The word “seafood” conjures up bounty from the deep like fish and other ocean – based delicacies. But there are also tiny plants called seaweeds that constitute sea vegetation. These tiny plants grow on shores lined with boulders and may be colored green, brown, or red.
From toothpaste to ice cream and cosmetics to fertilizers, seaweeds have always been a aprt of our lives. But seaweeds as a raw vegetable have yet to become popular in our country. Japan, on the other hand, uses a lot of seaweeds for the preparation of nori, kombu, and wakame.
Seaweeds are rich in protein, vitamins, aminoacids, growth hormones, minerals, and other elements. Some of them have medicinal value like Asparagopsis taxifirmis and Sarconema, which can cure uncontrolled goiter.
Heparin, an extract of seaweed, is a drug used in cardiovascular surgery.
The macrobiotic diet that has come to this country from Japan has helped enhanced the popularity of sea vegetables. Sushi is rolled in nori seaweed, tofu is mixed with seaweed stock, and other seaweed vegetables such as agar, hiziki, and wakame are consumed regularly. This makes sense when we consider that soybeans contain thyroid – depressing element and seaweeds are rich in iodine, a mineral needed for thyroid function that serves to counterbalance the element present in soybeans.
In the market, sea vegetables can be found in the fish section; the dried form in grocery store, Keep dried seaweeds in glass jars protected from light. Tasty and highly versatile, seaweeds can be used in soups and salads, and in wrapping rice dishes.