From brown algae, wakame, arame to kelp, nori and spirulina – sea vegetables are having their moment in the spotlight. You might find them popping up on menus and dominating the seafood section at your local grocery store this year.
Dubbed one of the biggest health food trends for 2019, we’re exploring why the world is diving deeper, under the sea, to get a nutrient fix.
Understanding what these vegetables are:
Firstly, when considering nutrient profile, sea vegetables are high in protein and offer a rich source of trace minerals. A single tablespoon of sea vegetables provides 35 milligrams of iron. Sea vegetables also contain high levels of Vitamin C, which means your body can absorb the iron more effectively.
There are shiploads of different sea vegetables, particularly the various types of algae and seaweed found on the ocean floor. You can add some of the more common ones easily to your diet, including:
There is a large and diverse range of seaweed, available in different flavours and textures, but all offer excellent health benefits. Nori and wakame contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including iodine, iron, and calcium. Dried green and purple seaweed contain substantial amounts of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fats.
These brown algae, especially useful for digestive health, grow in nutrient-rich ocean water, is packed with vitamins, minerals and iodine and is thought to be especially useful for digestive health.
This brown sea vegetable usually grows wild on rocky coastlines around Japan, Korea, and China. Rich in dietary fibre and essential minerals – such as calcium, iron, and magnesium – Hijiki has long been part of the Japanese diet.
When it comes to looking after our oceans, sea vegetables are highly sustainable. Typically their six-to-eight-month farming cycle is executed without fertiliser, pesticides, herbicides or feed.
Sea vegetables are a simple, nutritious, and flavourful ingredient which is sure to be popping up around the culinary scene!