Move over kale, there's a new green superfood on the rise. From all the attention and acclaim it's getting in restaurants, food magazines and from healthy eating sources, seaweed has become the 'new' kale.Besides being low in calories - one cup of raw kelp is less than twenty calories - seaweed is rich in antioxidants and important nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, iron, iodine, magnesium and calcium, among many others. These natural nutrients are vital to overall good health, including maintaining good heart health, keeping thyroid function healthy, boosting energy levels, improving circulation, preventing anemia, lowering 'bad' cholesterol and so much more.
There are a number of types of seaweed, each with their own set of benefits. Here's a sampling of the nutrients in different types of seaweed:
Kelp - a great source of iodine, which is important for a healthy thyroid, kelp also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and is rich in B vitamins; it also contains vitamins A, C, E, K and more.
Nori - this red seaweed, frequently used in sushi, is a source of omega-3, iodine, vitamins A, B6, B12, K - and more vitamin C than in oranges.
Wakame - common in Japanese soups, salads and side dishes, you'll get vitamins A, B2, C, D, E, K along with calcium, iodine, iron and magnesium.
Dulse - red or purple and great in stir-fry, salads and as a snack, dulse is a proven antioxidant that also contains iodine, iron (4 times more than spinach), potassium, calcium and vitamins A, B6 and 12, C and E.
Spirulina - also called blue-green algae, this sea organism is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties along with protein (comparable to the amount in eggs) and iron.
How does Spirulina compare?
3900% more beta carotene than carrots
300% more calcium than whole milk
2300% more iron than spinach
375% more protein than tofu
These green superfoods have been in health food stores for years, but more and more supermarkets are now carrying dried seaweed snacks as well as fresh seaweed that you can use in recipes from soups to smoothies.