Just what are those ocean growing plants? Seaweed or sea vegetables?
We call ocean plants seaweed. Weeds are defined as:
- a plant out of place and not intentionally sown
- a plant growing where it is not wanted
- a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered ( Emerson)
- plants that are competative, persistent, pernicioius, and interfere negatively with human activity
- plants whose undesirable qualities outweigh their good points
Do these definitions apply to seaweed?
The name is changing
i don’t know who coined the term “seaweed,” but the name is changing. Lately, more and more, the name for these ocean plants is “sea vegetables.” As scientists discover the benefits of sea vegetables for human beings, the term “weed” doesn’t seem to fit as well.
For centuries some cultures have harvested plants from the oceans and incorporated them in their diets. In fact, many cultures obtain most of the food they eat from the oceans. Most of us eat fish and other seafood, now the ocean’s plants are gaining in popularity as a food source also as we learn the benefits that come from eating them.
Here are four ocean plants that have proven beneficial to humans
If you’ve been around the ocean at all you know what Kelp is. Kelp is a large ocean plant that grows in relatively shallow coastal waters. It’s color is a greenish brown. Kelp is edible both raw and cooked, and can be taken powdered and in supplements.
Kelp absorbs nutrients from the surrounding seawater, making it rich in:
- trace elements
Kelp is also one of the best natural sources of iodine, and also contains;
- vitamins A, B12, B6, and C
Nori is an edible sea vegetable of the red algae genus, used chiefly as a wrap for sushi. It is produced commercially and normally sold in natural food stores and Asian-American grocery stores. It can increasingly be found in regular grocery stores.
Nori, like Kelp, is an excellent source of iodine. It also contains significant amounts of the vitamin B12.
Nori is made by shredding and then pressing the edible sea vegetable into thin sheets. These sheets are dried and can be stored for quite a long time in your pantry.
Dulse is a sea veggie that grows on the northern coasts of the world’s two main oceans. It has a somewhat leathery, reddish purple leaf.
As with the other sea veggies mentioned in this article, Dulse is a good source of vitamins and minerals, is high in protein, and provides many trace elements required by the human body.
Minerals and vitamins found in Dulse include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Dulse is high in fiber, which aids in the digestive process. It’s also a great source of Iodine.
Bladderwrack is a form of kelp with medicinal properties that have been known for centuries. It is another sea vegetable with many beneficial properties.
It’s main use has been as a stimulant for the thyroid gland and as a treatement for obesity. It is also high in iodine and is a rich source of the following:
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin S
- Vitamin K
Bladderwrack also contains algin (a chemical used to help lower cholesterol), mannitol (an osmotic diuretic used in treatment of kidney conditions, and swelling of the brain or excessive eye pressure), carotene ( for improved eye health), zeaxanthin (used to treat eye disorders), and the chemical element bromine.
Iodine is a necessary nutrient that is not produced by the body. Not much is found in the normal land-based vegetables we eat every day. Most of the world’s iodine is found in the oceans, in the sea vegetables that grow there. Because of this, many cultures are turning to plants from the sea to get the vital nutrients that people need to live long and healthy lives.
Be sure to consult your doctor if you plan to start using these sea vegetable supplements in your diet. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Too much iodine, for example, could be unsafe.
So, there you have it. Four plants from the ocean that you can incorporate into your diet. If you are interested in your health, it might be of benefit to you to check them out.
If you’re looking for a chewable supplement that contains all four of the sea vegetables mentioned in this post, click on the banner above. It will take you to a site called Chews-4-Health International. Their signature product contains these vegetables.
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