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    You Ask, I Answer: Sea Vegetables

    DulseIn the past, you have written that seaweed is a good source of omega-3 for vegans, but what are the benefits for those of us who already eat fish?

    Is there any reason to eat sea vegetables if you already get omega-3s from animal sources?

    — Tom Emilio
    (Location withheld)

    Absolutely!  Their EPA content (one of the two omega 3 fatty acids found exclusively in fish and seaweed) is only one of their many benefits.

    All sea vegetables are great low-calorie sources of iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

    Another bonus?  Sea vegetables have their own share of unique phytonutrients and antioxidants that help lower risk for heart disease and many different cancers.  This is why I often say that oceans have a very worthy produce section!

    Many people erroneously assume all seaweed is slimy, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

    You can purchase sheets of thin, crunchy nori (wonderful mixed into salads or used to wrap vegetables and avocado), dried chewy dulse (pictured, right), or hijiki (which, when cooked, has a consistency similar to that of rice).



    1. Rachelle said on February 1st, 2010

      I’m not crazy about sea vegetables but I have two ways to eat it that I think are delicious. First, I grind dry nori with toasted sesame seeds in a little coffee grinder. I keep a jar of this in the fridge all the time and sprinkle it on toast (with tahini), steamed rice, and salads. Second, I like hijiki in an Asian noodle salad. It’s pasta tossed with roasted squash, garlic, spring onions, roasted pepper, some soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Soak the hijiki in water for about 15 minutes before adding to the salad.

    2. Andy Bellatti said on February 1st, 2010

      What delicious ideas! Thanks for sharing, Rachelle.

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