For Love of the Sea……..Vegetables
‘Food that will become the catalyst for real change in your health and life’.
We all know that seaweeds purify and maintain the ecological balance of the ocean. They can perform the same purification process on your body too. Seaweed is said to possess an electrolytic magnetic action and so releases excess body fluids from the congested cells, dissipating fatty wastes through the skin pores. In addition, they also replace depleted minerals such as potassium and iodine, boosting thyroid activity and help to maintain adrenal regulation and hormone balance. Clients who enrol in my ‘Natural Woman Programme’ are introduced to the incredible benefits of adding Clearspring seaweeds to their diet.
Seaweed therapy is also recommended by its proponents for those affected by insomnia or sleep apnoea. By improving the quality of sleep, it automatically enhances your immunity levels and helps you feel relaxed and fresh. Adding seaweed to your diet can help minimize cellulite development on the skin by purifying it and giving your body a healthy toned look.
Seaweeds are simple, elegant natural foods that will nourish your body. Seaweed dishes are quick and easy to make and taste delicious. With an array of dressings to choose from you will be spoiled for choice. These ancient superfoods are loaded with nutrition! In fact, the phytonutrients present in them are so concentrated that you only need to eat a small amount to get their health benefits
Why Seaweeds Rock?
In a nutshell, Seaweeds are nature’s secret for a long and healthy life. What is more, the minerals in sea vegetables exist in a chelated, colloidal form that makes them readily ‘bioavailable’ for use in crucial bodily functions…….(in plain English) this simply means they are easier to digest and absorb.
Population studies show that people with a regular intake of sea vegetables show few symptoms of mineral depletion and the longevity of the people of Okinawa is believed to be partially due to their regular consumption of sea vegetables. Over the last few decades medical researchers have discovered that a diet rich in sea vegetables reduces the risk of some diseases and helps the body eliminate toxins.
The consumption of sea vegetables has a long history throughout the world and the health benefits of consuming seaweed were recognized over 3000 years ago particularly in Asia, where marine algae are still prized for their nutritional content. It is thus clear that sea vegetables have long been important to humans for food and other uses and are not just a modern health fad. Sea vegetables have traditionally been used in Asia to treat cancer, heart disease and thyroid problems.
Japanese being the greatest consumers of seaweeds, most seaweed or sea vegetable varieties are best known by Japanese names.
Clearspring Foods have the best variety and delicious tasting sea vegetables. I have always been impressed by their high standards and continued commitment to making available genuine organic foods that taste amazing. I recommend you acquire a taste for this incredible food source that will make for strong blood, bones and vascular health.
Nori, Wakame, Kombu, Dulse, Arame, Hijiki, and Agar, all plants of the sea, are multicellular algae. Some are green, others are brown, or red, or even translucent. What they all have in common, besides growing in seawater, is that they’re all very nutritious, very high in iodine, minerals, protein, and lignans, the plant compounds with cancer-protective properties.
I have been eating sea vegetables since my teens and over the past three decades I have introduced these nutrition dense foods via my women’s health seminars that I teach in many countries around the world. I have always been hugely enthusiastic about spreading the word on the benefits of sea vegetables. First and foremost, because of the incredible results I know I have achieved with my own health by having seaweeds as part of my diet.
I cannot emphasize the value of these foods enough. I wax lyrical about them to everyone, perhaps I was a mermaid in my last life!!!! Seriously, the health benefits of these foods for bone health alone is unbelievable. My vision is to see these amazing superstar foods advertised en masse. Why? Because the incredible turn around I see in women’s hormonal and health problems when I incorporate sea vegetables into their diet is tremendous. ‘Food is our Future’ and Sea Vegetable dishes should be a part of that.
I receive many requests for sea vegetable recipes and as many questions asking to explain the health benefits, and how often to use them, my answer is little but often. I use a small amount daily because I know that the mineral rich content from the seaweeds are creating strong blood. That blood creates my cells, these cells create my tissue, my tissue creates my organs and hey presto, I have a strong body with great vitality and have energy of someone half my age. What’s not to love about that?
Varying your sea vegetables just like those from land will give you the full spectrum of what they have to offer. Having miso soup daily is the perfect start to incorporating sea vegetables into your diet. The delicious stock made with Kombu or wakame delivers a power packed nutritional punch.
Sea vegetables come in many varieties and they all offer something special to our health. Calcium rich hijiki and arame, antioxidant rich wakame/kombu/kelp, potassium rich dulse and magnesium rich nori are the most commonly used and easily found sea plants.
Nori; used in sushi is rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, B2, and of course, iodine. Nori has the highest protein content 48% of dry weight and most easily digested of the seaweeds, rich in vitamins A, B1, and niacin, decreases cholesterol, high blood pressure, fatty cysts under the skin, warts, aids in digestion, especially with fried foods.
Wakame is another seaweed you might have encountered since its most commonly used in miso soup that is also served in Japanese restaurants. Wakame is high in B vitamins and essential fatty acids, which means it’s very good for your skin. This incredible sea vegetable has an inhibitor of the substance that breaks down the collagen so this food helps keep the collagen strong. Silky in texture and rich in Vitamin A calcium, minerals, and fibre. An amazing healthy food, it also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
Kombu, a brownish-green sea vegetable, is used to treat thyroid conditions and is very rich in minerals and folate. I always add a small piece of Kombu to the pot when I am cooking beans. Both Kombu and kelp are excellent added to beans, as the minerals help to balance the protein and oils in them and increase digestibility. They also soften and break down tough fibres in beans and other foods cooked with them.
Dulse has a beautiful deep rosy-purple colour and is also commonly added to soups or, in a powder form, used as a thickening agent. It’s exceptionally high in iron, magnesium, beta carotene, and protein! It’s also a delicious snack, roasted for a few minutes until crisp.
Arame is a mild tasting sea vegetable that can be added to salads and almost anything else you wish to try it with. The dark brownish strands are rich in calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, folate, and vitamins A, and K.
Hijiki has a cooling thermal nature is a natural diuretic, resolves heat induced phlegm, detoxifies the body, softens hardened tissue areas and masses, benefits the thyroid and moistens dryness. I use Hijiki for menopausal issues with clients. Hijiki also hosts an excellent source of calcium, iron, and iodine, richly supplied in vitamins B2 and niacin, helps normalize blood sugar level, aids in weight loss, builds bones and teeth, soothes nerves, and supports hormone functions. Let’s give Agar flakes a special mention here. They make the most delicious desserts and are the perfect balance to satisfy your cravings for sweet.
Pureed Apple Kanten
Agar Agar is a natural gelatin made with sea vegetables. The word kanten means “frozen heaven” in Japanese, and although they are not frozen, they are certainly heavenly. Using different fruits, juices, garnishes and toppings you can make delightful and tasty desserts. Kantens are delicious, relaxing, soothing, and good for regularity. Agar flakes are a treasure filled with minerals and protein. Agar flakes help to alkalize and detoxify the blood. These flakes are great for our bones, teeth, hair and nails. They also cleanse the entire digestive tract. They have zero fat or calories. Rich in fibre and iodine, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A, B, C D & K.
4 cups of organic apple juice
1 tbsp agar flakes per cup of juice
In a saucepan, sprinkle the agar flakes over the juice. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Pour into a glass dish and refrigerate until set. If you choose to serve as a puree then transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth cream. Serve in individual glasses and top with some fresh berries of the season or toasted flaked almonds. As a ‘jello’ in the summer I love to add some fresh seasonal soft fruits such as a selection of berries, peaches or melon. Place the fruit in the bottom of the glass dish then pour the kanten into the fruits and allow to set. Blend on high speed to a delightful texture. Top with some tofu vanilla whip, crushed nuts and fresh mint leaves. Alternatively; pour into small ice cube trays or lollipop fillers and freeze, great sweet snack.
Follow my advice on eating sea vegetables, you will feel the benefits greatly. You will find some recipes on my website and my book Macrobiotics for all Seasons. Here is my absolute favourite snack, delicious seaveg crispies from www.clearspring.co.uk In my next blog I will post you the top ten benefits to women’s health by using this incredible source of foods.
In good health