The Power of Sea Vegetables
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 superfoods 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 is 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 the 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.
‘The Skinny on Seaweeds’
Benefits of Seaweed for Women’s Health
- Harvard University has published a paper proposing that kelp (kombu and wakame) consumption might be a factor in the lower rates of breast cancer in Japan. They are now researching the effects of sea vegetables as a natural alternative to HRT. Sea vegetables are very high in lignans, plant substances that become phytoestrogens in the body, meaning that they help to block the chemical estrogens that can predispose people to cancers such as breast cancer.
- Nutrient-rich seaweeds help to slow down the process of ageing via their rich mineral content. Studies show that people with a regular intake of sea vegetables show few symptoms of mineral depletion.
- Seaweeds promote stable blood sugar levels. This mineral rich food also helps the body to keep its alkaline/acid balance in its unique range of polysaccharides removes pollutants and toxins and heavy metals, special pigments including chlorophyll clean the kidneys, better food absorption keeps us ‘clean”
- Seaweeds form new cells and are great to combat the effects of using antibiotics. Sea vegetables destroy harmful anaerobic bacteria due to its antibiotic activity. They strengthen the immune system, central nervous system and the lymphatic system which needs minerals to work well. These minerals come in abundance in seaweeds.
- Seaweeds are rich in antioxidants the antioxidant content of sea vegetables also deserves mention with respect to its health benefits. While sea vegetables do contain measurable amounts of polyphenols like carotenoids and flavonoids, they also contain other phytonutrient antioxidants, including several types of alkaloids that have been shown to possess antioxidant properties. Coupled with measurable amounts of antioxidant vitamins (like vitamins C and E) and antioxidant minerals (like manganese and zinc), sea vegetables can be expected to help us reduce our risk of unwanted oxidative stress and many types of cardiovascular problems that are associated with poor antioxidant intake.
- Seaweeds are very filling and satisfying, which aid in natural appetite suppression, and balances daily dietary intake, which in turn assists the body with weight loss efforts. Another great benefit to health is the anti-inflammatory properties due to the correct balance of acidity in the body, as seaweeds are highly alkaline.
- Seaweeds facilitate detoxification by cleansing the body of toxic pollutants. Every day we expose our body to environmental toxins and food additives. We breathe in, eat, drink and touch toxins – every day. Toxins are the unwanted or unfriendly visitors our bodies receive. Air pollution, chemical additives in our food and drinks, solvents in our homes. Toxins affect the proper functioning of our internal system. So even if we eat a healthy diet, the assimilation of nutrients in the body gets derailed as toxins build up along the intestinal walls. The result? Toxic “sludge” or debris.
We need to “cleanse” our body, to flush out harmful toxins, so we stay healthy and rejuvenated. An effective system cleansing focuses on proper elimination (colon) and detoxification (liver). Fibre provides the “bulk” that aids in regular bowel movement and one of the best sources of fibre (aside from grains, beans, fruits and land vegetables) are sea vegetables. These astonishing sea vegetables help rid the body of heavy metals like lead, mercury and other pollutants. These toxic elements are converted into harmless salts that our bodies simply flush away.
Kombu is one of the most common types of seaweed which is believed to rid the body of toxins and heavy metals that cause a variety of health problems such as obesity, arthritis, skin problems and high blood pressure. Over and above the incredible benefits of seaweed foods, baths, body wraps, and medicinal teas are methods that I have used with clients for decades on my detoxification programmes. Kombu is my number one ingredient in the many ‘medicinal’ and ‘weight loss’ teas I create using Clearspring products. The benefits are innumerable and detoxing with seaweed is the safest and least harmful to your organs. A seaweed mask draws out the impurities in our skin making us feel better, look better and rested. Regularly adding this as a ritual does wonders to our wellbeing. You will feel younger, with beautiful skin as you clean from the inside out with nature’s most powerful plants.
- Nori Seaweed Strips are readily available and can be consumed as a snack or as a supplement to your meals, with rice, in sandwiches, in salads, with soup, or on its own; they are simply irresistible and delicious. I always have Clearspring Nori Strips with me as my ‘snack attack’. Seaweeds break down and digest slowly compared to processed foods.
- Seaweed feeds the shafts and the ducts of the scalp to help improve the health of the hair. Hair becomes shiny, glowing, and full of body; nails become strong and even undergo a rapid growth process; the skin is softer, smoother, firmer and more toned. The number of minerals in their high concentrations found in the sea vegetables far surpasses that which is found on land in any one plant, and these minerals also represent as a whole, the most vital and complete combination for human beings
- For Weight Loss; Seaweeds are high in fibre and next to no calories. Research shows that seaweed is not only healthy but speeds up weight loss by blocking fat intake and promoting fat burning. There are countless claims for miracle cures for weight loss but only a few cases offer sound scientific evidence to back up these claims. It’s a proven fact that alginates (found in seaweeds) significantly reduce fat digestion. Seaweeds are also nutrient dense and loaded with minerals; (when your diet is rich in trace minerals you have fewer cravings.)
- For Digestive Health; Seaweeds break down and digest slowly compared to processed foods. This actually allows hormonal balancing to occur. Hormonal imbalance is the cause of weight gain. I suggest that you include at least one seaweed, in your daily diet plan.
- The nutrient density of seaweeds means a wealth of vitamins and minerals are distributed throughout your body delivering strength and energy. Many types of sea vegetables require only soaking for 5-10 minutes before adding to your dish. Other types of sea vegetables such as nori and kelp flakes can be used without soaking. Sautéing arame or hijiki with some sweet vegetables is an absolute treat.
Enjoy the gifts of the ocean.
In good health