The seafood you need to be eating more of

Seaweed the super foodIn many Asian countries, eating seaweed is a part of everyday life. In America, however, we tend to associate the algae from the sea as just a wrap for sushi rolls. Lately, though, this superfood is starting to transition in to a more popular snack across the U.S. And for good reason – it’s good for you!

In addition to being low in fat and calories (5 sheets of dried seaweed have just 11 calories!), seaweed offers a variety of vitamins (A, C and calcium) and a healthy dose of fiber and antioxidants. It also provides a nutrient lacking in many foods, iodine, which is key to a healthy thyroid and leads to less fatigue, lower cholesterol and stronger muscles.

There are three different types of seaweed – red, green and brown. Red seaweed (Nori) actually turns black and green when dried and is the most popular type in the US. There are a variety of seaweed snacks to choose from, including Trader Joe’s and Sea’s Gift. (We like the wasabi flavor for a little kick!) If the dried snacks aren’t grabbing your attention, seaweed salad is also a delicious way to enjoy this healthy snack. Order it as an appetizer next time you’re out for sushi or find brands online and at Costco, like Azuma Gourmet. Another option is buying green kelp seaweed strips and adding them to pastas, soups and casseroles.

It’s important to keep in mind that a serving of seaweed is small—just two tablespoons. Though it’s a great new green to add to your diet, don’t go overboard. For example, some servings of seaweed hold as much potassium as a banana, so you don’t want to eat too much or your potassium intake would skyrocket.

 

Photo credit: Ken Hawkins

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