Sea Vegetables: The Healthiest Group of Foods You're Probably Neglecting...
If I told you there were a group of foods that were alkaline, hormone-balancing, contained all the essential elements for human health, AND actually helped the body to reduce dangerous toxins - I'm guessing you'd want to learn more.
Well, the secret is out: SEA VEGETABLES! Yes, you know those often seemingly expensive bags of what looks like stringy garbage they sell at health food stores?! YOU NEED TO START BUYING THEM. Trust me. Or, let me walk you through some evidence and recipes that will have you a kelp-believer in no time.
First things first: what are "sea vegetables"? Sometimes when I mention that I've fallen in love with these salty goodies, and people will respond: "oh yes, I love seafood!". Wrong. Okay...maybe you like seafood and that's not wrong, but I'd like to clarify that I'm referring to sea VEGETABLES - that's right people, I'm putting full-on marine algae into my mouth and I've never been happier (or healthier!).
There are 3 types of seaweeds; red, brown and green. You might be familiar with nori (in sushi!), which is a red seaweed. Another red seaweed I've found easy to add to my diet is dulse, which you can soak and add to salads, stews, stir-fries, pasta, etc. - or you can be lazy and eat it straight from the bag. I often grab a chunk when I'm eating hummus and crackers - it adds saltiness to the plate and really does make snacking more enjoyable.
Brown seaweeds are where things get really exciting. Kelp can literally be used as a substitute for pasta. Does it taste carby and delicious like pasta? Um, no. Does it add the enjoyment of "noodles" to a dish...while also featuring iron, magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, and several other vitamins and nutrients? Yes. Kelp wins my friends.
Now I know what you're thinking, "woah, this all sounds super healthy"...yes, we're on the same page. With that said, I'm about to blow your mind and introduce you to something EVEN HEALTHIER! It's called spirulina, and compared to other sea vegetables, its been shown to be more easily digestible and have greater nutrient bioavailability.
Oh yes, I went there.
P.S. It doesn't have to taste like fishy-swamp:
Now just incase you're not yet convinced, I'll share with you some research: population studies show that people who regularly eat sea vegetable show few symptoms of mineral depletion, and the longevity of these populations is believed to be partly due to their consumption of these superfoods.
Furthermore, although I hate the word "cleanse" and "detox" for how social media has portrayed the idea of drinking a green juice as being on some sort of #cleaneating regime we should be publicizing to the world...sea vegetables indeed deserve a hashtag to that effect. This is because the nutrients present in sea vegetables cleanse the colon and help with digestion and absorption. Specifically, studies have shown that alginate (mainly in brown sea veggies) strengthen the gut mucus, slowing down digestion, and hence the energy from food is released more slowly (hint: that's a good thing!).
So the next time someone claims they eat healthy, ask them how they like their wakame.