Greens from the Sea

by Sue Taggart

Food from the sea, we think fish, but the ocean is a wonderful source of veggies too! Seaweeds, a staple in Asian diets are the healthiest foods on the planet and now they are readily available at various specialty food stores and Whole Foods Markets. With a little know how, you’ll soon be dishing up ocean veggies as a super nutrient treat. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the latest scientific studies found that algae can reduce our rate of fat absorption by 75%–good for our bodies and our waistline. Let’s start eating these super green, ocean greens!

Some of the most popular seaweeds that have found their way onto our plates include Kombu, Nori, Wakame and Arame. They each have distinct tastes and textures as well different nutritional properties. Once your palate gets accustomed to them, they will be a great nutritional addition to your healthy lifestyle.


Used to make dashi, a broth that has been dubbed “the chicken stock of Japan”, Kombu is a rich source of iodine, which is necessary to produce the two key thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, that control our metabolism. Kombu is also being looked at for cardiovascular research as it has properties that help stop blood clots from forming. It has a full, savory flavor.


An algae superstar, Nori is one of the richest sources of protein. One sheet of Nori packs in as much fiber as a cup of spinach and more Omega-3’s than a cup of avocado (and a lot less calories). Vitamin C (a potent antioxidant), B12 which helps cognitive function and taurine, a compound that helps control cholesterol, can all be found in Nori. It comes in papery sheets that have a mild oceany flavor. It is perhaps the most popular and readily available in the US.


A perfect food for women as it addresses a lot of common female concerns. It’s chock full of calcium and magnesium that help prevent osteoporosis. It acts as a diuretic to reduce bloating and has a pigment called fucoxanthin, which is known to improve insulin resistance and in a 2010 animal study it was found to burn fatty tissue. With a salty-sweet taste, it’s leaves resemble pappardelle pasta.


Packed with potassium which athletes often use for preventing muscle cramps. Research is showing promise for antiviral properties too, as well as an antiobesity effect. In a 2010 study, mice given arame powder experienced less weight gain on a high-fat diet. Arme has long sweet-tasting strands that are good with salads and stir-fried vegetables.

So for something a little different dish up some Ocean Veggies!

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