Does your 5-a-day include only vegetables growing on land? Sea vegetables are fast gaining recognition for the truckload of health benefits they offer. Many of them are even more beneficial than the land vegetables we’re used to eating. One of the biggest reasons to include sea vegetables in your diet, is to rebalance your hormone levels. Iodine is one of the main minerals our body needs to stabilize our hormone levels. While you can get it from supplements too, sea vegetables are undoubtedly a healthier, more natural way to up your iodine levels. Iodine is essential for a healthy thyroid gland, which can control almost every aspect of your health.
The Importance Of Your Thyroid Gland
You’d be surprised by just how much of your physical and mental health is controlled by your thyroid gland. Every single cell in your body requires thyroid in order to function properly. When your thyroid levels are too low or too high, this can affect your weight, your immunity and even your sex life. The crucial mineral that our thyroid glands need to produce this hormone is iodine. However, our body cannot produce iodine on its own and so we need to make sure we get enough of it from external sources. Sea vegetables are one of the highest natural sources of iodine you can find, so it’s very important you start eating them.
Types Of Sea Vegetables
With more people becoming aware of the benefits of sea vegetables, they’re slowly becoming easier to procure. Many health foods stores stock sea vegetables, but you can always buy the online as well. If you’re new to the world of underwater veggies, here’s a helpful guide.
Kombu is a variety of kelp that is grown in Japan and South Korea. You can’t really eat it plain because its chewy texture isn’t the most palatable. However, kombu has a wonderfully strong taste that makes it ideal for soups. Add some of it to your stock for the most flavorsome soup you’ll ever have.
Nori is a type of seaweed most of us are already familiar with. Salty sheets of nori can be used to make a simple sushi roll that takes minutes to make. Simply fill it with prawn, avocados, lettuce or some other of your favorite healthy ingredients and roll it up. You can also use dried nori as a delicious healthy snack.
Arame is a type of brown algae that grows in Japan and is usually sold in its dried form. Arame is one the milder tasting types of sea vegetables and has a slight sweetness to it. You can soak dried arame in water for some time for it to regain its plumpness. Arame can be added to anything from salads to wraps to baked dishes because it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.
Spirulina is a powerful type of algae that is an excellent source of iodine, protein and biotin. However, spirulina eaten alone can often taste mold-ey, so you need to disguise it with other flavors. The easiest way to consume spirulina is to buy the powder and add a scoop of it to your morning smoothie. You can also buy spirulina capsules which are easily available and have one every day.
Dulse is a red algae, commonly found along the Northern Pacific coasts and in the Atlantic ocean. Dulse is an important source of high-quality protein and iodine. It is commonly used by countries along those coasts in their cuisine. You can add it to your own recipes or eat it as a healthy snack option. You can even buy powdered dulse and add it to everything from soups to smoothies.
Sea kelp is the single greatest source of iodine at 2,984 mg per serving. Kelp is usually sold as dried flakes which can be added to soups in place of croutons or any dish that could do with a crunchy element.
7. Irish Moss
The name might not sound very appealing, but Irish moss isn’t actually a moss at all. It does have a thick, chewy texture and is harder to eat in comparison to other sea vegetables. The best way to use Irish moss is to add it to your stocks or use it as a thickener.