Seaweed is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine that's rapidly gaining popularity among health-conscious Westerners. And for good reason — eating seaweed is a super healthy and nutritious way to add extra vitamins and minerals to your diet. Eating it regularly may even boost your health and protect you from certain diseases. This article takes a close look at seaweed and its many benefits.
What Is Seaweed?
Seaweed is a general term used to describe many different species of algae and marine plants. It can grow in a variety of waters, including the sea, lakes and rivers. Algae from the sea is generally edible, whereas freshwater varieties tend to be toxic. Edible seaweed is classified by color. The most commonly eaten types are red, green, blue-green and brown. It can also range in size dramatically.
Phytoplankton can be microscopic, whereas kelp can grow up to 213 feet (65 meters) in length, rooted in the ocean floor. Seaweed plays a vital role in marine life and is the primary source of food for a variety of creatures in the ocean. It has also been an integral part of human diets for thousands of years and is especially popular in Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Seaweed refers to many species of algae and other marine plants. Edible seaweed can range in color and size and is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine.
Common Types of Seaweed
There are many varieties of edible seaweed in the world. Here are a few of the most common:
Nori: A red algae commonly sold in dried sheets and used to roll sushi.
Sea lettuce: A type of green nori that looks like lettuce leaves. Commonly eaten raw in salads or cooked in soups.
Kelp: A brown algae usually dried into sheets and added to dishes during cooking. Can also be used as a gluten-free alternative to noodles.
Kombu: A type of kelp with a strong flavor. It's often pickled or used to make soup stock.
Arame: A different type of kelp with a mild, sweet flavor and firm texture. It can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, including baked goods.
Wakame: A brown algae commonly used to make fresh seaweed salad. It can also be cooked in stews and soups.
Dulse: A red algae with a softer, chewier texture. It is used to add flavor to a variety of dishes and may also be eaten as a dried snack.
Chlorella: A green, edible freshwater algae often sold as a supplement in powdered form.
Agar and carrageenan: These jelly-like substances obtained from algae are used as plant-based binding and thickening agents in a variety of commercially sold food products.https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-seaweed?utm_source=Sailthru%20Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=womenswellness&utm_content=2018-07-08#section9