!
Types and Uses of Sea Vegetables
Agar-agar ~ is a seaweed combination that is used as a gelling agent in cooking and for deserts. It is a good place to start with children or folks who are first introducing sea vegetables into their intake.
Arame ~ is a dark, thin seaweed thread that can be used in soups or salads or mixed with rice, rye, spelt, kamut etc. It is fairly rich in protein, iodine, calcium and iron and is considered one of the tastier seaweeds with a nutty type of flavor.
Dulse ~ is a red-purple leaf that is rich in iodine, iron and calcium. Dulse has a bacon type flavor that is lovely in fresh salads, on sandwiches or in soups. Dulse does not need to be cooked. Some stores sell this as strips (lovely in salads or just to eat), flakes (great for spicing up omelets or cooking with), or as a powder (used like a spice)
Hijiki ~ is a very mineral-rich, high-fiber seaweed. The dark, long strands look like thick hairs. Hijiki is about 10-20 percent protein, contains some vitamin A, and is richest in calcium, iron and phosphorus. Once it is soaked in water, it can be cooked in soup, tossed with vegetables or added to grains. Hijiki (thicker strand) is very similar to Arame (thinner strand).
Kelp ~ is usually used in smaller quantities than other seaweeds and makes a great seasoning. I have found it in many health food stores in ground form that can be sprinkled on your foods as you prepare them. Kelp has some protein and is very rich in iodine, calcium and potassium, along with some of the B vitamins.
Kombu ~ is a richer, meatier, higher-protein seaweed that is incredible as a soup stock or added to beans. The natural glutamates in Kelp/Kombu help enhance flavors and tenderize beans. Some folks remove the Kombu, others chop it and reintroduce is as part of the soup/bean mixture. I have found that combo to be most delightful. An added benefit to incorporating Kombu in the beans… no need to take Beano since your body can now digest the bean without creating ‘gas’ in your digestive track.. yahoo.
Seaweed baths are nature’s perfect body/psyche balancer. I enjoy putting Kombu strips in my BATH. First I boil about 2 cups of water, add 1-2 strips of Kombu and turn off the stove. After about 15 mins, pour that entire mixture into your bath water. The sea greens will balance your body chemistry instead of dehydrating it. The electromagnetic action of the seaweed releases excess body fluids from congested cells, and dissolves fatty wastes through the skin, replacing them with depleted minerals. The Vitamin K in seaweeds will boost adrenal activity, and maintain hormonal balance. Seaweed baths stimulate lymphatic drainage and fat burning so you can keep off excess weight, reduce cellulite and rid your body of toxins. While enjoying this bath, rub the Kombu between your hands to release the gelatinous material within the membranes. Stand up, rub the gelatin ON places where you are storing toxins/fat/cellulite then sink back into the tub. Note: I tried this once with Wakame and ended up with slug… though very pretty was not what I was wanting. I have found Kombu to be the winner here.
Nori ~ is one of the most commonly used seaweeds. The flat sheets can be eaten right out of the package, roasted on the stove top and sprinkled with flavorings of your choice, and are used in the creation of sushi. The dark sheets are very rich in protein, containing about 50 percent protein and high in fiber. Nori is very high in Vitamin A, calcium, iodine, iron, and phosphorus, and is one of the sweeter flavors of the seaweeds.
Wakame ~ this thin flat seaweed, also high in protein, is mainly used in soups. I have used it in omelets and attempted it in my seaweed bath (did NOT like the thick goo results). Wakame contains some Vitamin A, lots of calcium, iron and sodium with a bit of Vitamin C as well.
Where to purchase your Sea Vegetables
ALL Health Food stores will have all of the above Sea Vegetables. Some of them even have roasted, flavored Nori strips. Many Oriental markets have a lovely range of items; Food-Coops will have a range in their Herb/Bulk rooms. Just the other day I found BRAGG SEA KELP DELIGHT seasoning in the spice aisle of Vitamin Cottage. It is Incredible!!!! I use it on fish, eggs, turkey, chicken, salad, veggies, etc. Did I mention It is Incredible!!!! Start with something. Bring in about 2 TBS of Sea Vegetables into your daily dietary intake. Take a Kombu Bath. Play. Explore. Create. Then write me and tell me about your experiences. Please let me know how I may be of service to you as you take another step in your Health and Well-Being..
In BALANCE, CREATIVITY and YUM-YUM