The Japanese have known about it for centuries.
Perhaps it has taken us westerners a bit longer, but we are finally discovering the hidden secrets of a food we had never really considered for our daily nutrition: Seaweed.
It is not merely something in the sea whose presence annoys us during our summer swims: seaweed is a lot more, since from a food standpoint it is considered a true super food. And the most fascinating thing is that there are many types, spread all over the planet which represents a potential (relatively low cost) resource for everyone.
Why is it called a superfood?
Edible seaweeds have multiple properties in common:
- low in calories
- low fat
- high concentration of easily digestible and assimilable proteins
- high concentration of vitamins and minerals
- high in fiber
- elevated content of polyunsaturated fatty acids
The ratio of different nutrients varies according to the species, but in general, seaweed excels in its content of minerals, vitamins (A, B, C, D, E) and fiber.
All this makes it a full-fledged super food.
Get to know marine seaweed
The are many types of seaweed and, thanks to Japanese restaurants, we already know some of them. But it is better to clarify a little about the most popular types and about how they can be tasty as well as healthy.
The classic seaweed used for Sushi, the most famous. Nori is a red seaweed and it is sold in flakes or sheets (obtained by drying the poultice) which may or may not be already toasted: it is among the richest foods in fatty acids and vitamin B12.
It is a dark seaweed, consisting of a “leaf” that widens to fingers at the top but is then sold in various shapes (strips, strands, shredded, powdered): it is particularly rich in iodine and other minerals and we can find it in typical Japanese soups.
Wakame is a seaweed that has been a key source of nutrition in Japan for over 2,000 years. It is the richest in protein and contains all the essential amino acids. In Japanese restaurants, you will often see it served in cold, slightly spicy salads, but it can also be used for vegetable and tofu dishes.
A dark colored seaweed with a narrow shape. It contains a lot of iron and calcium and needs to be left to soak for about ten minutes before cooking. One of its greatest benefits? It helps to lower cholesterol and is also recommended during pregnancy.