Kombu, hijiki, nori, wakame, sea moss… what’s the deal with all of these sea vegetables and should we be eating them?
While sea vegetables have played an important role in Eastern cuisine for centuries [hello sushi + seaweed salads!], the Western world is just starting to catch on [and for good reason].
Sea plants are most notable for their ability to detoxify the body of heavy metals and other toxins, just as they do in the sea itself. They are rich in iodine, an important mineral for thyroid health that our bodies cannot make on their own. Sea vegetables also contain calcium to support bone health, leading to improved aging + mobility.
So which types of sea plants should we be prioritizing?
Think of the last time you went to the beach and saw loads of different types of seaweed on the shore or wrapped around your ankles after emerging from the ocean. Sea vegetables come in many different forms and colors. While all share the benefits listed above, some shine brighter than others for specific purposes.
kombu: with the highest iodine content of the seaweeds, kombu is beneficial for optimal thyroid function. Best used in soups + smoothies to enhance flavor.
hijiki: enhances energy with robust amounts of iron. Its calcium content also contributes to bone health! Best when sautéed in a skillet with other veggies.
wakame: improves blood sugar regulation + contains calcium and magnesium for enhanced bone density. Best used in salads or as a garnish!
nori: provides a potent dose of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats to lower cholesterol. Nori is purchased in sheets and is best for sushi + wraps. It’s also great to snack on!
sea moss: boosts the immune system + feeds the microbiome with prebiotics. While sea moss comes in capsules, dried, or powdered, the most common way to enjoy is in gel form [added to smoothies or other beverage of choice]
The takeaway? All sea vegetables have unique benefits while sharing major bone, thyroid, and detoxifying properties. Consider adding sea vegetables into your day on a rotation, starting with the most approachable. We love THESE sea snacks on the go!