Why You Should Prioritize Sea Veggies In Your Diet Right Now
With summertime on the horizon, you're probably looking forward to a number of highlights: Warmer days, plenty of sunshine, and ample fresh produce at the farmer's market. However, even if you're planning to eat extra fruits and greens in the summer months—there is one essential, nutrient-rich veggie you won't find as easily: sea vegetables.
Why sea veggies are vital for your diet
If you're looking to optimize your nutrient levels, registered nutritionist and dietitian Nour Zibdeh, M.S., RDN, recommends opting for sea veggies. While you may not see these as frequently as other veggies, they do come in dehydrated and powdered versions, as found in mindbodygreen's organic veggies+.
Finally, a greens blend powered by organic sea veggies to fight inflammation*
"Sea vegetables are a great addition to a healthy diet," registered dietitian Abby Cannon, J.D., R.D., CDN, says. The veggie variety, which includes kelp, nori, spirulina, chlorella, and kombu—to name a few—is rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, copper, manganese, folate, zinc, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
What's more, sea vegetables provide antioxidants, like vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene, according to doctor of pharmacology Lauren Tanabe, Ph.D. Seaweed, in particular, has more dietary fiber than most fruits and vegetables, which helps promote healthy digestion.* Plus, it contains natural prebiotics, to feed the good bacteria in your gut.*
What makes these hard-to-find veggies especially unique is the fact that they're a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids.(FYI: The reason fatty fish contain so many omega-3s is due to their algae diet.) Omega-3s help support cardiovascular health, enhance cognitive functioning, and aid with chronic inflammation—just to name a few benefits.* However, if you're a vegetarian or vegan, omega-3s can be somewhat challenging to come by, which is why sea veggies are a great option.
Plus, algae such as spirulina and chlorella can also help support the body's natural detoxification process.* In some animal studies, these sea veggies were able to reduce heavy metal levels, such as lead.*
For a double dose of goodness, you can also look for greens blends with classic greens, like spinach, kale, and broccoli, along with sea veggies like in mindbodygreen's organic veggies+.
How to eat sea veggies.
"You can rehydrate sea veggies and add them to stir-fries," Zibdeh suggests, "or cook them with garlic, onion, ginger, and lemon."
If you're using a veggie powder, Cannon suggests "mixing them into a smoothie with bananas or dates." You can also use it as a topping for your favorite snacks, like popcorn.
Craving something sweet? Whip up dark chocolate truffle balls with sea veggies for a nutritious dessert.
Even as fresh. local produce becomes more readily available in the summer months, don't forget about nutrient-rich sea veggies and their unique benefits.