There are many reasons why this “Plant of the Sea” has been used in Asian cuisine since prehistoric times. Seaweed is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, it is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you can believe it, there are over 10,000 different types of seaweeds on our planet….wow are waters are packed with wonderful, vegan healthy weeds!!!! Even though there are thousands of seaweeds, not all are edible. The most edible form of seaweed is algae, yep that stuff you thought only fish eat! The most popular kinds of algae are red, brown, green and blue-green. Most of the highly nutritious sea vegetables we consume are made from one of these kinds of algae. Nori and Dulse are made from red algae, Kombu or Kelp and Arame are made from brown algae, Chlorella and Sea Lettuce are made from green algae and Spirulina is made from blue green algae. There are also a couple of other sea vegetables that are edible such as Wakame which is a green sea vegetable and Hijiki which is a brown sea vegetable. Each one of these seaweeds have their own individual nutritional perks, which is why you should be incorporating them all into your lifestyle!
Red algae has been used for thousands of years as a source of food and for treating medical conditions. It is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are easily utilized by your body. The main benefits of red algae is its ability to promote healthy circulation in your body, regulate your blood sugar levels and lower bad cholesterol levels since it is high in dietary fiber. It is also a rich source of calcium and magnesium so it contributes to bone health and since it is loaded with antioxidants it helps boost your immune system and nourishes your skin.
Red algae is easy to incorporate into your lifestyle by enjoying vegan sushi rolls or some miso soup, since sushi is made with Nori sheets it is one of the easiest ways to get the benefits of red algae. Here are a couple of interesting facts about Nori, it is the Japanese name for “edible seaweed” and is almost 50 percent protein, the highest of any seaweed. Nori also has high levels of B12, which is important for all us green monsters who are plant-based! Dulse is another form of red algae that is found in Canada, Ireland and Eastern Europe, it is used in soups, salads and stir fried dishes. I also use it in my raw vegan Caesar Salad dressing to give it a salty taste! There are also Nori crackers and snacks for your healthy snacking pleasure and if you really don’t want to eat your red algae there are red algae supplements that are available instead.
Please seek the advice of a health care professional before starting any supplement.
Here are some red algae product picks for you to try:
Navitas Naturals Nori Sheets are crunchy, dried paper-thin seaweed made from pressed low temperature dried raw algal fronds. Best known as the sweet and salty green stuff holding your sushi together, this Japanese algae is overflowing with nutrients and it’s a plentiful source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and lignans. They are certified Raw, USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.